We have also seen several advantages such as happier employees and a more diversified workforce. During our recruiting efforts, this has allowed us to source talent from various markets in order to hire passionate and qualified candidates with extensive experience within the industry. However, despite all of the advantages we have experienced with hiring remote employees, there are some factors to consider such as technology, culture, and the management of a remote workforce.
It is crucial to have the proper systems in place and reliable technology to allow employees to do their jobs effectively. During our onboarding process, we provide training on how to use the equipment and technology systems in order to minimize technical difficulties caused by user error. BALANCE also has a strong IT Support ticketing system to offer immediate assistance with IT issues should they arise.
Automation is another key component, especially when it comes to onboarding, enrollment in benefits, training, timesheet tracking, and performance reviews. All of these processes are done online through payroll or an HRIS system. As an organization, we are constantly looking at how we can automate and streamline our processes in order for everyone to be more efficient.
Building a culture where employees feel engaged and empowered can be difficult with a remote workforce. BALANCE keeps our employees engaged through various activities throughout the year. Within HR you have to be creative in your approach and make sure that each activity is inclusive of both telecommuters and employees within the office. In the past, our activities have consisted of fitness challenges, virtual BINGO, trivia, costume contests, boards where people post pictures and share things about themselves, raffles, and picture scavenger hunts which promotes communication and teamwork. BALANCE provides prizes and giveaways to the winners and rewards those who participate. It engages employees and gives them something to look forward to.
With a remote workforce, communication is crucial and BALANCE strives to make sure that we are transparent with our employees. Each month, HR distributes a company newsletter with updates, birthdays, anniversaries, success stories, and an employee spotlight section. This keeps team members informed and is an opportunity for employees to get to know more about their colleagues. In addition, all of our employees have webcams in order for them to participate in team meetings via video chat. This keeps our employees engaged and allows for “face-to-face” communication. Meetings are a great way to stay connected, socialize with other co-workers, provide information, and for employees to feel empowered by being able to provide feedback. In addition to our meetings, the organization has an open-door policy mentality where feedback is strongly encouraged. Anonymous surveys are also administered in order to empower employees and give them the opportunity to be heard. This gives leadership the opportunity to hear from employees where the company is excelling and where we may need to improve. In turn, company goals and objectives can be catered around this feedback.
Management of Employees
While working from home provides employees flexibility and freedom, it is still important to make sure each employee’s productivity is being measured and they are effectively meeting standards. We have various technology tools and metrics to do this. As previously mentioned, we utilize video chats for meetings in order to conduct regular check-ins within each department. Our organization has also created policies and procedures such as our Telecommuting Policy which outlines various requirements, such as strong internet connection and a stationary workspace in order to minimize distraction and technical difficulties. In addition, it clearly outlines how technical issues are handled and conduct that is prohibited as a telecommuter such as: being the primary caretaker for a dependent during work hours and using company property for personal use.
Although a remote workforce may not be suitable for all businesses, BALANCE has found that it works well with our business model. With the proper tools and resources in place, working remotely offers many advantages and is something we take pride in being able to offer our employees.