2020 threw the entire business world into chaos. Very few businesses managed to remain untouched by its ravages. Most companies were forced to adapt to the new normal or perish.
Now that things are gradually going back to the way they were, we’re looking at a reversal of the “new normal.” However, some of the paradigm shifts that the pandemic forced are here to stay. One of the most notable among those being remote employment.
Allowing workers to do their jobs remotely became a necessity due to lockdowns and other difficulties that emerged in 2020. Technology allowed companies to outsource the workplace into each employee’s own home – and it seems to have worked. In many cases, this became the preferred means of doing business both by workers and by the company. Companies even started recruiting remote employees exclusively for any job that could be done outside of the office.
Now landing a remote job is no different than getting any other job. Competition for remote positions is as fierce as it is for office jobs – and sometimes, even more. Anyone applying needs to be on their toes if they want to have a shot at getting in. An applicant’s presentation needs to be immaculate, and their CV must be as polished as can be. This is where CV writing services like Purple CV come in very handy, as they can take care of all of these issues.
However, getting remote employees is just the first step for businesses. Once those workers are on the payroll, the company needs to integrate them into its business structure well. Certain problems are endemic to remote work, and every business needs to solve them to be successful. Promoting remote work is not an easy task, but there are ways to make it work.
Adopt Crisis Practices
There are a few businesses that managed to capitalize on the turbulence of 2020, and managed to do quite well for themselves. For the majority of companies out there, last year brought nothing but difficulties and disappointment. Most of these businesses can’t wait for the whole ordeal to finally be over, so they can continue as they were before – plus remote offices.
However, this may be a step in the wrong direction. Remote work was overwhelmingly introduced at a time of crisis. Making it work has taken a lot of trial and error, and has necessitated the implementation of other vital crisis practices. It may well prove counterproductive to roll back these practices while leaving remote work in place. Remember – while we may want to get it over with already, in many regards we’re not out of the woods yet.
Supporting remote employees and ensuring their mental well-being seems to be the only way forward. Doing anything less has a proven track record of burnout and high turnover that companies can ill afford.
Support Remote Employees
The company providing its employees with all the tools necessary for performing a specific job is seen as the norm nowadays. Both the hardware and the software needed for the completion of a particular task should be supplied by the business. That’s more or less a given.
What we’ve learned over the last year within a remote culture is that certain tools and practices that may not look that important are actually crucial for business. Companies need to lean into communication tools and strategies that allow employees to stay engaged.
Focusing on communication is an absolute must when dealing with remote workers. True, there are many other good practices you should consider putting in place. Still, making sure communication in your company is frequent and transparent should be your top priority.
You need to provide your employees with the tools and channels that would enable them to approach any part of the company at will. However, just doing that is not enough. You need to build your company culture in a way that encourages communication, and people reaching out.
Fostering such a culture in your company allows you to counter a very serious problem. Namely – the problem of employee isolation and detachment.
This issue affects most businesses but is particularly problematic for remote-based companies. Remote employees are especially prone to feeling alone and unsupported.
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this predicament. While online communication can’t recreate the atmosphere and energy you get in the office, it’s a step in the right direction.
Helping remote workers stay engaged should also be a high priority for management and HR. There are many different ways to do so, and picking the ones that are right for your company may be tricky at first. However, businesses must do so – otherwise, they risk losing valuable workers to burnout and turnover.
Focus on Workers Mental Health
The chilling effect that the pandemic had on the entire world affected businesses and employees alike. Companies experienced chronic logistical and staff issues, and in many cases, their bottom lines took a severe hit. Employees didn’t fare all that much better, with record numbers of people developing various types of mental health issues.
In hindsight, it’s no wonder that we saw the number of depression and burnout cases skyrocket by the end of 2020. At first, people were all too happy to embrace a new and more convenient lifestyle. However, as the novelty wore off, workers started to feel the drawbacks of being stuck at home more and more keenly.
The problems were exacerbated by the fact that the initial data on the subject was contradictory and inconclusive. This resulted in many companies not putting adequate strategies in place to alleviate the growing problem. Pair that with the reluctance of employees to speak out about their problems in general, and the whole thing turned into a right mess.
Fortunately, we now have more clarity on the matter. We know for a fact that every company needs to implement mental health strategies for its workers. Failing to do so may have disastrous results – even in the short term.
Companies that employ remote workers should take extra care to monitor and support their employees. Neglecting to do so creates a distrustful, resentful, and overall – toxic atmosphere.
This is why companies should take extra care to educate their remote employees on the subject of mental health and self-care. Doing so without sounding intrusive or patronizing may be tricky. The key to doing that is to be sincere, honest, and persistent.
That last bit is especially important. Mental health care, like all other types of maintenance, is something that requires continuous effort. Considering the state of each employee’s mental health must become a standard part of management’s business process. HR must constantly look for new strategies to improve it – to combat stress, keep employees motivated, etc.
Always remember – the first step towards solving such problems is by keeping all lines of communication open. Collecting and analyzing feedback on the matter must become a core part of your business process. Doing all this can be a lot of work, but keeping your employees fit and healthy is beneficial both for them and the company.