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.
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 supply and demand of the flexible workforce.
Now that the sky's the limit--and...
It’s that time of year again: time for wrapping things up neatly with a bow, and looking back on a year full of activities with an equal dose of nostalgia and realism, along with the resolve to make next year even better.
Yes, ‘tis the season for fourth quarter post-mortem meetings! Or, if you prefer, reflective evaluations. (What did you think I was referring to?)
Unsettling as their moniker may sound, post-mortems are a critical part of our professional journeys because they offer us all the chance to learn and grow. They help us to gain critical insights into what worked, and what didn’t, and most importantly, determining why certain things happened in the way they did and how we can improve upon them next time.
This isn’t an opportunity to point fingers. If anything, post-mortems should be a team-building experience as a way to examine past actions and their results. Finally, you’re able to assemble a collective outlook to guide future projects and...
It's as important to discuss with your loved ones as it is with your colleagues, supervisors, and peers. And while gratitude is certainly a powerful word, it’s even more influential in action.
Like many things in life, gratitude is often better demonstrated than described.
As 2018 comes to a close, professionals across the U.S. will soon be firing up their ovens (and their appetites!) for the annual Thanksgiving holiday feast with family and friends. They’re likely thinking about all the things they’re thankful for this year, and may even mention these at the dinner table. (I know I will, before the tryptophan sets in, that is…)
In our ever-distracted era, this kind of direct connection and sharing is a truly beautiful thing. Don’t you think it’d be ever-more-inspiring if we all prioritized showing our gratitude not just in November, but throughout the year?
It’s a smart move in EVERY context, including at work. Small acts of...
A new hire. A new job.
The word new in this context expresses unknown.
In a situation where a new employee is brought onto a team, there are a lot of unknowns on both sides:
The employee is not certain of what to expect of their new position and team; and
The employer is not sure whether the employee will be a good fit or not.
Those unknowns can cause tension and anxiety, not to mention unmet expectations, dissatisfaction, disengagement, and employee turnover.
In a remote environment, there are even more unknowns because you must rely only on virtual communication methods to communicate and understand expectations.
There are several ways you can reduce the number of unknowns in a new hire situation.
If you've ever gone through the process of hiring a new team member, you know it can be one of the hardest things you have to do in business. How do you know if someone is the right person? How can you make sure you have the best remote employees on your team?
While there is no one equation to find the perfect fit for an open position (and one might even argue that there is no such thing as a perfect fit) there are some attributes that make an individual a good fit for a remote position. Here are just some adjectives that describe ideal remote employees.
Since remote workers often have to do a lot of digging to get a solid understanding of work structure and expectations, curiosity is a key trait to look for. Does the candidate ask questions? How do they solve problems? Are they invested in their own learning and growth? What are they learning right now, or plan to learn in the near future?