The last few weeks have seen unprecedented changes in the way we live and specifically the way we work. Every day we are seeing more and more organisations sending their employees home to work remotely. While remote working has been the norm for many of us for some time, for the majority of the population this is a substantial change and one that could be around for a long time to come.
This presents numerous new challenges for many leaders who have until now managed a workforce in the same location – how do we manage people effectively when we are not together in the office? How do we ensure productivity levels remain where they need to be, and expectations are set clearly and reinforced in the right way? Ultimately there needs to be a significant focus placed on ensuring employees remain engaged while working remotely.
There are several critical areas to consider in maintaining engagement levels during this period:
Strong leadership is critical now more than ever. This is the time for leaders to step up and provide clear, consistent and thorough messaging and communications. Managers need to stay in touch regularly with their workforce, set clear expectations and provide any necessary support to ensure their teams are confident in their ability to deliver as usual. Like any working environment we will find some employees flourish working from home while others may struggle – the level of support required will vary also which makes it all the more important that Managers are accessible and open as required.
There will also be potential challenges for some employees in ensuring they have all the resources they need at home to work effectively and communicate effectively. It is the responsibility of leaders to ensure employees have the equipment, communication tools and technology they need to meet the requirements of their roles and stay in touch as needed. There are multiple technology solutions and platforms available to enable remote working and communication however it is important to keep in mind that there may be pressure on some of these platforms with the dramatic increase in usage.
Keeping abreast of engagement levels is also imperative – giving employees the opportunity to check-in regularly, provide feedback on how they are managing, voice concerns will give you a read on how successful remote working is and an opportunity to get ahead and address any potential challenges before they cause irreversible damage. Engageability’s Remote Workforce Healthcheck – a quick and easy Pulse Survey will provide employees an opportunity to give timely feedback on how engaged they are, how they are managing workload, productivity, work-life balance and the mental health challenges that can come with working from home over a sustained period. The Healthcheck provides detailed insights for Leaders to understand the challenges facing different parts of the business – whether it be geography, seniority or business unity – allowing them to get ahead of potential issues and deliver support where it is most needed during these challenging times. Call Nicola Floyd on 0411 368 387 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss setting up a Remote Workforce Healthcheck for your organisation.