How Has Remote Work Impacted HR?
Before 2020, only 17% of individuals worked five days a week from home in the United States. However, in recent years, that percentage has increased to 44%.
Many businesses have adopted hybrid and remote work models for long-term business continuity. This shift has brought about new challenges and opportunities for companies, including adapting their human resources (HR) practices to accommodate remote employees.
Let’s explore the impact of remote work on HR, including the challenges and opportunities it presents, and how HR professionals adapt to this new reality.
1. Employee Engagement
The engagement of remote employees has a significant impact on HR professionals today. With the shift to remote and hybrid work, it’s become more challenging to maintain the same level of connection and communication as in a traditional office environment.
The following employee engagement issues might arise when a company employees remote teams:
- Remote employees may feel disconnected from their colleagues and the company culture.
- Remote employees may think they don’t receive adequate support from the company.
- Managers may find it challenging to identify when their remote employees are struggling.
- Managers may struggle to provide the appropriate amount of support to remote employees.
As an HR manager, you must adapt your strategies to focus more on employee engagement in the remote work environment. Aim to implement new communication and collaboration methods, such as video conferencing, instant messaging and virtual team-building activities. HR managers must also work to create a culture of empathy and understanding, encouraging managers to check in regularly with their remote team members and provide support when needed.
In tandem, you need to prioritize employees’ wellbeing by recognizing that remote work can affect some employees’ mental and physical health. To combat this, you can offer resources and support, such as access to mental health services, virtual wellness programs and flexible work arrangements.
2. Facilitating Communication
Remote work has created a communication barrier for HR managers. Communication barriers can lead to feelings of isolation and disengagement among remote employees, impacting their job satisfaction and performance.
In the office, some workplaces may have had open-door policies that helped keep communication levels high. Now, HR professionals must adapt by implementing communication strategies that facilitate remote collaboration and promote transparency.
Here are a few strategies to facilitate effective communication for remote employees:
- Check-ins: Schedule regular check-ins with remote teams to discuss work progress, address concerns and listen to feedback on their remote work environment.
- Technology: Leverage technology such as video conferencing tools, instant messaging platforms and collaboration software to improve communication.
HR professionals must also recognize the importance of effective communication in promoting diversity and inclusion in a remote work environment. Actively seek ways to ensure remote employees feel included and heard by providing opportunities for virtual team building, encouraging participation in diversity and inclusion training programs and creating channels for feedback.
By prioritizing effective communication, HR professionals can help maintain a positive and engaged remote workforce.
3. Reliance on Technology
Remote workers rely heavily on various technological tools to communicate, collaborate and complete their work. This reliance has led to an increased demand for HR managers to be knowledgeable about and able to support a range of technology platforms. Additionally, you must ensure remote employees adhere to the company’s data security policies, and that sensitive information is protected.
In order to adapt to remote employees’ reliance on technology, HR teams need to:
- Invest in technology solutions that enable them to manage and support remote workers effectively.
- Provide training and resources to help remote employees learn new technology platforms and tools.
- Collaborate with IT teams to ensure remote employees have secure access to company systems and data.
- Adopt new communication methods, such as video conferencing and instant messaging, to facilitate regular communication with remote employees.
- Implement policies and procedures that ensure all employees use technology appropriately and productively.
4. Tracking Job Performance
Remote work can impact employee performance, requiring a shift in how work is done and managed. As an HR manager, you must adapt to this change by implementing new strategies to help remote employees stay on track and motivated.
Try the following strategies to help track remote employees’ job performances:
- Provide clear performance expectations: This approach with regular feedback enables remote employees to stay aligned with organizational goals and understand how their work contributes to the company’s success.
- Use performance management tools designed for remote work: These tools allow HR and managers to track progress, monitor performance and provide feedback in real time, regardless of the employee’s location. You can leverage data and analytics to gain insights into remote employee performance and identify opportunities for improvement.
HR professionals must focus on building trust and communication with remote employees, fostering a culture of accountability and providing the necessary support and resources to help remote workers succeed. By doing so, they can ensure remote employees are engaged and productive, and the organization can achieve its goals.
5. Evolved Recruitment Process
The shift to remote work has also impacted the recruitment process for HR professionals. With many companies transitioning to remote work, HR professionals have had to adapt their recruitment strategies to attract and hire remote employees.
One prominent challenge HR professionals face is the need for face-to-face interaction with potential candidates. They must rely on virtual interviews, video conferencing and other online tools to assess candidates’ skills and cultural fit. As a result, HR professionals increasingly rely on behavioral-based interview questions and assessments to identify candidates’ soft skills and ability to work independently.
Moreover, remote work has allowed HR professionals to expand their recruitment pool beyond geographical boundaries, making it possible to attract top talent worldwide. As an HR professional, you must take advantage of this opportunity and focus on creating remote-friendly job descriptions and highlighting the benefits of working remotely to attract the best candidates.
In order to adapt to these changes, HR professionals must leverage technology to streamline their recruitment processes. They can use applicant tracking systems, video interviewing tools and other online platforms to manage their recruitment workflows and maintain engagement with candidates throughout the hiring process.
Connect Remote Employees With Exude Human Capital
Remote work has significantly impacted HR practices, pushing companies to evolve to meet a distributed workforce’s new demands and challenges. However, remote work has also brought new opportunities for HR to improve flexibility, access to talent and employee satisfaction. As remote work becomes more common and even preferred by some employees, HR professionals must continue adapting to these changes to stay competitive and effectively manage their company’s human resources.
At Exude, we offer HR consulting services to help you navigate various HR challeneges. We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses and know that the finest human resources consulting solutions are tailored to each client’s specific requirements. Contact us today to learn more about how our solutions may benefit your business.