As vaccinations roll out and COVID death rates fall to lower levels in the US, employers are beginning to consider bringing employees back to the workplace. However, many employees are asking for more flexibility and to continue with their remote work set-ups.
A survey from the World Economic Forum reveals that while 58% of employees would go back to work if asked, 36% would comply but start looking for a job that offers remote arrangements, and 6% would rather quit than return to full-time, in-person work. It’s likely, then, that remote working will remain the norm for the next few years. If you’re struggling to manage your remote employees effectively, here are some tips that can help:
Check-in with your employees regularly
Check-ins are vital to keep yourself updated on the status of your employees so you can support them as needed. It’s good to host at least one work-related meeting with your team every week, and a general check-in meeting for everyone to catch up with one another.
If you aren’t already doing so, you can even organize monthly events like virtual happy hour, pizza parties, and recognition sessions to boost morale. Fostering community ties through these meetings not only combats the isolation employees may be feeling, but also improves their overall engagement with your organization.
Help employees improve their skill for a digital working environment
In order to accommodate and adapt to work-from-home preferences, businesses should be on the ball with training employees in the skills they really need. The sudden shift to digital tools may have caught tech-avoidant employees off guard, for one. This is why remote arrangements can help the workforce learn programming, try new software, and figure out how to maximize business tools online.
Remote learning has become commonplace now, with many universities offering online courses that focus on teaching basic, but necessary digital business skills. Maryville University’s online business administration program prepares students through an interdisciplinary approach that helps them develop across fields of interpersonal interaction, analytics, and technology. And as these courses are 100% online it is possible for employees, with the time and funds, to upskill while working. Outside of full degrees, there are plenty of shorter online courses that companies can take advantage of to upskill employees, with many offering corporate packages. By investing in employees and providing them with transferable skills, you show how your company prioritizes their long-term, individual growth.
Focus on the outcomes
In the article on Creating a Remote Work Policy That Benefit Your Employees, we discussed how tracking employee activity can be counterproductive and demoralizing, especially for employees facing extra challenges like working with kids at home. Instead of focusing on their hours, it’s much better to focus on the tasks and outcomes you want to see them achieve.
Not only will this increase their creativity and ownership over the task, but it also minimizes micro-management on your part. And instead of time-tracking or computer-observing software, why not opt to use less-invasive tools like RootLo? This way, you can organize tasks and communicate effectively with a strong emphasis on trust and accountability.
Provide employees with the right resources
Veteran remote workers would have already perfected their work-from-home set-up well before the pandemic, but your remote employees may not have had the time to prepare at all. Equipping your workforce with everything they need like new laptops, headsets, webcams, or adjustable desk risers can greatly improve your team’s productivity.
Insights from Human Resource Executive also notes that any employee touchpoint acts as a reflection of company values, so even sending online resources can show you care; RootLo allows you to provide employees with advice on working from home, and discounts or promotions through local partners that can improve their daily life.
Exhibit empathy and flexibility
Financial Management magazine reports that 34% of US workers felt more burned out at work than they had in 2019. In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, organizations should strive to express empathy and flexibility so their employees can feel secure and appreciated. Remember, every team member has a different home environment, so they’re facing unique challenges and distractions: Spouses, childcare, grief, and other struggles that prevent them from performing at their best.
Management should be able to understand their unique circumstances and accommodate employee needs. It’s important to acknowledge their stress, listen to employee concerns, and empathize with their anxieties — rather than simply brushing them off. Adopting a calm, empathetic, and flexible approach can help promote a healthy, remote workplace that can be carried over to future, face-to-face office interactions. For better employee interactions, try the RootLo app and create a collaborative space today. Check out the Humanizing Remote Work video to learn more about it!
Written exclusively for rootlo.com by Cielo Amos