Maybe your company started working remotely because of the pandemic, early on called the “largest work from home experiment in the world” or maybe your company is exploring a remote or hybrid model as part of their return to work strategy. Either way, remote work is becoming a large part of our workforce, and if you are new to it, here are a couple of helpful places to start building your strategy.
The biggest question with compensation in remote work is are you going to adjust compensation per location or pay for the job regardless of location? Traditionally, you could expect to pay less if you have a candidate that is not in a big city with a high cost of living. For example in Utah, you may expect a job to pay more in the state’s capital, Salt Lake City, versus a few hours North in Brigham City where the market is far less competitive. With remote work, there isn’t a standard set yet. There are fully distributed companies like GitLab that have a set pay band per role which is adjusted based on where the candidate lives. There are software engineering firms that feel regardless of the employee’s location, the job’s pay band is the same. Which structure best matches your recruiting and retention efforts?
Being trained in HR, the one thing that is very obvious is that the more states you have employees in, the more states you need to pay income taxes and unemployment in. It’s best to handle these registrations prior to hiring the employee to ensure reporting is accurate. There are less obvious areas to recruiting in remote work that need to be thought through. For example:
Team Meet-Ups: If team meetups are part of your culture, they’ll need to be inclusive and include an option for all members to attend even if they’re in a different state.
Company Offsites: Company offsites are now going to include travel time and expenses from any places that you have employees.
Compliance: Each state has a different set of labor laws, you will need to be informed and inform employees of those rights.
Inclusivity should be the thread throughout your culture and making sure that all employee types in all locations have the same opportunities within the company. Review your handbook and make sure it’s inclusive of all employees. Here’s a couple of policies to get started with.
Sick Leave: Do part-time employees have an equitable sick policy to full-time employees? Is your policy compliant for all worked-in states?
Holiday Calendar: Is your Holiday Calendar inclusive of all employees? Do you have the option for a floating Holiday for religious observation?
Benefits: Is your benefits package inclusive of all locations? Are there hospitals near where most employees are located?
Remote work has many wonderful benefits and there are also some exciting challenges to figure out like the ones listed above. Since remote work is still fairly new and we don’t have a framework to follow, we have an opportunity to set the stage for best practices and level up the organizations that we work with. Good luck!