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Does Your Organization Have a Long-Term Remote Work Strategy?

Looking back on this past year, it is clear to see just how adaptive organizations had to be in order to make it this far. One of the biggest workplace changes brought on by the pandemic was the shift to remote work. Going forward, many businesses are choosing to maintain some form of a remote workforce or at least are willing to consider it.

As the pandemic restrictions begin to ease, with new case numbers falling and the introduction of the vaccine, company leaders need to make their decisions on how to operate going forward. If they do choose to retain a full or partial remote workforce, they must plan for an optimal strategy. This time around, the decision can be intentional and proactive as opposed to what it was like a year ago. It is highly encouraged that organizations think strategically about what their next move will be, whether it is with a small group or a large workforce. Here are a few things to consider.

Hybrid or Full-time?

Organizations should consider if they want to continue with a fully remote workforce or go with more of a hybrid model. Some may opt to go with having their employees coming in a few times a week or having a few remote-only workers while others are set up on the worksite. To determine what works best, organizations should consider the following:

  • Nature of the work– Work that is independent and does not require a lot of collaboration is often ideal for remote work scheduling. This does not mean that collaborative work cannot be completed from home. That type of work just requires more effort to manage and stay on top of. Some projects just cannot be completed remotely like projects that require equipment that cannot be sent out or projects that require in-person interaction with internal team members or clients.
  • Experience level– In some cases, new employees may benefit from being on-site for an initial period of time to better grasp their training and familiarize themselves with others in the company depending on the nature of the job. If a new employee does start work in a remote setting, virtual meetings and check-ups would be beneficial to the orientation process.
  • Less real estate costs– If a primarily remote workforce makes sense for an organization, less may be more when it comes to the actual facility. By downsizing, a business can save on rent and possibly better position themselves for sustainability and scalable growth.
  • Individual preferences– Different personalities and preferences should also be considered when deciding to work remotely. Some employees may thrive better in-person and while others work best remotely. It is important to have open communication with your employees to understand what works best for each individual.

Policies will need to be updated.

If you are considering keeping some form of a remote workforce, you will need to consider what policies will need to be adjusted to fit with your new model of operations. Consider the following:

  • Recruiting strategies will need to be revised to look for skills and competencies in candidates that suit your new model of operations.
  • The hiring & on-boarding process will now need to shift over to online tools and platforms.
  • Company benefits may need to adapt over to more off-site perks with things like online subscriptions to gym programs as opposed to in-person memberships.
  • Lines of communication will need to be put in place so employees can easily speak with their co-workers and supervisors.
  • Schedules and general work hours may also need to be reconsidered to fit the new work model.
  • Location of employees. Some organizations are allowing employees to move away and work remotely out of state and even hire people that are far from the job location.

Maintain Company Culture 

Your company’s culture will need to be reevaluated. Spreading knowledge of the standards, values, and assumptions that are important to your company becomes more difficult when your workforce is spread out.

Because of this, management needs to be proactive in keeping everyone on the same page and involved with things like virtual group meetings, surveys, and regular one-on-one with employees. Inviting your workforce to contribute their thoughts and ideas on how to better the work environment is also very helpful in keeping everyone involved and offers a great perspective on how to better improve.

With intentional planning, organizations can proactively consider all the options at hand and use the past year as an example of what works best and what does not to create an optimal experience going forward.

How can Payroll Systems help you with workforce management? We offer a combination of software and human support for your business. Contact us to learn more about our highly scalable HR and payroll solutions.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.