March 21, 2022 by Andrea Rajic

A 5-Step Guide to Setting Up Remote Workspaces

A 5-Step Guide to Setting Up Remote Workspaces

If you're past the stage of thinking remote work is an administrative nightmare and you want to start rolling out your remote workplace, it’s likely you don’t know where to start. Providing remote workspaces, budgeting, and measuring the impact of your strategy are complex tasks – but we made this guide to make them simpler.

The road from fluffy phrases like "remote work helps engage your employees" to specific, actionable steps you can take isn't all that long after all. Continue reading to find out exactly how to tackle use cases, budget limits, management, and employee rollout of a remote workplace strategy.

Step 1: Identify locations & use cases

Let’s dive straight into the nitty-gritty and work out where your employees are and what they need. Here’s what you’ll need to know:

  • The states and cities your employees live in
  • Whether you already have an office space in some of those locations
  • Which cities and zip codes have a lot of employees
  • A breakdown of use cases your employees need

A clear overview of where your employees live helps you understand which locations are the most pressing to provide workspaces in. You’ll need to know if you’re looking to accommodate a team of 5 or 50 people.

Knowing which cities have a bigger employee density doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide workspaces in areas with only a few people. It just gives you a clear insight on where to start.

Remote Workspace Locations

When it comes to use cases, they refer to workspace configurations your employees need. We all know open-space offices and cubicles no longer do the job, so you’ll need to find out what does. Departments inside your organization have different workspace needs based on their tasks and responsibilities. For example, executives may need conference rooms twice a week, while your marketers need access to common areas for focused work.

Pro-tip from Gable: We made this handy guide to help you determine the right workspace type for your team. After reading it, you can survey employees to find out more details about what they need – down to their preferred amenities!

Step 2: Bring your HRIS on board

Creating a rock-solid remote workplace policy is a task that requires all the help you can get. Use your HRIS tools to help you pull out your employees' locations and a breakdown of all departments inside your company. This will come in handy for the next steps.

Pro-tip from Gable: If you use Gable as your remote workplace platform, you can integrate your HRIS tool with a few clicks and have it pull department information automatically 😉

Step 3: Determine your budget

Flexible work is all about giving your employees the tools to stay productive and happy at work. That being said, it’s likely that workspace usage will vary by department and even by employee.

Some of your workers don’t have adequate home office conditions; some simply want to leave the house and meet their team a few times a week, while others feel more focused in a designated space the company provides for them.

So how do you determine a budget for a multi-faceted scenario like this one? Well, this will probably depend on the size of your company:

  • Small companies and startups work best with a company-wide budget on a monthly level
  • Medium-sized and high-growth companies usually budget by department, often on a weekly basis (e.g., sales has a weekly workspace budget of $5,000 while marketing has $3,000)
  • Large enterprises find it most convenient to set a budget for each employee on either a weekly or monthly basis – or mix and match the employee and department budgets

Remote Workspace Budgets

Our advice is to start with a pilot and test the budgets and usage to see how employees will use workspaces, how often, and whether you need to adjust budgets for some departments to allow for more onsite days.

Pro-tip from Gable: If you’re a company admin on Gable, you can assign and adjust your budget right from the dashboard, but that’s not all. You can choose whether you want to approve every booking yourself, require users to pay with their credit card, and allow crossing budgets with your approval.

Step 4: Communicate your policies to employees

You’re almost there! You’ve decided on where to offer workspaces, how to fetch all the data you need and your budget. The next step is to roll out the remote workplace to your employees, and believe it or not – it’s pretty easy!

Start by sending out a company-wide email about the rollout. In it, explain what you’re offering, how employees can start using remote workspaces, and offer tips and best practices. If some of your employees won’t have access to workspaces in their locations right away, encourage them to reach out to you and request a location nearby.

Pro-tip from Gable: For company admins on Gable, inviting employees to start using Gable is as easy as a few clicks – and you can choose between email invites and a shareable link. Additionally, employees can request locations, use Slack to see who’s going to a workspace and when, and invite colleagues to join.

Step 5: Manage expenses, usage, and trends

Wait a minute – the rollout is done. What else is there to cover? The last step is the most satisfying part for every HR & People Operations professional out there: measuring and managing the remote workplace.

Now that your employees are set up and have everything they need, you can sit back and marvel at the insights and data you’re getting. Here are some things you can learn about how employees use remote workspaces:

  • How often do employees use workspaces
  • Do they go into workspaces to do focused work or collaborate with colleagues
  • Which spaces and setups work best for employees
  • Which teams often meet to work together
  • Which cities and departments are going into workspaces most
  • Budget usage and trends by employee, department, and the whole company
  • Users and departments who hit their usage limits regularly and need more onsite days

If you play your cards right, you should be able to get a sizeable amount of data to analyze and synthesize – and then adjust your strategy accordingly.

Pro-tip from Gable: Company admins on Gable can manage and track their remote workplace straight from the dashboard, but they also get access to weekly reports. With weekly reports, you can see all the critical stats and trends for your company in the past week, and have it ready for reporting or internal analysis in no time!

Andrea
Written By

Andrea Rajic



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