You’ve probably seen the articles; tech giants like Facebook, Shopify, and Twitter are keeping employees working remotely even as lockdowns ease. Will this trend continue for other businesses that made the transition at the onset of the pandemic? Experts believe that it depends upon the specific industry, business size, and available resources.
If you’re considering keeping your employees thriving while working remotely, post-pandemic, here are four considerations to think about:
• Determine Feasibility
The quick transition to remote work has tested the patience and resilience of many businesses. Whether a company can stay remote is a balancing act. You must weigh how the business ran before against the new reality and make adjustments from there.
Anil Verma, professor of Human Resource Management at the University of Toronto, believes that many companies will continue increasing remote work and hybridize – with many employees continuing to work remotely, while some return to the office. The key to success is having a workforce that is resilient and can collaborate effectively no matter their location.
• Focus on Logistics
The logistical needs of remote team members must be met. This includes adequate equipment, technology, ergonomic home office set-ups, and proper security to protect the business, network, and data.
Clear policies must be set or re-evaluated. These include confidentiality agreements (since company hardware is being used), compensation terms, vacation and expense eligibility, including internet and phone use. In short, expectations must be laid out clearly, carefully, and included in employee contracts.
• Align the Players
Even with logistic needs firmly met, it’s not likely that every employee will be on board with remote work. Some will strongly want to come back to the office. Consider risk tolerance, and reassure staff that are open to returning to the office that you are taking all necessary health and safety precautions while remaining open to their needs.
• Employee Engagement
Remote work doesn’t have to be isolating. Give employees the tools they need to connect beyond the “office”. Some ideas include a dedicated channel in your communication platform, adding more playful elements into a meeting, or a shared gaming session. Don’t lose sight of the fact that many employees miss the face-to-face socialization and collaboration with their colleagues.
As companies and society adapt to more flexible work arrangements, the fact is, many companies having already made the investment in a remote workforce will continue to make this a part of their culture even as the pandemic subsides.
Talk to us about our solutions for your remote workforce. We can help with the right technology to keep them working seamlessly from home, now and for the long-term.