|With workplace adjustments continuing even as the pandemic abates in some places, it is clear the trend towards remote workplaces is here to stay.
Professional reference checking firm Allison & Taylor indicates a 67 percent of job seekers with prior remote working experience, prefer the opportunity to continue remote employment. Corporations similarly have recognized an increasing number of employees – particularly millennials and contract workers in the gig economy – have come to value this option and that it is a tool to better attract/retain employees.
Benefits to reducing brick and mortar expenses, such as the reduction or elimination of utility bills, are also an attraction to many employers. Such factors will ensure that remote workplace activity will only increase going forward.
However, many corporate managers fear employee misuse of such freedom. Many are placing an increasing importance on reference checks as a tool to determine which employees are best suited to thrive in the remote workplace. Here are some employer steps to ensure creating a remote workplace environment for employees is a positive, beneficial step for your company:
1. Identify clear expectations from remote employees – Key elements of this communication include the hours to be worked, amount of work to be completed each day, task prioritization, guidelines for the amount/timing of communications with management, etc.
2. Ensure remote employees have the proper tools – This includes corporate laptops and the like as well as ensuring employees can log in and input data via corporate portals that will assist management in tracking employee progress, performance, needs, etc. Doing so will reduce the need for managers to use valuable time in personally tracking and evaluating such data.
3. Regularly monitor employee progress (and needs) – Employers must follow up on employee progress to ensure corporate objectives and expectations are met, and also to ensure the company is there to offer assistance to any employee who, for whatever reason, is struggling with the remote proposition.
4. Interact regularly with remote employees – All employees need some degree of support and morale enhancement from their management and key associates. This bolsters productivity and acknowledges that remote employees have not been forgotten, or their contributions overlooked for performance evaluation or promotion consideration.
5. Place trust and faith in remote employees – Virtually every employee wants recognition as being an important asset to the company. While some may intentionally or inadvertently misuse remote working privileges, most will not – especially if given the proper guidance recommended above. Managers need to avoid the extremes of micromanagement and inadvertently placing too little emphasis on mutual communication with their employees.
Properly managed, the remote workplace will benefit employers and employees alike. Follow the above mentioned steps to ensure it is an asset on your organization’s behalf.