We no longer live in a world where employees need to punch in and out of the office in order to get in a good day’s work. Thanks to the internet, and the great many digital collaboration tools at our disposal, we can be as productive as we want, right from our living rooms. 

In the last five years we’ve seen a significant spike in companies promoting flexible working conditions. One reason is because a flexible work model is great for optimizing a team’s performance. By recognizing and accommodating each employee’s individual work style, you empower them to perform to the best of their ability, which in turn empowers the entire company. 

But there’s another reason companies should embrace the flexible work model. We’re living in an age that poses some unpredictable challenges – challenges that can affect the way we work. But these challenges aren’t insurmountable, they just require a little flexibility. As champions of flexible work conditions, we’ve got some tips for how companies can make the most of working remotely, should an unexpected circumstance (cough, cough) present itself.

All hail the conference call.

Most companies have at least one go-to video conferencing tool, and there is certainly no shortage of options. Skype, BlueJeans, Zoom… the list goes on. While we may take this technology for granted, it’s absolutely instrumental to a successful remote work model. For many companies, across many industries, collaboration is an essential, ongoing element of running a business, and video-chatting allows companies to maintain that critical collaboration regardless of an employee’s location. This tool alone makes the remote work model possible and if you’re looking for recos, we’re all about Meet

Take those perks to go.

When working from home, employees don’t have access to the full range of perks they have in the office. Like team meals, snacks and beverages. These offerings are no small thing either. They keep the team fueled and focused, and feeling recognized and valued by the company (which is even more important when working in isolation). Perks also help productivity by giving employees one less thing to worry about during a busy work day. Fortunately they don’t have to be restricted to the physical walls of the office anymore. Lots of companies supply their employees with prepaid cards that can be used for food, drinks, travel and other expenses. If you’re looking for options, our Treat card is a great one. 

Keep the channels flowing.

For a team to thrive, it’s important for employees to stay engaged with each other beyond their scheduled meetings. This was once impossible to do remotely, but today there are all kinds of tools and apps available that can keep teams engaged with each other, regardless of their geographic differences. Like Slackbot, Geekbot or Culture Amp – all programs that keep employees engaged with regular check-ins, updates and surveys, so team members can share feedback on their experiences and stay in the loop with each other at all times. Fostering a feedback culture with open lines of communication is so critical in today’s workforce, remote or otherwise, and these apps are making it almost effortless.

One of the most powerful outcomes of modern technology is that we’re able to stay connected, even if we’re physically apart. Want to keep the team zen with a group meditation, regardless of location? All you need is an app like Headspace. All working remotely, but still want to have lunch together? All you need is a few Treat cards and a video chat. We know nothing can replace the value of bringing the team together in person, but when sudden circumstances require the team to work apart, we have so many tools to keep those bonds going strong.