1st Edition

The Remote Work Handbook The Definitive Guide for Operationalizing Remote Work as a Competitive Business Strategy

By Mari Anne Snow Copyright 2023
    194 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    194 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    194 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    The Remote Work Handbook: The Definitive Guide for Operationalizing Remote Work as a Competitive Business Strategy is for readers seeking to leverage the business benefits of a flexible, remote workforce. It is a practical guide for building and implementing remote work at any size organization. C-suite executives, operation leaders, business owners, or entrepreneurs who recognize the workplace is changing can use it to re-tool their operations for a strategic business advantage. Mari Anne Snow, the author, is a recognized remote work expert with over 20 years of experience leading remote teams and has re-written the rules of leadership to unlock the potential in remote and distributed teams. In this book, she shares all her secrets.

    The book explores the untapped potential of remote teams and lays out the business case for adopting a new, flexible workplace model to build organizational resilience and a competitive edge. It takes the reader through the step-by-step process of constructing a remote work operating model, staging an implementation, then institutionalizing and sustaining the change. It includes down-to-earth professional and personal stories that alert the reader to the top priorities and operational realities they will face as they craft their own implementation plan for operationalizing remote work at their company.

    Chapter 1: Workplace flexibility is a smart business move

    Testing your assumptions - what is a remote team?

    Competitive advantages of remote teams

    Why adopt remote work as a business strategy now?

    Chapter 1 Highlights

    Chapter 2: Build it right

    Identify the remote work operating model that is right for you

    Start with the end in mind, then recruit help

    Take a multi-discipline approach, but assign a remote work champion to lead

    Recruit from the top, middle, and line level

    Seek support and buy-in from executive sponsors and key stakeholders

    Chapter 2 Highlights

    Chapter 3: The 5 organizational components of remote work

    Chapter 3 Highlights

    Chapter 4: Component one: Infrastructure

    Networks, the cloud, and business system access

    Devices, apps, and backups

    Systems, data, IP security

    Legal, compliance, regulatory considerations

    Role of the helpdesk

    Business continuity and disaster recovery planning post-2020

    Chapter 4 Highlights

    Chapter 5: Component two: Operational protocols

    Work processes and workflows

    Communication protocols

    Work schedules and defining availability

    Software and business systems

    Remote workforce and system user security responsibilities

    Remote workplace safety

    Chapter 5 Highlights

    Chapter 6: Component three: Performance accountability measures

    Organizational mission and core values

    Business goals and deliverables

    Universal performance metrics

    Job descriptions

    Functional requirements and existing KPIs

    Interpersonal interaction protocols

    Remote team meeting protocols

    Chapter 6 Highlights

    Chapter 7: Component four: Talent Management Systems

    Universal remote work skills and competencies

    Compensation, benefits, and employee policies

    Remote team recruiting and hiring

    30-60-90 onboarding systems

    The leader-led accountability cycle

    Performance review process

    Career paths for remote employees

    Disciplinary process

    Chapter 7 Highlights

    Chapter 8: Component five: Remote workforce training

    Integrate new hires thoughtfully

    Upskill leadership

    Rethink mentoring

    Build team resilience

    Incorporate contractors into your culture

    Institutionalize continual learning

    Chapter 8 Highlights

    Chapter 9: Operationalizing your remote work business model

    Leverage pilots to test your plan

    Build a network of remote work experts

    Recruit engaged executive sponsors

    Collect and analyze data to measure progress

    Create a robust reporting process

    Expand the rollout past the pilot

    Chapter 9 Highlights

    Chapter 10: Managing change

    LISTEN: Conduct a listening tour and shop your ideas

    EXPLAIN THE "WHY": Shape the narrative

    OVERCOMMUNICATE: Share information freely

    RECRUIT: Focus on the convertibles

    CELEBRATE: Celebrate progress strategically

    STAY ALERT: Assess, iterate, and adapt

    Chapter 10 Highlights

    Chapter 11: Multi-channel communications

    Leverage the online to offline (O2O2O) communication flow

    Communication in remote teams works differently

    Build communication systems then standardize them

    Create touchpoints that build remote team engagement

    Teach yourself and your people channel etiquette

    Recognize digital communication limits

    Reduce message distortion by connecting directly to your audience

    Chapter 11 Highlights

    Chapter 12: Institutionalizing remote work

    Plan beyond the rollout

    Budget to support the new model

    Build business goals tied directly to remote work

    Hire and promote using the new model

    Align the performance review process

    Track progress, communicate, and report gains

    Chapter 12 Highlights

    Chapter 13: Build on team achievements

    Recognize achievements, become a spokesperson

    Keep iterating

    Up the ante over time

    Chapter 13 Highlights


    Mari Anne Snow, CEO of Sophaya and Remote Nation Institute, successfully led remote/distributed teams for over twenty years. Early on, she sensed the growing strategic business implications of remote work as a global financial services executive where she launched an online corporate learning university that served 28,000 people in 32 countries. And as a professor at Bentley and Suffolk Universities during the early days of digital/social media, she helped position her students for success by helping them craft a place for themselves as the first digital professionals at Reebok, Mike, the New England Patriots, Fidelity Investments, and other notable organizations. Early on, she saw the strategic implications of these new technologies on remote/distributed teamwork. A passionate businesswoman committed to people-centric leadership; Mari Anne recognized both the enormous potential of these emerging technologies to support remote work. She developed new leadership approaches to meet the needs of the people impacted by this seismic shift. Then she left corporate life in 2010 to launch her remote work/distributed team consultancy, Sophaya, to help visionary early adopters transform their organizations to accommodate the structural needs of their growing remote/distributed workforce. Over the next ten years, Mari Anne devoted herself to refining best practices for leading a productive, engaged remote workforce. During this time, she focused on two questions: 1. How do we maintain meaningful human contact over distance? 2. What actions can smart leaders take to build trust and engage people who work remotely? Her research spanned multiple continents, testing alternate operating models, and gathering input from hundreds of remote work practitioners worldwide. The results? A new set of business principles for creating highly productive remote teams to support the workplace revolution that’s happening right now.