The ease of telecommunication has undoubtedly changed the modern workplace. Remote working is on the rise, and the number of Americans performing their jobs either totally or partly from home climbs each year. “9 percent were working from home in 1995,” says Brie Weiler Reynolds, Senior Career Specialist at FlexJobs. “Now, it’s 38 percent.”

“The idea of having a business headquarters mothership has changed,” says Harry Hollines, Chief Administrative Officer of Envysion, Inc., a company employing many in a co-working capacity (partly from an office, partly from home). “With the co-working concept, you can attend your kids’ events, you can have dinner with your family.”

Saving money, scoring talent

David Chao, Chief Strategy Officer of video conferencing company ReadyTalk, champions remote working as an improvement to all areas of business. “Let’s look at the financial: less office space to pay for. Furthermore, if you can attract talent from all over the world, wouldn’t that give you a better chance at getting an exceptional employee, not just someone who happens to live within commuting distance?”

Chao understands one of the chief questions of remote working: How do you know if someone is being productive? However, with a strong management that sets clear expectations and timelines for their team’s goals, the proof will be in the work.

“Good communication is key to managing employees who aren’t right next to you.”

Building engagement

“There’s a management buy-in with the co-working system,” says Harry Hollines. “Good communication is key to managing employees who aren’t right next to you. Many companies have moved away from quarterly and annual reviews — we use daily check-ins, video conferencing one-on-ones, just to get a heartbeat and a sense of what’s working or not working.”

Brie Weiler Reynolds recommends FlexJobs’ approach — a Human Resources Director of People and Culture designed to develop a working culture full of trust and engagement. “Have a person or group in place who can help managers learn to manage remote teams,” advises Reynolds. “Workers will take that proactive communication and use it.”

“I’d recommend video interactions as often as possible,” Chao says. “ReadyTalk’s passion with audio-video collaboration is connecting people with ideas. We focus on easy. Use the technological tools at your disposal, then meet once a quarter in person.” Less time commuting and more time for ideas means happier, more productive employees.