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*We are introducing a new series on having remote employees.  See the bottom of this post for all aspects of this series.

Funny enough, when you look up the definition for the word remote, you get two definitions; both are what what you would expect, but given this topic of remote employees at accounting firms, I find it intriguing when thought about in conjunction.

re·mote /rəˈmōt/

  1. (of a place) situated far from the main centers of population; distant.
  2. (of a chance or possibility) unlikely to occur.

So basically, “there is a remote chance that we have remote employees working for our firm.” While the tide is turning some on the ability to have remote employees, I still largely hear that there is simply no way this can work our our firm. While I agree that today it may not be a possibility for your firm, it doesn’t have to be that way…the question is, does someone want to lead the culture of the firm there?

You either choose remote, or you’re forced to do remote. Let’s discuss the latter.

What do you mean I am forced?

I call it the “Rockstar Challenge.” Let’s say a 35-year-old rockstar Tax Manager says, “my spouse and I have chosen to move back to our hometown to raise our family, thus I am going to leave the firm in 6 months.” What do you do?

If you are smart you are going to try to find a way to retain them and scramble to do so. Why? Because you have so much work and you can’t imaging getting someone of their caliber up to speed anytime soon if at all. So you put some plan in place that is not repeatable that suits that employee and that employee only.

Other people see it happen, some are jealous, others are mad that they can’t work from home, and most could care less…but still, its a culture statement. You were forced into it.

So do you want to go that route? Or would you like to start putting a ‘Remote Plan’ in place now so that if (more like when) that happens you are ready to go. Its much easier to tweak than to create….create without the pressure to produce.

More to come…

Roy Keely
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Roy Keely is the VP of Market Strategy at XcentricRead more...

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