Why did you quit your last job? Almost a third of employees who changed jobs last year say they left their previous role due to a lack of flexibility. In fact, 81 percent of 3,500 workers we polled said that flexible working is important to them.
Part of this means working remotely, something a staggering 1.5 million people in the U.K. do today — and something that’s important for three-quarters of U.K. workers.
As the way we work evolves, employees are demanding more flexibility to do their jobs in the way that works best for them. Really, why should parents have to miss the school run just to be seen to be in the office, when they may be working long evenings too? Why should commuters have to spend three hours traveling to and from work each day when they could spend that time working from home?
Our research found that there’s several common themes in what employees expect from their organization when working remotely. So here’s six ways to effectively manage remote teams for success.
Don’t Just Allow Remote, Flexible and Agile Working — Enable It
Everybody works differently. Some people work best in the mornings, while others are night owls. Some like to be in an office surrounded by others, but other people prefer to work alone where they can’t be distracted.
Not everyone’s preferred way of working is the same. Encourage employees to discover what works best for them. Show them that they have permission to do this, and that you trust them to do so.
If everyone’s working in the way that’s best for them and they feel empowered to do this, you’ll benefit with improved productivity and engagement as a result.
Build Great Experiences with Technology, Wherever Your Workers Are
Technology should enable teams, not hold them back. Make it as easy for employees to get stuff done during their work life as it is in their personal life.
Working at home or in a café shouldn’t mean that they can’t access technology, systems and software that they can use in the office. Make sure workers have technology that works properly wherever they are. This is where cloud technology is a no-brainer.
Provide a Seamless Experience Throughout the Employment Journey
From recruitment to onboarding, throughout the employee journey, make sure workers have a consistent experience. If they apply for a role using a self-service system, make sure they can use similar technology for tasks in their role, like booking leave.
We’ll be talking more about our top tips for using technology for a consistent onboarding experience at the UNLEASH World Conference & Expo. Join us on the Ideas Stage at 2:40 p.m. on the first day of the conference to find out more.
We’ll explain how companies can deliver great candidate experiences and allow employees to consume key information, familiarize themselves with colleagues and processes, and complete key tasks at the right time, all via an engaging self-service experience.
Reflect a Consistent Brand with People Marketing
Just because a worker isn’t based in the office doesn’t mean they can’t feel like part of the team and company. In fact, companies and managers should go out of their way to make sure this isn’t the case.
People Marketing is just one of the ways to do this. It means using marketing techniques to go beyond employer branding, to grow candidate relationships and deliver great experiences — again, throughout the entire employment journey.
Consider your remote workers and what makes them feel like a pivotal part of the team and company — and then use this to design experiences for them in the same way that a business might think about designing experiences for customers to keep them coming back time and time again.
Use Analytics and People Science for Actionable Insights
Fewer bodies in the office doesn’t mean less visibility, thanks to people analytics and People Science.
With People Science, organizations can use data to develop stronger predictive insights about their people and motivations. These insights can then be used to make more informed evidence-based decisions. This is vital for managing teams — wherever they’re based.
Show Your People You Truly Value Them
Feeling valued and recognized was vital for 66 percent of employees we spoke to. However, recognition isn’t just saying a simple “thanks” to the person sitting next to you. For remote teams, think about how you can show you value the work they do in ways they’ll appreciate.
Perhaps it’s sending a birthday card signed electronically from everyone in the team, regardless of where they’re based. It might be always having your camera on during calls so they can see you. Perhaps it could simply be having a team Slack channel where colleagues have work-related and personal conversations.
Ultimately It Comes Down to the What, Not the Where
The better an employee’s experience at work, the more engaged they are, the more productive they can be and the more the business benefits. This is just as much the case for remote workers.
Companies that are forward-thinking and that design experiences for their people to make them love coming to work every day will lead the way in engagement and productivity — no matter where those employees are working.