By seeking remote hires, companies open themselves up to a global talent pool of endless possibilities when it comes to driving diversity initiatives. However, companies leveraging this strategy need to proceed with caution if they’re hiring remotely as a quick-fix or cure-all for diversity challenges. In fact, during our November Networkplaceless virtual networking event, the overarching theme was:
Remote does not automatically equal diverse, nor equitable, nor inclusive.
It’s important to note that any discussion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is informed by context, culture, and the experiences of teams and individuals. As our Networkplacless community exemplified, remote teams and remote workers experience unique yet overlapping concerns when in comes to DE&I. As the participants shared their own backgrounds and insights with the group, several common challenges were identified:
Human resource professionals and hiring managers recognize that an inclusive and equitable workplace is an all-around win. The reason is simple: the more diverse its workforce, the more innovative—and profitable—a company can be. Staying competitive in a given industry and responsive to customer needs is top of mind for company leaders. Remote work has the potential to be a powerful tool for any organization seeking to leverage the power of diversity.
Remote work is, by nature, location independent. It facilitates a perfect match between employers and prospective employees who might not otherwise connect. Hiring managers are no longer restricted to sourcing employees from a limited selection of local talent. And job seekers can search for the best fit rather than only the most conveniently located opportunity.
The much deeper and more diverse talent pool afforded by remote work also includes people for whom traditional office-bound roles are...
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this oft-quoted proverb holds true in modern work scenarios as well. Anyone who has worked with external consultants conducting one-off training workshops and intensive sessions know that the knowledge shared typically begins and ends with those present.
Far too often, dust winds up settling on even the liveliest learning and development experience, and desires to make big internal changes give way to the inertia of the status quo. It’s unfortunate that such a significant investment in terms of time and money is often allocated toward a short-term impact.
These isolated experiences that lack sustained attention to an organization's culture can lead to a general avoidance of learning and development (L&D) programs. Rather than approaching these efforts strategically, some companies have sidelined training or left it up to those...
Remote work, telecommute, live/work—whatever you want to call it—the concept isn’t new. Humans have been making their living outside of co-located offices for years. The resurgence of the “workhome” came on slowly, but it’s reached a fever pitch and the writing is on the wall for businesses and job seekers alike; remote work is here to stay.
However, in our mad dash out of the offices, there hasn’t been much time dedicated to addressing the skills needed to be successful at working remotely. Hiring managers the world over find themselves now in situations of back-filling competencies that haven’t been comprehensively considered. Hiring remote workers isn’t just about the bullet points on a resume—there are layers of innate and learned skills that are often difficult to suss out or even control for when hiring and evaluating team members.
And that’s just the beginning. It’s just as important to understand...
Disclaimer: The information contained within this article is not a substitute for legal or medical advice from a licensed professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.
Throughout the past two months, we’ve laid out the health and safety concerns of the remote workforce and some ways to address them. If you’re part of a remote leadership team (HR, CXO, etc), these are the things keeping you up at night. As remote work becomes more mainstream, companies need to get policies in place to keep off-site employees safe.
Most companies have been kicking this can down the proverbial road, retrofitting policies whenever possible and favoring individual solutions over company-wide standards. The risk with this practice is two-fold: potential legal and/or compliance issues, and missed opportunities for attracting and retaining new talent. Either way, the cost is too great to ignore.
So when it comes to creating safe and...
We’ve all read the declaration that remote work is on the rise and expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Yet, some companies are changing course by banning and limiting remote opportunities, finding comfort in supposedly having more controlled work environments in brick-and-mortar offices.
A recently published SHRM article (“Why Are Companies Ending Remote Work?”) discusses the reasoning behind the shift of large corporations such as IBM, ATT and Yahoo to recall remote employees. Specifically, the author identifies the following concerns with remote work:
To hire, or not to hire?
It may feel as though most businesses have only just fully embraced and fostered Millennial talent in their corporate cultures, and now a new wave of candidates are hitting the job market.
The great news for remote companies: Gen Z (born 1997 - 2012) is by far the most digitally literate. (Crazy sidenote: They don’t know a world without smartphones !) Yet it seems that while they naturally possess the adequate digital skills to fill remote roles, many HR personnel may feel a level of discomfort with inexperienced workers starting positions while physically isolated.
And yes, isolation (and the pangs of loneliness that come with it) are the most frequently cited challenges for remote workers. Employers may need to be more aware of the mental health aspect of remote work for younger candidates; however, the health, safety and wellness of employees should really be treated as integral parts of your company culture in order...
The short answer -- Incredibly Relevant -- but it's all about your communication.
Like it or not, unless you’re completely off the grid without internet connection, you’re actively partaking in today’s digital economy. While some of us merely are on the consumer end of this, much of today’s workforce involves jobs solely based in or for digital companies.
With your groceries a click away or a ride to the airport summoned by a simple swipe, there are many benefits to digitalization. The rise of the internet and the Gig Economy have brought along many opportunities as well--perhaps chief among them the ability to work remotely.
Digitalization has also given rise to interesting new jobs, as well as reimagined traditional jobs that can now be done from anywhere in the world … despite this, U.S. bachelor's degrees haven’t changed significantly over this time. And these new roles require a particular set of skills. Burning Glass...
In our April Networkplaceless virtual event, remote workers and leaders from all over the world shared their thoughts on the top interests, knowledge, and skills that are necessary in remote work, which included curiosity for learning, time management, problem-solving, and adapting to new technology. (See learnings infographic below.)
Developing these, and other job-and remote-work specific skills, is critical to keeping remote teams flexible, competitive, and engaged. Employee training doesn’t just help with skillbuilding, but also improves employee engagement and retention, and can even have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line.
Who wouldn’t want any of that?
So, what’s the hold up?
If you are a manager, trainer, or HR professional and have begun looking into remote skillbuilding, you might find yourself at a loss regarding where to start. There’s a lot of content out there about what remote work skills...
Have you considered ditching a brick-and-mortar business set up to enable your teams to work remotely?
Your bank account would certainly welcome the significantly lower overhead and fixed costs. And your conscience would likely rest at ease knowing that you’re decreasing a broader carbon footprint, thanks to lower utility consumption and eliminated commutes. Plus, there’s that massive talent pool you are now able to tap into... hiring, retaining, and training all-star professionals without location-based or cost-of-living salary constraints. More research-backed reasons companies can benefit from going remote.
According to Werk’s recent research report, “96% of employees in the U.S. workforce need some form of flexibility at work, yet only 42% have access to the type of flexibility they need, and only 19% have access to a range of flexible options.” To be able to offer flexible options puts your organization at a serious advantage in the...