As the world approaches a post-pandemic era, businesses anticipate that working from home (WFH) will continue to increase. Companies need to decide how to achieve an effective WFH strategy that will benefit both employees and their businesses. Unfortunately, in a recent PWC survey of 133 US executives, about one-third of them described their approach to post-pandemic remote work as “going with the flow.”
Here is how to effectively prepare for a future of working from home and how to make sure it benefits everyone involved, not just the employee.
Proactively preparing for the future involves updating and creating company policies meant to be permanent rather than the temporary ones made at the beginning of the pandemic. Business leaders should determine how much of the work should be in-office or remote, considering the nature of the work, the experience level of their employees, employee preferences, and real estate costs. They should also decide whether they want to employ a work-from-anywhere (WFA) policy, enabling employees to live anywhere and work at a company in a different city, state, or even a foreign country. Company leaders should communicate with their HR to determine which HR policies must be changed, such as recruiting strategies and compensation decisions.
In addition to updating company policies, companies should also consider adapting their management practices and behaviors to a remote or hybrid work environment. They should consider developing a healthy WFH climate that encourages workers and promotes a positive atmosphere, even when they aren’t in the office. One way of doing this is by explicitly stating the organizational expectations of working from home, such as how each employee keeps in touch and communicates with everyone. Offering direct expectations and leader-led supportive statements can positively influence the remote-work climate.
Employee Trust and Engagement
Consistent communication and social interactions with employees help demonstrate empathy and compassion from company leaders, leading to lower stress and more engagement in their work. Company leaders should foster trusting relationships with their employees by connecting employees during meetings or social gatherings, even if they are online through Zoom or video conferencing. They should also build trust by investing in technology that shows goals, assignments, and objectives in which employees can communicate and give feedback to each other. These technologies monitor employee work performance and create open communication that could be difficult to have outside of the office.
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