Home-working moves into the mainstream post Covid-19
We’re sure there are many consequences that will result from the Covid-19 pandemic, both known and unknown. One such dramatic consequence evident from the very beginning was the need to transfer as many employees as possible, as soon as possible, into working from home.
After the initial shock, to the surprise of most onlookers, it appears that actually, home-workers can be just as productive, and often more so, than employees in a 9-5 office environment. Consequently,large corporations are currently evaluating their accepted beliefs in terms of the need for a ‘big city office(s)’ as they realise the financial and social benefits of employees who no longer have to suffer the daily commute, get to see their families more and, without the typical interruptions that are part and parcel of office life, are able to get more work done in far less time.
According to a recent survey conducted by leading HR services company The Adecco Group, ‘8 in 10 (79%) C-level executives believe that businesses will benefit from increased flexibility.’ Added to this, a recent poll byGlobal Workplace Analytics showed that employers can save $11,000 a year for employees who work from home just half the time, making home working an even more attractive proposition for employers.
For this variety of factors, Global Workplace Analytics state, ‘Our best estimate is that we will see 25-30% of the workforce working at home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021’.
While this way of working is ideal for many individuals, it remains a challenge to maintain employee engagement when, as during the past several weeks, staff aren’t even allowed into the office or for regular meetings. After the initial novelty of home-working wears off, a more permanent shift to homeworking could mean greater feelings of isolation and neglect, the stress of being ‘always on’ and disassociation from your company’s mission and culture.
These issues lead to disengagement and either lack of productivity or even, ultimately, employees becoming disillusioned and resigning, with all the subsequent time-consuming and costly steps that then need to be undertaken to replace them.
How to retain remote workers
So, how do you ensure your employees don’t become casualties of home-working? First of all, one tip we can share from clients who have always had remote workers, is to make sure your company mission and goals are shared and regularly emphasised. Schoop has a News and Engagement section that can be used as an inclusive tool so that even though there is no longer a watercooler to gather around, employees still feel a part of the team, see familiar faces and are reminded that they are not alone.
Of course, home-working can be an isolating and lonely experience for some, and with the best will in the world, not all managers and colleagues will be able to pick up the warning signs of low mood or worse in former office mates. Schoop can help, offering a forms and surveys option to take the pulse of your organisation. This instant feedback gives you the time to spot potential issues and address them before they become a problem.
Although stuck at home, administration tasks must still be fulfilled. Schoop can translate essential company data into over 40 languages, and disseminate important news and announcements instantly to all employees, teams or individuals directly to the smartphone in their pocket.
The future of work is undoubtedly going to look very different from before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and no-one knows the full extent of the ramifications of the virus’ effect. However, we can almost certainly predict that working from home is going to feature to a much greater extent than it did before for most previously office-based employees. How you retain and engage your employees is going to be more important than ever.
Don’t get left behind. Speak to Schoop to find out how we can help you retain your company’s most valuable asset – your employees.