Remote First

What is Remote First?

Remote First in HR refers to a work culture or policy where remote work is the default mode of operation for employees, even when offices or physical workspaces are available. It prioritizes remote work as the primary mode of collaboration and communication within an organization, regardless of employees’ geographic locations.

Remote First Key Features

  • Default Remote Work: Remote First organizations prioritize remote work as the default mode of operation for all employees, regardless of their role or function within the organization.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Remote First policies offer flexibility in work arrangements, allowing employees to work remotely either full-time or part-time, while still providing access to physical office spaces for those who prefer or require them.
  • Digital Collaboration Tools: Remote First organizations rely heavily on digital collaboration tools and technologies to facilitate communication, collaboration, and productivity among remote teams.
  • Remote Work Infrastructure: They invest in remote work infrastructure, including technology, policies, and processes, to support remote employees effectively and ensure seamless integration with the organization’s operations.
  • Cultural Emphasis: Remote First cultures prioritize trust, autonomy, and results-based performance, emphasizing outcomes over hours worked and enabling employees to manage their work schedules autonomously.

How Does It Work?

  • Policy Development: HR and leadership develop Remote First policies and guidelines that establish remote work as the default mode of operation for all employees and outline expectations, requirements, and support mechanisms for remote work.
  • Technology Implementation: Remote First organizations invest in and deploy digital collaboration tools, remote work technologies, and infrastructure to enable effective communication, collaboration, and productivity among remote teams.
  • Training and Support: HR provides training and support to employees and managers on remote work best practices, digital tools usage, time management, communication skills, and maintaining work-life balance in a remote environment.
  • Performance Management: Remote First organizations adopt results-oriented performance management practices, setting clear goals, objectives, and metrics to evaluate employee performance and productivity, regardless of location.
  • Culture Building: HR fosters a Remote First culture that values trust, transparency, communication, and collaboration, promoting virtual team-building activities, social interactions, and recognition programs to maintain employee engagement and morale.

Remote First Best Practices

  • Clear Communication: Establish clear and transparent communication channels and expectations to facilitate effective communication and collaboration among remote teams.
  • Technology Enablement: Provide employees with access to reliable and secure digital collaboration tools and technologies to support remote work and enhance productivity.
  • Flexible Work Policies: Offer flexible work policies and arrangements that accommodate diverse employee needs and preferences, including flexible hours, asynchronous work, and location independence.
  • Empowerment and Trust: Empower employees to manage their work schedules, tasks, and priorities autonomously, trusting them to deliver results and meet performance expectations regardless of location.
  • Continuous Feedback: Provide regular feedback, support, and coaching to remote employees to ensure alignment with goals, address challenges, and foster continuous improvement in performance and productivity.


While Remote First organizations prioritize remote work as the default mode of operation, they may still maintain physical office spaces for meetings, collaboration, and occasional in-person work. Fully remote organizations have no physical offices, while remote-friendly organizations offer remote work options but may prioritize in-person collaboration.

Organizations can maintain company culture in a Remote First environment by fostering virtual connections, organizing remote team-building activities, promoting open communication and transparency, and reinforcing cultural values through consistent messaging and actions.

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