Even before Covid 19 remote working meant working from home. Or somewhere else without going to a traditional workplace. Employees did not need a building in which to work. But were still able to remain as, and in some cases more productive than they were in the office.
With the onset of the Covid 19 the number of people working remotely exploded. As workers across the globe were asked to stay at home in an effort to stem the spread of the virus, some people are not used to working from home. Many employers were not ready for the change. Policies in some cases had to be hurriedly prepared for their new remote workers. And there was no time for workers to be trained on how to work remotely. While some employees embraced the new way of working with excitement. For some it isn’t ideal especially for those with children or those who live alone.
Hiring staff to work remotely can be tricky compared to working in an office. The employee must be self motivated with excellent time management skills. If they are to succeed in a remote work environment. Employer has to consider not only the suitability of the person being hired. But also the suitability of their surroundings for the job. Training new workers is also an issue to considered for remote workers. As they will be on their own and not have anyone at home to show them the ropes or answer their questions.
It is harder to get remote workers to feel part of the organization or the team. It is also difficult for someone who works remotely to be attuned to the culture of the organization. Which is why scheduling face to face meetings is important where possible as long as social distance is maintained. So that members of the team can actually meet and get to know each other. Arranged trips for remote workers get to know each other. And build a bond that will make it easier for them to work as a team. Although they are physically apart for most of the time.
Setting up reward systems for remote workers is helpful in preventing the feeling of being forgotten or unrecognized. It is also important to carry out regular performance appraisal. To ensure employees are kept updated on their performance. And also to give feedback on how the employee is coping and whether they remain engaged.
With the lack of face to face interaction between senior leaders, managers and employees. One of the challenges remote workers face is managers who do not appreciate the uniqueness of working remotely. And those who are out of touch with the new reality of their workers. There are also the obvious issues of social isolation from those who live alone. Distractions in the home from those who with their spouses/partners and children.