Based on a recent Wall Street Journal article, the future of work may be remote. Considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that offices are still facing challenges when reopening.
Companies like Apple, Lyft, and Amazon have postponed their return to the office until 2022, and more businesses will likely follow suit. Because COVID-19 cases are still prevalent, keeping employees safe is a primary concern.
Due to the volatile nature of the pandemic, business owners must be flexible and understanding when it comes to their remote workers and meeting their needs.
Employers can prepare for the future remote workforce and how they can adapt their business model to accommodate these changes.
How to Adapt to a Remote Workforce
Because the majority of 2020 and 2021 required businesses to adapt to significant changes, it’s no surprise that employers are becoming increasingly worried about having an entirely remote workforce.
Concerns regarding productivity and accountability arise, and it’s up to the employer to find solutions to these challenges while taking into account employee concerns. In Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey, 87% of respondents prefer working remotely at least once a week, which is a staggering figure you should factor into your plans moving forward.
To perform well, employees need to produce high-quality work and meet expectations. But what can employers do to improve remote workers’ journeys as they navigate the uncertainty of working from home?
Below are some ways employers can prepare to foster a productive working environment with their remote workers.
Establish Scheduled Check-Ins
Keeping an open line of communication is something every business owner should strive to accomplish. It becomes even more important for remote workers when face-to-face interactions are nonexistent.
Fostering a positive work environment between employees and top management has plenty of benefits, some of which can lead to higher productivity and improved employee morale. Consider meeting with employees regularly to address issues, engage in meaningful conversations, and build a positive working relationship.
Leverage Productivity Software
There are plenty of options you can use to monitor employee productivity remotely, and you must consider implementing them into your daily operations.
For example, software like Hubstaff, Slack, and ActivTrak are only some examples of the types of software that can be leveraged to motivate employees to meet their time requirements and put in enough work hours. Naturally, this software can hold employees accountable during their workday.
Using tools to keep projects organized will assist your remote employees in their daily tasks and help to increase their productivity levels.
Use Digital Resources to Achieve Efficiency
Aside from productivity software, using tools to keep projects organized will assist your remote employees in their daily tasks. It can become overwhelming for remote workers to stay on task, as it’s challenging to limit all distractions when working from home.
For example, suppose you’re onboarding a new remote worker. It can be difficult to acquire all of the necessary HR paperwork and signatures to get them started on day one. Using secure document signing software can help you achieve an efficient workflow and make activities like onboarding more streamlined.
Provide Virtual Interactions to Reduce Social Isolation
Employee happy hours are a perfect way to encourage socialization for remote employees. Creating connections between your valued employees can lead to higher levels of productivity and engagement, which directly impact your business performance.
Aside from employee happy hours, you can encourage employees to meet with each other to discuss challenges they face and brainstorm ways to solve common business problems. Remember that social isolation is a negative effect of the remote work experience, and employers should do their best to prevent employees from feeling isolated.
While these are only a few examples of how you can improve your remote workforce operations, you must consider them when formulating plans for the future. Adapting to an ever-changing workplace will be necessary as we continue to navigate the rippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preparing for a Remote Workforce
Whether it’s working in pajamas or avoiding a taxing commute, employees find that working from home is a trend they want to stick — and it likely will. Consider adopting the strategies listed above to prepare your remote employees for the future.