Vermont recently passed a law that will provide a hefty incentive to anyone who moves to the state to work remotely for an out-of-state employer. The promise of living in the natural beauty of the Green Mountains, paired with a $10,000 grant, is certainly a compelling offer! But there’s even more to it than first meets the eye…
Remote Working is Here to Stay
First and foremost, Vermont’s Remote Worker Grant Program legitimizes working remotely. They’ve recognized that you don’t necessarily have to be based in a corporate office to work effectively – and they’re investing significant resources into the concept. As long as you’ve got the right tools at your disposal, you could work from anywhere, from Vermont to Versailles.
Attracting a Younger Generation
Another factor that came into play with the Vermont program was the demographics of the state’s existing residents. Their lawmakers knew full well that Vermont is a small state with an aging population, so they tried to think of new ways to entice younger people to live in the state. There’s a lesson here for businesses, too: Offering the ability to work remotely will attract younger “digital natives” who are already accustomed to collaborating online and using mobile devices on a regular basis. (Pairing it with a great incentive doesn’t hurt, either…)
How to Support Your Remote Workers – In Any State!
So, what should you do if one of your employees decides he wants to uproot himself, take the grant, and settle down in Vermont? To put it more generically: what’s the best way to support a remote worker? Here are a few tips for success:
- Establish new ways for employees to share information with each other. There is a whole new world of collaboration tools out there that make it easy to erase the barriers of distance. Internal chat tools with availability status info, one-click videoconferencing, and instant screen sharing are all easily employed today. An added bonus is that these will benefit all of your employees, not just those who are working remotely.
- Be sure to fully train your remote workers on these collaboration tools, so they’ll intuitively know how and when to use each feature. You could consider starting them off with a basic feature set, then migrate them to more advanced capabilities as their comfort level grows.
- Encourage work-life balance. Remember that an employee’s use of mobile devices doesn’t always translate into availability to work. In today’s always-on world, the ability to turn those apps and devices off is also important.
About the Author
Stacey Kendall is a Product Marketing Manager at TPx Communications. Her role is focused on marketing for TPx’s suite of Communications & Collaboration offerings, including the UCx Hosted Unified Communications Service and SmartVoice SIP Trunking. Stacey holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Although she enjoys vacationing in Vermont, she has no plans to leave her home in the greater Boston area.