Is remote work a long-term option for your employees?
Posted by Perspect
Challenge or Opportunity
Is remote work right for your business and team? As a result of COVID-19, many of your employees are working from home. As the months have passed, some employees have decided that they do not want to return to the office, others are struggling with social isolation.
Recent Facts Regarding Remote Work
Prior to the pandemic, only about 7% of workers in the US had access to flexible workplace benefits such as remote work.
A recent news release from “global” workplace analytics estimates that 76% of global office workers want to continue working from home post-COVID-19. It is a little less than that here in Canada and the US, but still very high.
One of the astounding statistics was that more than 50% of office workers said they would be willing to quit their job and take one that would allow them to work from home. That presents a significant disruption in the human side of our businesses.
Your Role in the Decision
As an executive or business owner, you must decide whether you can support remote work for your employees. We believe the most important question that you must answer is:
“Can remote employees effectively support the achievement of our organizational vision, purpose and values?”
If you can’t answer this question, then your first step may be to clarify where your organization will be going in a post COVID world and who you need to be as an organization and team to get there? Your strategy pre-COVID and post COVID are most likely not the same. At least not in the short to mid-term. If you’re looking for a few steps to get this started take a look at our strategic deployment approach.
Clarity in organizational purpose is critical to mobilizing your people, whether remote or local. If the individuals in your organization cannot connect their own purpose to that of the organization then you have a significant gap and they will start looking for organizations that align more closely. To be honest, this is not always a bad thing, you want people on your team that buy into your values, just make sure they know what they are. (Try our core values exercise)
6 Key Areas to Consider for Remote Work
Once you have decided and believe there is a place for either full-time, part-time remote work for all or some of your employees, here are 6 considerations to assess:
- Influence Impact?
As a leader in the organization, how will a remote workforce impact your influence, and your ability to move strategic initiatives forward?
- Culture Impact?
How will this remote work impact the culture that your organization has been working to create? Will this shift to the culture have any impact on your ability to execute the strategy?
- Employee fit?
Will this employee personally and professionally thrive in an isolated environment? Only they can give you the answer to this. You may be able to assess it as time goes on. Allow for flexibility if people find it isn’t working out.
- Empowering environment?
Are you able to successfully empower individuals if they are working remotely? For example, are you able to ensure that they have the technology, ergonomics, environment that will promote the productivity you require?
- Is engagement possible?
Will you still be able to actively engage, listen to, recognize, and acknowledge your employees? Will they feel appreciated and cared for?
- Innovation fostered?
Will you be able to actively promote innovative behaviours across the organization? Innovation seldom occurs in a silo.
The Future of Remote Work
Remote work has been gaining traction for more than a decade, COVID-19 has legitimized this in many instances. Executives and business owners should expect this to only grow in the coming years. Preparing your organization to deal with this effectively should be part of your ongoing strategy.
If you would like to discuss this with one of our consultants please feel free to book a no-obligation consultation.