We are living in a time where the workplace might never return to the “norm” we once knew. As the coronavirus pandemic swept its way around the world, many businesses were unprepared for the implications of lockdowns. Suddenly all businesses were forced to allow employees to work from home, taking a leap of faith that productivity would continue.
Although more and more businesses had embraced the concept of a remote workforce prior to the pandemic, today most are struggling to maintain a sense of control and effective management from afar. In fact, according to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), seven in 10 businesses admit the remote work concept is a challenge. This has made it necessary for HR departments to consider new management methods to address the needs of remote employees. Here we look at the best practices to consider when putting your work-from-home policy into action.
Performance Management and Productivity
Remote employees have always presented challenges when it comes to productivity. The SHRM study showed that a third of employers are facing difficulties in this area. While trust must play a huge role in performance management, for many roles it can be hard to measure productivity. When human resources work from home, time management software can help manage employees remotely. Using an Employee Time Tracking App allows employees and employers to track time whether it is by the hour, or by the project. If everyone is required to use the system, and tracking can be customized to each role, you can help employees remain engaged and committed to their work, while helping managers keep an eye on productivity.
In hand with your time management software, you can include payroll management software to ensure employees are paid for their work. It also allows those HR work from home scenarios to remain productive while providing a self-serve policy for staff to access their payroll and benefits information. HR and accounting teams receive quarterly payroll tax returns and real-time payroll data can be accessed from anywhere to ensure each payroll is processed on time and correctly. Employees can refer to their payroll information remotely as well. Security is customized to ensure only those with authority have access to sensitive information. This system allows you to work more efficiently.
According to the SHRM study, a third of employers reported issues with employee morale. This is amplified by worries and stress over the pandemic. One of the simplest solutions is to ensure teams keep in touch with each other so they have the support of their co-workers and maintain work relationships. Communication is not only important from a business standpoint, but also from a human contact standpoint. With social media tools, co-workers can stay in touch with each other to help mimic a typical work environment. Video chat apps are ideal for meetings allowing everyone to see familiar faces.
However, too much video can negatively impact morale due to a new phenomenon called Zoom Fatigue. Interacting socially and for business purposes via apps such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime, etc. puts stress on the brain. According to Andrew Franklin, an assistant professor of cyberpsychology at Virginia’s Norfolk State University, Zoom Fatigue can take its toll without employees even realizing it. In person, communication has subtle interactions and cues we all learn to read when conversing face to face.
This helps us understand each other. Video chats, especially those with multi-screen meetings, strain the mind as it tries to process conversation and interaction in this unnatural manner. Reducing the number of video meetings and calls and using voice calls instead will reduce the risk of Zoom Fatigue. People can converse and communicate without the stress of trying to process the overwhelming visuals during the conversation.
Performance and Feedback
Management involves talent development and employee feedback for not only morale purposes but to also assist with promoting company culture and opportunity. One-third of companies said they felt their company culture was suffering due to remote work. Continue to provide employee feedback and help employees remain focused on their goals using periodic evaluations. More than ever, employees need the opportunity to voice concerns, while employers need to provide the tools for employees to continue to perform to their fullest.
Maintaining a policy for performance reviews and adapting them to the remote scenario can help keep a sense of normalcy. Avoid disappointing employees who look forward to these conversations to promote themselves and discuss their goals. This can have a positive effect and can be achieved using Performance Review Software.
While the world has changed so quickly it has forced many companies to adapt effectively, introducing remote work policies can help with employee productivity, morale and growth. Introducing work from home human resources best practices is achievable with Paypro’s integrated software to make remote management easier.
About The Author
Ingrid is the Content Marketing Manager at Paypro, managing both inbound and outbound marketing initiatives for the company. She has 15+ years’ of extensive marketing communications experience, leveraging brand awareness and strategic partnerships to increase sales revenue for a diverse group of B2B brands.