HR Hot Button: Remote Work

Prior to the pandemic, more and more employees found themselves in work-at-home roles. But now, in the midst of things, working from home is becoming even more popular. As employers discover the advantages associated with this work arrangement, they’re shifting many employees into permanent work-at-home positions. In fact, research shows that once the pandemic has passed, about 48 percent of the workforce will be working remotely.

Advantages and challenges of remote workers

Of course, with every change comes benefits and difficulties. Employers can save on rent, leases, utilities and in-office supplies. And depending on the size of the workforce, this can lead to significant savings. However, it’s more difficult to manage employees working from home. And this creates challenges with workflow, process tracking and performance management. But given the long list of advantages, employers must accept that if they can accommodate it—remote work is here to stay.

Remote work is in demand

Working from home is, not surprisingly, popular with employees. They can spend less time commuting, getting ready, packing lunch, and all the other tasks associated with going into the office. This means better work-life balance and more flexibility to fit in tasks such as getting kids off the school bus or throwing in a load of laundry during break time. Remote work is so popular that it makes positions very attractive to candidates, and it’s a way to reel in top talent as a selling point.

Helping companies thrive in remote environments

Despite being more convenient, remote work comes with its fair share of challenges for employees, who also must adapt to this new way of life. Your Human Resources Department can enable your success as a company with the following techniques:

  • Identify skills that enable a successful remote worker. If you have the ability to choose which workers will be remote, it’s helpful to identify which skills will help them do well at home. These include time management, self-motivation, good organizational skills and good communication. This tactic is also helpful at interviews, as you look to bring new workers in to a remote role.
  • Helping management adapt to remote teams. What can managers and supervisors do to help employees do their best? Taking full advantage of technology is one way, through WebEx and video meetings, digital communications, storage hubs such as SharePoint and cloud-based systems. Managers will also need to adjust how often they communicate, with regular 1:1 meetings being a necessity.
  • Change your evaluation methods. How will you evaluate remote workers and assess goals? Managers and supervisors need to figure out what’s working and adjust what isn’t—and make changes that suit the new work environment.

Work with your recruiter

To staff up with workers best suited for remote work, talk to your recruiter. And if you’re in search of one, check out Wood Personnel. To learn more about us and our available staffing services, contact us today. To read more about hot button HR issues, such as remote work, check out our SlideShare.

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