4 tips to mobilize the remote workforce during, and beyond a crisis
The concept of remote work has stood the test of time, as evidenced by the recent rise in the number of remote workers. And according to a Buffer report, 32% of remote workers benefit from flexible schedules, while 26% report the convenience of working from anywhere to enable them to move things around and spend time with their family.
Now that economies are slowly recovering, the need to tap into a global market and unlock skills from diverse geographies has called into question talent mobility practices. For one, there are skills gaps on account of insufficient experience in years or suboptimal opportunities for picking up new knowledge. And for another, relocation costs are rising, making businesses balk at the idea of hiring talent.
But what if all you needed was an action plan to mobilize a workforce that is remote, to begin with? They work where they are, and you benefit from talent across borders, without communication barriers. Here are the steps you’ll need to consider to leverage the capabilities of a 100% remote workforce;
Invest in the right solutions
The first step is to secure your networks for remote check-ins and desktop access. Use VPNS and the cloud to store documentation that your workforce relies on, from remote company policies to individual work files that can be discussed and annotated on calls. The right solutions not only keep your workers connected but also help you conduct health and performance surveillance on your servers. What’s more, you can retire your local servers, save on maintenance running costs while knowing that there’s a central source of truth that consolidates all conversations. No matter where your workforce is, they can drop files, share resources, and collaborate better across a secure network.
Leverage social media for engagement
Companies that are fully remote need to be more intentional about their usage of social media. Besides being a powerful tool to listen and be where your customers are, social media also helps your employee network stay connected and tuned to company news. Be it a change in leadership and governance, or an employee profile that’s given recognition publicly, social media notifications can help your remote worker keep up with both fellow coworkers in other locations, as well as work trends. Remote collaboration software that also has a social listening element to it can help you gather inputs from your workforce on their experience with technology and processes. This feedback can be an instrument for efficiency improvement if and when you go back to physical workspaces.
Organize virtual tete a tetes
The physical separation between coworkers creates a gulf. Where there were office interactions flying thick and fast to establish that camaraderie, there’s now the added responsibility of having to check individual availability. The absence of this socializing can be an impediment to productivity. Teammates can lose sight of objectives, or worse, the motivation to meet targets. A remote team manager can prevent this from happening by scheduling group or one-on-one calls with a cohort. With the help of calendaring applications, employees across timezones can get notifications as the time draws near and make themselves available for a virtual catch-up dedicated to just non-work banter.
Create and build a remote work culture
Lastly, support your remote workforce with a work culture that intrinsically connects people, tools, and processes. The ideal is a culture that supports self-sufficiency, promotes transparency, and champions communication. These are the elements that enable a remote worker to stay self-disciplined and productive. The more deliberate you are about involving your workforce, the more likely they are to reciprocate by ensuring their bar for performance doesn’t go down.