4 Keys to Managing Hybrid and Remote Employees
Accelerated by the pandemic, the hybrid and remote work environment is here to stay. In fact, in the most recent Alaant Hiring Index, nearly half of employers said they’ve now transitioned to a workplace where employees are either sometimes, or always, working outside the office.
Taken another way, this also means that slightly more than half of employers have gone back to an in-office set-up. Why haven’t they taken the plunge? The most common answer is a concern about productivity. Some business leaders and managers struggle with the question, “If my employees are home, will they really be working?”
Speaking from firsthand experience, the answer is yes. For employers on the fence, here are 4 actions to take to ensure that’s case.
1) Set benchmarks and measurables. The location from which an employee works should have no bearing on the expectations for his or her job performance. So, be clear on a remote or hybrid employee’s role and responsibilities; the milestones they are charged with meeting; and the metrics that will be used for measuring their work. Establish these benchmarks and measurables at the very beginning to clearly articulate the deliverables that are required.
2) Define standards and rules for performance. Should a remote or hybrid employee check in at the start of each day? As the day concludes? Are they required to attend regular meetings via Zoom, and to have their camera on during those meetings? Are they expected to be available to other members of the team to collaborate on projects and solve problems together? Tailor these requirements to fit your organization, but the bottom line is to provide structure that keeps online employees engaged and productive.
3) Establish regular reporting. The same principle applies here: set a consistent schedule and method for hybrid and remote workers to check in and share their progress, discuss obstacles, and request assistance where needed. Whether it’s a daily or weekly email, a telephone conference, or a Zoom or Teams call, it’s vital – to both the employee and the manager – to establish a regular means to communicate.
4) Set limits. If your employees are in the office, would you expect them to put in 10- or 12-hour days on a regular basis? Not likely. Neither, then, should managers be contacting hybrid or remote employees at all hours and expecting responses. The standards that apply to office employees should not differ for those working online, and employers should be careful to respect that.
Organizations that have gone hybrid or remote have given themselves a leg up on the competition when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. In the vast majority of cases, employees that are trusted to work off-site will be just as, if not more, productive. Not only that, they’ll be happier, have better work-life balance, and improved mental health.
Considering a shift to a hybrid or remote work environment, and need help getting started? Or, have a system in place that needs fine-tuning? The experience professionals at Alaant can help. Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!
Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner
Miriam is all in when it comes to doing whatever she can to help the Capital District grow and thrive. She is passionate about helping talented professionals find the right job and her work in the community is focused on furthering our area as a center of economic vitality. Miriam likes to garden and care for her pets. She is a member of an adult-only skate group where she rollerblades every week. She loves the Mets! And she is obsessed with vacuum cleaners; she really likes to vacuum and has 6 right now.