With the COVID-19 pandemic came unprecedented challenges and setbacks. Though most businesses were impacted adversely, many took this as an opportunity to make commendable changes and pivot their business strategy. Remote work was one of the biggest challenges organizations had to face.
In fact, 669 CEOs in a PwC survey believe that 78% of remote collaboration with employees will continue post-pandemic. With the proper transition techniques, the results can be impressive—and have a positive impact on your bottom line. Here’s what you need to know about transitioning into a fully remote workforce.
Create A Trusting Environment
Working with a remote workforce will require a change in management style, especially if your management is authoritative. Your management must be able to allow flexibility, autonomy, and encourage employees to be creative in their roles. If your employees are the sole leaders of their own work, they will feel a sense of loyalty to the company, which will also induce quality work.
According to the Harvard Business Review, when employees feel trusted, their productivity increases by 50% and work energy by 106%. It is essential to keep in mind that trust goes both ways—if you are trusting your employees, they must also be able to trust you.
Provide Continuing Education
Giving employees access to relevant online classes, such as courses on how to use project management software or how to boost productivity in a remote setting, your team is less likely to feel alienated and lost. You can also offer to pay for relevant continuing education courses in specific fields. For example, as a healthcare company, you might offer medical receptionist courses through platforms like Career Progress to employees who lack administrative experience specific to medical environments.
Additionally, senior members can host AMA sessions where employees can address their work-related concerns. You must also consider developing a policy that allows workers to use collaborative workspaces, especially for those who prefer working in an office-like space.
It’s natural for some employees to feel distant from the company when they work from home. Feedback and employee appreciation will help them get back on track. From time to time, make it your mission to let your employees know that their hard work doesn’t go unrecognized and that they are integral to the business. Approximately 75% of employees believe feedback is crucial for their growth, and it helps them feel valued. Other benefits of feedback include better employee engagement, enhanced performance, and better quality of work.
Consistency In Communication
Communication is crucial in any environment, whether you’re working from home or in the office. But when you switch to remote work, you run the risk of employee alienation. Asking employees regularly about the work they have done, how you can help, why they felt the steps they took were right, and the reasons behind their thought process can help build an inclusive culture.
This will help employees feel like they’re part of the team where their opinion matters. Not only will it boost productivity, but it will also enable them to remain accountable for their tasks and projects.
Develop Additional Policies
New policies should be made to address your work-from-home rules, standard operating procedures, and expectations.
- Cybersecurity: Employees will have no on-site supervision, so it’s essential that rules regarding access to applications and program file transfers are clearly outlined. Moreover, access to sensitive information and data flow should be monitored.
- Recruitment process: Make sure to update the expected skills of employees, which more clearly and evidently reflect remote work practices.
- Compensation schemes: Go over the salaries, benefits, as well as overtime pay and determine how the amount and hours or expectations should differ once employees are working from home.
Taking regular surveys would help you bridge the gap between what your employees really want and what you think they want. Remote work is a big shift, and it will come with a different outlook altogether for both the management as well as the employees. Making sure your employees’ needs are being met can be a crucial factor in your road to success after the transition. Keep surveys short yet regular, hold quarterly performance meetings, and more.
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