Experts say that more than half of all companies now allow their employees to work remotely in some capacity. And even though this has the potential to help companies save a lot of money, it shouldn’t be looked at as a free-for-all. Bankruptcies in the U.S. increased to 25,227 companies in the second quarter of 2016, and if you aren’t careful when transitioning to a remote workforce, you may end up incurring some unexpected expenses that could throw your already limited budget out of whack. Here’s what to expect when helping your team to seamlessly transition to a remote workforce:

You’ll need to make a decent-sized initial investment, but overhead costs as a whole will start to decrease.

That’s right — while the main transition may cost you a bit more in the short-term, your business will save money in the long-term — up to $10,000 per employee per year, according to experts:

“With employees working from home, employers can reduce operating costs associated with renting an office building or paying on-site technical support. For the budding entrepreneur, especially someone operating on a tight budget, a remote work policy is a great way to minimize office-related expenses. Full-time remote workers can help entrepreneurs slash real estate costs, resulting in an average savings of $10,000 per employee per year,” writes Rebecca Corliss on Entrepreneur.

Your business needs to implement a new way to measure productivity.

Measure productivity in traditional ways will inevitably become impossible upon the transition to a remote team. You won’t just be able to take a quick walk around the office to get a feel for the day’s productivity. At the same time, you want to be able to give employees the authentic sense of freedom that should come with any remote position.

If you’re finding it challenging to determine the best way to measure daily or weekly productivity, don’t hesitate to open the floor up for employees to voice their ideas or concerns. Gathering relevant employee feedback can provide some much-needed clarity and insight regarding productivity priorities. Many times, the solution lies in adopting the right cloud software that improves communication and collaboration as well.

There were 3.74 billion Internet users in the world as of March 2017, and countless cloud solutions have been designed and developed for the sole purpose of fueling employee engagement and productivity among remote teams. This is definitely something you want to figure out and train employees on before initiating the transition.

Don’t let the new remote work environment have a negative impact on workplace culture.

Finally, some employers fail to realize the ways that remote work may negatively impact overall culture. This is often a result of employees feeling more segmented and separate from their coworkers. They won’t be able to walk over to each other’s desks to have a chat — they’ll be limited to the virtual resources in front of them. This means you may want to come up with a new initiative to keep employees feeling connected and engaged. According to data from Benedict Evans, people share 730 billion photos per year on Facebook, so consider revamping your business’s social media page to include more culture-friendly activities and content. You should also make an increased effort when it comes to employee recognition; just because your employees are now working remotely doesn’t mean they don’t like to feel appreciated.

Remember, whether you like it or not, the remote work business model is here to stay. In fact, according to Upwork’s 2018 Future Workforce Report, 38% of hiring managers predict that their employees will work predominantly remotely in the next 10 years. There are plenty of benefits remote workers and managers can take advantage of, as long as the process is implemented deliberately and there’s a transition plan in place.

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