May 6, 2020Continuous Improvement, HCM Technology
Has the Pandemic Accelerated the Future of Remote Working?
“The COVID-19 coronavirus is becoming the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations of our lifetime. How we work, exercise, shop, learn, communicate, and of course, where we work, will be changed forever!” – Jeanne Meister, Forbes The Impact of the Coronavirus on HR and the New Normal of Work. Five weeks later, for many of us, it feels as though this prediction has already come to pass. While no one can yet be certain of the extent to which our work habits and expectations will remain changed after the pandemic, we are locked into the process of transformation. So how can human resources professionals lead their organizations in supporting successful post-pandemic remote work culture?
Workspaces that Promote Well-Being
Wherever your organization’s employees will be working, they need the equipment, supplies and connectivity to be comfortable, organized, and have the virtual availability required of their job. If someone who manages a team of twenty people doesn’t have the secure, high-speed broadband to conduct virtual one-on-one and team meetings, how can they successfully communicate to be effective in a leadership role? Something as simple as webcam capable laptops that gives workers connection through seeing each other in real time meetings can be powerful as a work-from-home tool. There is also the question of compliance: do employees working with and printing sensitive information have access to a locking file cabinet, shredder and watertight security around sharing sensitive data electronically? Having the tools to ensure full compliance brings peace of mind.
Effective Role Modeling
This involuntary experiment in mass remote working has illuminated how influential leadership can be in making the experience a success. Employees who feel connected and receive encouraging information about what company leaders are doing to make the experience better, provide resources and safeguard the company from damage to the best of their ability are naturally going to give their best effort despite distractions from home life and a lack of remote working experience. If a manager is showing up looking positive and energetic on video meetings, it encourages employees to do the same rather than roll out of bed and slither to the laptop without performing self-care. Though, of course, who doesn’t appreciate the benefit of being able to work in shorts or pajama bottoms? A presentable appearance should be encouraged, but there can be relief in not having to look as polished as an in-person, boardroom power-meeting might require. Expect new-normal role-modeling and evolving remote working etiquette to be a thing moving forward.
The Role of HCM Technology in Supporting Remote Work
A robust, cloud-based HCM system with tons of employee engagement capability is no longer a ‘would be nice to have’ – moving forward it will be a ‘must-have’. Companies that have already implemented one and are optimizing its use are better positioned as the pandemic ebbs for enabling remote recruitment, onboarding, training, career development and employee access to tools and information that impact their performance.
- Self-service functionality as well as 24/7 access to HR information will enable use across time zones and be available to workers as they flex their schedules will be expected.
- Collaborative virtual workspaces and social ‘break rooms’ will help employees stay connected and productive.
- Analytics dashboards will help managers assess employee engagement, productivity and efficiency and even well-being.
In short, companies will be relying on their HCM systems more than ever to facilitate employee success and determine return on investment. Check out our video below featuring Wise Consulting Founder & CEO, Jennifer Wise, and President & COO, Steve Grem, discussing company communication during the pandemic:
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