Because of several recent technological advances and the current COVID-19 pandemic, many companies and business organizations have seen the value of allowing a sizeable number of their employees to work remotely from home. A recent survey conducted by Flexjobs found that in the last five years, the trend has grown in size by 44%. The study also found that an estimated 91% of workers are working from home than 10 years ago.
CMS Wire’s Kaya Ismail recently reported that even with such an incredible upward trend in remote workers, some HR managers remain unsure as to how to successfully manage workers who can do their jobs from almost anywhere in the world. Below are some of the suggestions offered by HR professionals who have been able to successfully navigate the remote work trend without sacrificing other key goals and objectives of their organizations:
- Adapt and Improvise for Success – According to Danis Shaheen, Vice President of Strategy and People Operations for Kazoo, “HR leaders and managers have to be willing to listen and be open to change in order for teams to remain productive while working from home.” Shaheen went on to explain that HR managers must understand that standing HR policies may need to be adapted based on the needs of individual remote workers. It’s important to understand that workers’ schedules and life events can change. Celebrate workers’ successes.
- Keep in Constant Communication with Workers – According to CEO of Jobvite Aman Brar, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new “normal” in terms of working remotely. Many workers are at home with spouses and children, and having to conduct business as usual has been a stressful transition. “Employees working from home are experiencing stress where they are having to adapt to a new physical work environment with different distractions than they are used to in the office. “ In addition to company updates, Brar advises HR managers to check in on those who are working remotely to ensure their well-being and stress levels.
- Hold Frequent Virtual Events – No worker is an island, and hosting virtual meetings, conferences, and other events can help them feel less isolated during the current crisis. Brar suggests holding not only process meetings virtually, but online all-hands meetings to help encourage sharing between workers socially. Having a sense of community even during a pandemic can help remote workers relieve stress that may have been building up over the past several weeks.