Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, businesses everywhere have shifted from having an office-centric culture to one that is more flexible or even fully remote. This shift, in turn, has caused tremendous changes in the way companies operate in the post-pandemic world.
Although it’s been almost three years since Covid-19 first appeared, some companies still struggle to develop efficient post-pandemic working models for their operations and people. However, many have successfully adapted their policies to cater to new modes of work that are more suitable for the world we live in today.
Remote work demands will, of course, differ based on the industry, size, and structure of any given company — what works for one of them might not work for another. However, because of ongoing discussions surrounding burnout, mental health, and remote recruitment, many businesses have adjusted their policies in an effort to make remote work more manageable on all these counts.
The following are just some of the ways that companies have adapted their policies for remote workers.
Remote Work Tools
Remote workers require the proper digital tools to be able to cultivate a sense of genuine connection among each other, as well as to improve teamwork and productivity across the board. Therefore, a company should have appropriate procurement procedures in place in order to obtain adequate teleworking tools for its workforce.
Many companies found themselves in a pinch when the pandemic struck. For one, they were forced to (often quite abruptly) revise their communication apps to enable employees to deliver their work from home.
Luckily, the demand for newer and better remote working apps over the past few years has resulted in a boom in digital solutions. Communication tools now often come with built-in cloud storage drives, task and productivity management features, and email integration. There are now all-in-one dashboards for remote teams that are total gamechangers for many companies around the world.
With time-sensitive tasks, sending an email and waiting for a response might not be the most effective approach to getting things done. By using instant messaging, coworkers are able to contact someone right away; it goes without saying that video conferencing platforms for virtual meetings have become the new norm in lieu of face-to-face interactions.
That is why many companies switching to a remote working model, whether it be fully or in part, have worked to adapt their policies to enable them to easily procure the necessary digital tools.
Mitigating Zoom Fatigue
Many businesses believed that overstuffing their employees’ calendars would boost productivity during the pandemic’s peak. Employers seem to have thought it would, at the very least, help mimic a regular work routine.
However, productivity plummeted as a result of people’s lack of free time due to spending the entire day in meetings. This particular kind of burnout, called Zoom fatigue, has had additional consequences, including depleting workers’ energy and making them feel unmotivated.
Thankfully, the result of many a remote worker survey has made companies aware that scheduling too many consecutive meetings in a row does not promote productivity. Plenty of them have also made it a point to put new policies in place with regard to video conferencing.
These policies can be as simple as not arranging more than a few meetings each day. Alternatively, if it is necessary to have more than the recommended number of online meetings in one day, another strategy is to avoid scheduling them back-to-back. This strategy enables remote teams to take appropriate breaks in between appointments.
Circumventing Zoom fatigue altogether by prioritizing remote workers’ work-life balance is also a prime demonstration of what good remote leadership should be.
Remote Recruitment and Onboarding
Managing remote workers can often be quite challenging for company managers, as there is little control over the employee’s surroundings and working circumstances. But when the onboarding procedure for remote employees is done correctly, everything changes.
True enough, onboarding is much more important when it comes to remote workers. Establishing a strong relationship with new coworkers is far more difficult when there is no face-to-face interaction.
HR teams are now choosing to stick to a small number of effective platforms for communicating, teaching, motivating, and rewarding personnel in order to prevent overwhelming new remote hires. This process often involves using a remote training tool specifically to onboard newcomers. Recruiters often rely on that same technology to upskill existing staff on how to use other company tools as well.
Another good addition to company policy is to create and distribute an employee handbook to familiarize prospective workers with the company’s purpose, culture, as well as any perks they may be eligible for. Some companies choose to throw fun items in there as well, such as celebrating project successes in the format of an online party.
Resources like that can assist in digitally educating remote employees about what is required of them, as well as provide a clear direction and define what they may anticipate from the company’s management.
After defining the duties and responsibilities of remote workers, some companies choose to also create a system that will keep them responsible, inspired, and committed to the mission and values of the businesses they work for. That is why evaluation should come at the end of the remote employee onboarding process. Regular review encourages workers to remain committed to their objectives and contributes to building and maintaining a productive momentum.
Digital Learning Tools
For many companies around the world, the days of week-long live conferences focusing on professional development are a thing of the past. Most hybrid or remote businesses, especially remote development teams, now invest in online learning mechanisms to properly educate their staff.
Fortunately, mandatory corporate training may be managed and taken part in more easily with the use of digital learning solutions. These solutions and the workers’ requirement to use them can all be outlined through company policies.
Of course, best practices for remote training should not exclusively rely on digital tools. Enabling collaborative learning, i.e. a type of learning that focuses on cooperation and social interaction, should definitely be emphasized when educating remote employees. Jointly organized case studies, peer editing, group projects, and all sorts of information sharing are just some instances of collaborative learning.
Having in mind that the finest corporate training is collaborative, company management should put policies into place that emphasize collaborative, engaging, and efficient corporate training with the use of appropriate digital learning technologies.
The pandemic’s effects have startled the globe into creating a more fair and balanced workplace that is better suited for today’s world. To put it simply, work needs to fit into life for it to be at its best.
Even if not every company has drastically altered how employees do their work, businesses will turn to one another for inspiration and test out new models and procedures to evaluate what works in terms of remote work.
After all, it is evident that those who implement adjustments reap rewards in terms of productivity and worker health that will last long beyond this immediate post-pandemic period.
Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.