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How to make remote working successful in 2023
3rd February 2023
The Covid-19 pandemic had the biggest impact on the global workforce since the Second World War. Huge job losses, furloughs and working from home where possible happened within a matter of weeks in the spring of 2020.
Fortunately, the job market has rebounded fairly strongly, but one thing that has changed forever is the attitude to remote work.
What was once a luxury reserved for snow days and occasionally for parents with sick children has become the norm for large swathes of the workforce - and it's something you should be ready to embrace in 2023.
But how can you make sure it's a success for your organisation?
Employees want flexibility, and will move jobs to get it
The pandemic negatively impacted our lives in so many ways, but one benefit was the shift in work-life balance if you were lucky enough to be able to work from home.
Lockdowns and self-isolating might be a thing of the past, but employees aren't prepared to give up the flexibility of remote or hybrid working (the option to work from home several days per week). In fact, 20% of Brits now want to work remotely full time, while 37% of people are willing to quit their jobs if their company doesn't offer it.
Remote working has drawbacks
The benefits of working from home are obvious. No more long commutes, more time spent with family and fewer distractions than you'd have in the office meaning we can be more productive.
However, remote working does have drawbacks too.
Research conducted by Chargifi found that four in five younger workers (under 35) worry about loneliness as a result of long-term home working, while studies have also shown heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
Not going into the office can also lead to more disconnection for your colleagues, and according to ONS data, more than two thirds (67%) feel less connected to their team.
How to make remote working successful
Despite the potential drawbacks, offering hybrid or remote working in your organisation will still provide significant benefits for employee engagement, as well as talent acquisition and retention. But how can you make sure it's a success?
Invest in the right tools
Remote working makes collaboration within and between teams harder, so you need to make sure you've got the tools and processes in place that'll make it as easy as possible.
Communication is key, and you should prioritise face-to-face interaction wherever possible to avoid employees feeling disconnected. This will require software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Platforms like Slack also make communication easier, whether that's via instant messaging or video calls.
You also need to make sure there's a 'single source of truth' for digital assets to ensure brand consistency. A dedicated Digital Asset Management (DAM) system is essential for remote teams, as it provides complete control over who has access to specific assets, and avoids out of date collateral being used in sales and marketing material.
Want to find out more about what makes ResourceSpace an essential investment for remote teams? Request a free 30-minute demo below. Alternatively, request your DAM free trial now.
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Face-to-face meetings are important, but don't overdo it
Video calls are vital for ensuring your employees feel connected to each other, but back-to-back Zoom calls can be tiring, just like back-to-back in-person meetings.
In fact, virtual meetings can be even more mentally draining, because of the increased eye contact, difficulty hearing people and the strain on the eyes caused by staring at the screen.
These check-ins are important to maintain employee engagement, but make sure you're not booking them in just for the sake of it.
Widen your talent pool
Following the shift to remote working, one of the biggest advantages to organisations is that they're no longer restricted to hiring within their local area. Take advantage of this.
It used to be a challenge for organisations to hire when they were based somewhere difficult to get to or that wasn't very sought after, but if you offer remote working as standard, you're going to be able to attract the best talent from across the country - or even the world.
Offer a strong benefits package
As mentioned previously, lots of job seekers are looking for remote working as a benefit, but they're also less connected with their colleagues than they used to be. This could lead to reduced employee loyalty and more job-hopping.
To help retain your employees for longer, you need to offer benefits beyond working from home.
Consider investing in an employee benefits platform that will do a lot of the hard work for you.
Get everyone together semi-regularly
If your organisation offers full-time remote working (as opposed to hybrid working) it can be difficult to foster team spirit or togetherness. With this in mind, ensure individual teams and the entire organisation are getting together on a semi-regular basis, whether that's monthly, or even just quarterly.
Incorporate social time too, giving everyone the chance to bond and build relationships outside of the day-to-day Zoom calls.
You can decide whether some or all of these in-office days are mandatory or optional, based on the specific circumstances of your workforce.