Finding a healthy and sustainable balance between remote and in-person employees is complicated. Companies that do not actively work to improve this area of their business operations may lose valuable employees.
Gaining Feedback from Employees
By incorporating these six questions into a company’s planning process, employers may be able to prevent friction between remote and in-person employees:
- Who will be affected by this decision?
- How they will be affected?
- What are their expectations around this issue?
- What does company leadership expect the result to be?
- Do any existing employment agreements need to be taken into consideration?
- How will the changes be implemented and managed?
The answers take time to put together, and a wrong decision could result in a lot of dissatisfaction for many people. The good news is that many leaders are creating hybrid environments.
Many of us thought COVID-19 would be short-lived. Nearly everyone expected to return to their offices within a few weeks. However, reality did not play out this way. Companies needed to figure out how to implement ways to ensure work got done even though companies had to operate in new ways.
It is critical all employees, whether remote or in person, feel they have equal access to resources and opportunities for career advancement. There are a number of ways where access can be implemented within company culture.
Compare resources. Make sure the same resources are available to both remote and in-person employees.
Make sure new hires feel they are part of your team. You can start by introducing a mentor who can answer questions. Offer written documentation pertaining to their role and provide a list of everyone else who is on their team. They should be given other company leaders names and virtual introductions scheduled. All new hires need to be introduced on their team as soon as possible regardless if it is virtually or in-person.
Create recordings and transcripts of meetings. This is important to ensure those who could not attend important meetings in real time can still have access to them. This practice keeps all employees informed on updates.
Open the door to opportunities. Make it possible for remote and in-person employees to interact with one another despite the fact that some employees work from the office and others from home.
Seek input from everyone. During work-related meetings, make sure you put effort into paying attention to the quiet voices as well as the loudest ones.
Rework Job Descriptions
Company leaders should think conceptually instead of automatically opting for preexisting job descriptions. For instance, ask yourself how you can ensure that the job will get done if the person doing it works remotely. Make sure the job at hand does not require the person to respond directly to customers during traditional business hours.
For example, a medical practice needs to know whether a patient’s insurance requires authorization for a particular procedure. The goal is to double-check the authorization in a timely manner and the updated job description needs to reflect every single detail accurately.
To put this into perspective, verify that potential employees are aware that they need to be available during certain hours. You can also take measures to make sure the job is divided between two people as a way of making certain that someone is always on call to do what is required when needed.
Do not forget to clearly document the redefined roles and responsibilities of a particular job description.
Utilizing Technology For Results
According to consulting company Gartner, no more than 16% of companies utilize technology as a way of monitoring employee engagement and various other very beneficial data points. Still, monitoring data points pertaining to employee satisfaction, such as feelings of connection, and productivity, such as computer usage, can provide a snapshot of employee engagement.
While making use of the data at your disposal, you will also need to ensure employee-related information is both used and stored properly. This ensures privacy concerns are addressed and respected.
Proactive companies, such as those that actively prioritize employee-focused policies and ensure procedures are in place, tend to level the playing field between remote and in-person employees. As a result, these companies typically experience the benefits of higher employee satisfaction and retention. Conflict is easier to avoid when companies structure their hybrid workplaces.