In order to appeal to some of the best employees out there, smart companies are fostering and supporting a remote workforce. This means providing a way for staff to communicate and engage either through a home office setup or other outlets while traveling. In addition to a strong brand reputation and offering competitive salaries, companies must also offer remote workforce opportunities to help bring in the best of the best. According to a Gallup poll, a flexible work schedule and working off-site plays a big role in attracting and retaining employees. Our jobs make up a huge part of our days, and the companies that are able to keep employees happy for the 40 or more hours they’re working each week, will reap huge benefits. In order to attract top-notch talent, companies need to modernize, and one way to do this is by offering off-site work options.
Here are a few things to know about the new remote workforce culture:
Creating a Modern Workplace Culture
According to a recent Forbes article, approximately 75% of the global workforce is going to be made up by Millennials by the year 2025. That means that Millennials are already shaping the future of the workplace – and they’re asking to work remotely. It's not just Millennials either. Gallup also found that not only are more employees working off-site, but they are also doing it more frequently. Companies that want to stay competitive have to at least consider offering off-site work opportunities. While it may seem like off-site workspaces cause a rift between the employer and the employee, it can actually empower employees to feel more important and independent, which makes them better at contributing to a team.
Interviewing the Smart Way
Finding the best candidates for off-site work starts in the interview process. Virtual candidates have to have certain characteristics and strengths in order to thrive in an off-site setting. Someone who is supremely self-directed and self-motivated will do better than someone who you need to stay on top of. And if you’re hiring people who need to be micromanaged, maybe you should be aiming higher. You can also ask for references if the interviewee has done off-site work in the last, either as an employee or a freelancer.
You also want to make sure that your off-site employees have setups that will help them work well. They should have a workspace that lends itself to concentration, instead of the corner of a kitchen in a busy household. Ask your interviewees about how they handle working on their own and what type of workspace they operate out of.
Showing Trust Through Flexibility
If a company can’t trust their employees to work remotely, maybe they shouldn’t be hiring those employees at all. Working remotely shouldn’t have a negative impact on productivity and success, and it can actually improve efficiency and output because employees are happier. Not only do today’s employees want to flex their independence, but they want to know that their employers trust them. Empowered employees are better at setting and reaching goals, which has far-reaching benefits for the company as a whole.
Offering Tools Everywhere
One of the most important things in setting up off-site workspaces is that every employee has to be able to access the tools they need in order to do their job well. Up-to-date resources and cutting-edge tools are integral to accomplishing work efficiently, and they can also help employees to think more creatively. These resources have to be accessible everywhere, from their mobile devices to their in-home workstations and their at-home computers. Many companies have adopted a BYOD (bring your own device) policy in regard to mobile phones which provides for further flexibility. Most companies' BYOD polices are lacking key elements to protect the employer when someone leaves. Make sure everyone has the right technology so that the standard of service is the same across all employees.
Finding the Perfect Balance
Off-site workers aren’t necessarily on their own 100%, or at least they don’t have to be. If you hire local employees, you can request that they spend some days in the office, or that they attend meetings in person. This can also be adapted based on how certain employees work best. For example, some thrive in a busy setting, while others need peace and quiet to get through a list of tasks. Some employees will consider two days out of the office to meet with clients enough time away, and they’ll be happy to spend the rest of the time in the office.
Ensuring Personal Contact
Even if you opt to hire workers who are going to spend all of their time remotely, you can still instill some personal communications. Schedule annual retreats where everyone comes together in the same place to meet and spend a long weekend together. Hold video conferences every week or month instead of communicating only via email. When a challenge pops up, hop on a phone call to discuss it instead of relying on chat. Anytime you have the opportunity to personalize your communication more, do it. Staying in close contact will make your employees feel like they’re an important part of the team.
If your company has remote workers or a mobile workforce, Level365 has a Unified Communications platform with mobile solutions that keep everyone connected while enhancing efficiency and productivity for all employees. Learn more about how our service supports mobility and flexibility by checking out our “Top 5 Unified Communications Benefits” article.
Level365 offers a complete Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution with enterprise voice. Our service helps companies embrace a mobile workforce with seamless integration of business voice communications among desk phones, computers and mobile devices so work can be done anytime, anywhere. Our UC platform extends beyond voice with communication services including Chat/SMS, Presence, Analytics, Cloud Faxing, Business Systems Integration and more.