How HRIS Professionals Can Enhance the Remote Employee Experience
The idea of a remote work employee experience was not on most company radars until 2020. Companies may have had a few freelancers/contractors on the books who were relied upon for content or designs, but most of the work was still done in the office.
COVID-19 flipped that structure upside down. A new survey from the freelance platform Upwork estimating that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by the year 2025. This is an 87% increase from the days prior to the pandemic. Remote work and freelancing opportunities are growing. Some companies have experienced the benefits of letting employees work at home, while others are desperate to fill positions emptied during the quarantine.
As job expectations shift, human resources information technology professionals can work with their companies to enhance the employee experience for those working from home. Below we have listed a few strategies to get started improving the remote employee experience while enhancing company-wide productivity.
Work With Managers and Directors To Set Clear Expectations For a Digital Employee Experience
Clear expectations are integral in the office, yet there’s no room for interpretation when remote work is involved. Trust is needed for remote work and some leaders are worried about managing remote teams. The good news is that the problem can be solved with setting clear expectations and establishing clear lines of communication.
The Harvard Business Review detailed in a report how managers can support their employees by:
• Scheduling regular and predictable check-ins with remote individuals or teams.
• Setting clear expectations for how workers will communicate, how often, on what platform, and what time of day.
• Implementing new productivity tools to be used by all employees.
• Being open and accessible for remote workers to discuss questions or concerns.
• Providing channels where remote employees can stay in touch with what is happening with the company so that they do not feel like they are on an island.
By setting these expectations early and keeping on top of them, managers can avoid drops in productivity, employee frustration, or feelings of loneliness.
Implement Company-Wide Productivity Software
Managers worried about their remote workers “slacking off” must be able to set deadlines and check on progress. The good news (and the bad news) is there are many productivity tools to choose from. The challenge isn’t finding one, it’s picking the right system for your needs.
Here are just a few examples to consider for your remote teams:
• Asana – this app simplifies team-based work management.
• Airtable – this app is a spreadsheet-database hybrid.
• Basecamp – this app helps you organize everything in one place.
• Smartsheet – this app is a dynamic workspace to manage projects.
• Employee Experience Pack – this app allows you to integrate all your data across the organization into a unified platform that has everything your employee needs in one place. Think of it as an intranet on steroids.
Find Ways To Keep All Employees Engaged
Although half of workers at home surveyed by Flexijobs reported being more productive in 2020, the potential exists for these employees to feel isolated. HRIS professionals can collaborate with their companies to find creative ways to keep all employees engaged, whether they’re in the office or at home. Many companies started organizing “Zoom Happy Hours” after work where all staff could get together, mix an adult beverage at home, and relax. Other remote organizations have built schedules of virtual classes for their remote employees. Not all of these are work-related. They offer cooking classes, yoga, Pilates, and new languages. Marketing companies have been known to send “swag packs” to their remote workers with t-shirts, mugs, or neat promotional items.
There are so many engagement opportunities you could offer to remote workers, and new technology has made it easier than ever to stay connected. For example, within the Employee Experience Pack, you can send kudos to remote employees. Studies have shown that the more employees feel appreciated, the better they perform at work and are more likely to stay at their company.
Include Your Remote Workers
The fact is remote workers aren’t going away anytime soon. If anything, the hybrid model will continue to expand among most companies. With the news of Facebook changing their name to Meta, we believe that the metaverse will become normal across most organizations. In the metaverse, employees engage with each other through virtual reality (VR) and/or augmented reality (AR). HRIS departments can work with managers to ensure all employees are included in their daily operations.