As a business leader that has been navigating a remote workforce during the past year, are you ready for your employees to return to work? Thanks to multiple vaccines, the coronavirus pandemic could be on the decline later this year, and how we work has fundamentally changed. According to a recent 2021 survey by the Society of Human Resource Management, 52% of US workers said they would choose to permanently work remotely and not return to the worksite if given the option. Knowing the dynamics of your workforce and whether your business model can work well with a totally remote workforce or developing a hybrid-model is key to planning your future workforce strategy.
To stay competitive, many employers are choosing to revise their onsite workforce model by either allowing employees to continue to work remotely or by developing a hybrid working environment where employees can have more flexibility. Either model can present its own challenges. It is essential for employers to review policies and procedures to ensure they are fair and equitable for all employees, while ensuring continuity and efficiency of day-to-day business operations. Clear communication and consistency of policy application is key to building trust with employees. Supervisors may need to be more purposeful in how they check in with employees to motivate and engage staff, monitor employee performance, and sustain social interactions. Establishing a solid framework for employee accountability by clearly specifying expected work schedules and setting performance metrics with well-defined goals are particularly important.
Additionally, utilization of online tools through performance, time-management, and project management software programs can help achieve greater visibility into employee productivity. Employees will have a real-time understanding of how well they are meeting expectations and goals. Performance management software programs supply managers and employees with the ability to view ongoing progress toward goals, increase timely communication regarding the status of projects, meetings, clients and more. Setup of a company-wide chat room such as Slack, creates an engaged communication platform for quick group or individual chats with managers and employees. Employees receive current feedback and timely communication from managers in the absence of onsite one-on-one or team-wide meetings.
These tools, as well as consistent communication and clearly defined policies and procedures, can be well worth the investment as part of a business’ overall workforce model strategy in 2021.