Has the shift towards remote work impacted your workplace?
In recent years, the shift towards remote work accelerated, and the trend is expected to continue. Did you know that in late 2022, around 26% of employees in the US were working remotely? By 2025, it is estimated that work-from-home policies will be utilized by 36.2 million Americans.
This trend is driven by technological advancements, COVID-era policies, and a desire for workplace flexibility. Today, 16% of US companies embrace a fully remote workplace, allowing employees to work from the comfort of their homes.
Although the trend has its advantages, managing a remote workforce comes with a set of challenges. Whether you currently lead remote workers, or your company is debating a shift in policies, there are a few key considerations to ensure the effective management of your teams.
1. Understand the difference between remote and deskless workers
Today’s workforce is exceptionally diverse, with varying work environments and policies, and it is common for Deskless Workers and remote workers to be confused as similar types of workers. While they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between them.
- Deskless: These workers do not have a designated workspace and work in various environments. Commonly found in the construction, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and transportation industries, deskless workers often have limited access to, or their role limits the use of, technology. They mainly rely on mobile devices to achieve certain work tasks. These workers generally work varying shifts depending on their job functions.
- Remote: These workers fulfill their responsibilities outside the office, most commonly from their homes. They generally have unlimited access to technology and use virtual tools to collaborate with their colleagues. Although their employer dictates the expectations, remote workers have more control over their work schedule.
Read an in-depth analysis of the difference between remote and deskless workers.
2. Clearly define expectations
Without regular interaction at the office, your remote workforce must understand the expectations surrounding their roles. It is critical for organizations to understand these differences and provide the necessary support and resources to help both types of employees succeed. You can achieve this by:
- Setting clear guidelines for work hours, communication, productivity, goals, and more. Create a handbook easily accessible by team members to access this information.
- Providing transparent performance metrics and consider implementing a tracking system to assess productivity levels.
- Performing regular check-ins to discuss progress, provide feedback, and engage with your team members.
Clearly defined expectations go a long way in keeping your remote team on track and motivated to reach their goals.
3. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology is a critical factor in making remote work possible, and it has evolved to support the needs of organizations as they embrace the trend. Numerous tools and technologies exist to help the management of remote teams.
- Stay connected with workers using virtual meeting platforms. Video conferencing software makes it easy for team members to engage in meaningful discussions about their work.
- Collaborate in real-time with project management software that helps track assignments, assign tasks, and monitor progress. These tools reinforce team collaboration even in remote environments.
- Make sharing easy with online storage solutions and file-sharing apps. Messaging platforms provide a centralized location for communication and collaboration.
A wealth of technology is available to help you stay connected with your team and ensure the ongoing productivity of your workforce.
4. Foster Employee Engagement
Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from the rest of their team. Therefore, it's crucial to foster engagement with your team to combat these challenges.
- Initiate virtual team-building activities to connect and encourage bonding. Regular team events are great for discussing goals, celebrating successes, and providing support.
- Encourage social interaction outside of work so that team members can get to know each other.
- Provide a safe space for employees to express their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. Employees are more likely to be engaged if they feel heard and valued.
Building a community with a remote workforce can be challenging, but putting forth your best effort is critical - engaged teams are 21% more profitable than unengaged ones.
Remote work requires a certain level of flexibility from both the employer and the employee. Be open to new ways of working and be willing to accommodate your remote team's unique needs and circumstances.
- Consider providing flexible schedules and fostering a supportive work environment to accommodate your employees’ challenges at home.
- Offer technology and resources to enhance their work-from-home experience.
- Encourage employees to create work-life balance and consistent routines to stay organized.
By communicating effectively and remaining flexible in unique circumstances, employers and employees can reap the many benefits of remote work and work to achieve success together.
Choosing a Partner to Support Remote Teams
The trend toward remote work has rapidly gained momentum and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. Managing a remote workforce presents challenges, but organizations can effectively support and manage their distributed teams with the right approach.
Greenshades is dedicated to supporting organizations in this new era of work, providing a range of resources and services to effectively manage a remote workforce.
- Automate tax code assignment – Apply payroll tax calculations based on an employee’s location. Easily track reporting deadlines to ensure all federal, state, and local tax requirements are met.
- Offer robust self-service tools – Enable workers with an employee self-service tool they can access from anywhere. Allow employees to update their records whenever they have a significant life event and grant online access to benefits statements, paystubs, and more.
- Configure virtual onboarding – Create a seamless experience from the applicant tracking process to onboarding. Configure a virtual workflow allowing new hires to onboard themselves anytime, anywhere.
Does your current payroll and HR solution provide the support you need to ensure the success of your remote workers? Get a demo to learn how Greenshades may be the solution you have been searching for.