Remote work has become a fast and evergrowing trend ever since all our worlds got turned upside down in March 2020. Although before the COVID pandemic, 99% of workers wanted the possibility to work remotely for at least part of the time (according to a 2019 study). However, come 2020 and this new reality has become less of a want and more of a need.
This post will inform you about everything you need to know regarding remote work. We’ll respond to all your burning remote work questions and provide you with tips and tools to implement successful remote working.
- What are remote workers?
- Remote workers management
- Tips for remote workers
- Tools for remote workers
- Sustainable tips for working remotely
- Software for remote workers
- Reasons HR software for remote workers is essential
- HR software tools facilitating remote work
What are remote workers?
Remote workers are defined as those that can work from any location. There are many argued benefits that come from remote working. These include decreasing employee stress through having a more flexible schedule, better work-life balance and saving money and time by not having to commute and not buying lunch out everyday. Additionally, surprisingly to some, studies have proved that remote working actually increases productivity. Those who worked from home reported getting less distracted, enabling them to be more productive and therefore get more work done.
Remote workers management
Managing remote workers from behind a screen can prove very challenging for managers, especially when they have no experience managing people remotely. But don’t worry, Factorial is here to help! Below we have provided some useful tips regarding ways managers can support and oversee their employees remotely.
It is important that from the offset managers are assured that their employees have what they need to successfully do their job. They should create a continuity plan which covers the steps employees need to take to achieve their goals. This should also be coupled with regular check-ins. Communication is absolutely key to successfully managing remote workers and to keep them on track to achieving their objectives.
Check-ins don’t just need to be work-related either. It is a tough time for many at the moment, so showing support to your employees on a personal level will go a long way in helping them, but also improving the work they produce.
Provide communication options
As previously stated, communication is key to managing remote workers. It is important to establish different communication platforms in which employees and managers can easily speak to one another. This can come in the form of help through texting, or calling or video calling. The different options are important as it gives the employee a selection, in which they can choose what they feel most comfortable doing.
Consider alternative perks
In these trying and testing times, traditional perks might just not cut it, employers may need to start thinking outside the box when implementing remote work initiatives to motivate and engage employees. Companies need to find new and novel ways to inspire and reward employees for their good work, so that they don’t lose their motivation and drive.
Tips for remote workers
Working completely from home is a new experience for many. This can prove challenging and difficult to get accustomed to. We have provided 8 useful tips to help workers thrive whilst working remotely.
- Communicate with your colleagues and manager on a regular basis to stay in the loop with eachother and feel connected
- Give yourself time off at lunch to relax and disconnect from work for one hour
- Don’t let yourself get distracted by the housework that needs to get done. Compartmentalize between work and housework, as if not you will get distracted and won’t be 100% productive.
- It’s important to give yourself regular breaks from work – listen to a podcast, read a newspaper do a quick workout. This is vital to improve your levels of productivity and keep you motivated throughout the day.
- Try out meditation- meditation and yoga have been proven to combat anxiety and stress whilst boosting productivity levels. During these difficult times, it can go a long way in helping combat the anxieties that have been brought on by the COVID pandemic.
- Get some exercise- It is so important to get some exercise and not stay sedentary for the whole 8 hours of your working day. Exercising will help you disconnect and recharge your batteries whilst improving your brain flow and productivity levels.
- Prioritize important projects- work smart and concentrate on the projects that matter most and that have the shortest deadline. Optimize the time you work best, for some it is the morning and others it is the evening, but take advantage of these hours to get your most challenging and demanding tasks completed and out the way.
Tools for remote workers
Working from home can prove a lot less challenging when you’re equipped with the right tools to make your job that little bit easier. Below we discuss the top tools you need to successfully work from home.
Mental health tools
Mental health is a very relevant issue, however, now it is more relevant than ever. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, mental health issues rose by 40% due to the COVID pandemic. Managers can provide tools to support their employees, such as informing their employees which counselors and psychotherapists are covered under the companies benefits. Meditation apps such as headspace and InsightTimer can also help to gain focus and clear employees’ mind.
Mindmapping tools such as MindMeister can help brainstorm ideas. List-making software such as Workflowy can help you explore thoughts and new ideas deeply whilst recording your ideas in an organized systematic way.
Focus apps can help improve employees’ productivity and concentration levels. These include apps such as Forest. This app grows a tree on your phone screen and the longer you go without checking your phone the bigger it gets. This motivates you to go as long as possible without getting distracted and also enables you to monitor the frequency in which you get distracted.
There are many excellent communication tools that facilitate group meetings such as Krisp– a noise cancellation feature so you don’t need to put yourself on mute in group meetings. Another great app is Yac, enabling you to send voice notes to your colleagues, facilitating communication
Companies which operate remotwly are more susceptible to security breaches. That is why security tools such as 1password can be of great use. This password manager tool protects companies from breaches in its security by providing one uncrackable password for each website you have an account for.
Upskilling employees in this new distance economy can prove very useful for businesses. These include programs such as Coursera, which hosts classes from the best universities to develop users’ IT learning. Additionally, Linkedin Learning can help users develop skills to further their careers.
Sustainable tips for working remotely
Mental and physical health issues can detrimentally affect employee performance, this is why it is so important that employees feel supported by their employers. This can be achieved through the encouragement of healthy lifestyle practices or by providing employees with support through commissioning therapy sessions, or yoga classes for example.
Have a designated working space
When working from home, it can become easy to blur your work life into your personal life, as there no longer exists a clear distinction between the two. This can lead to working longer hours, or not being able to switch off from work once you have finished your 8 hour day. This is bad for employees’ mental health and can quickly lead to burnout. This is why it is important to create a separate space in your home, in of which one you work in and the other you sleep in.
Work in short bursts
Working in short bursts has proven to be a very effective way of improving productivity levels. By mentally breaking up your workload, it helps compartmentalize the amount of work you have to do, which can help boost your motivation to get it done. It seems a lot less daunting working for an assigned 50 minutes and then taking a break, rather than trying to commit to finishing an entire project in one day. This technique should be encouraged by employers to increase their employees’ productivity levels.
It can become demotivating to work alone from home, as you don’t have your team beside you working away,which encourages you to stay concentrated and keep working. It can also feel dispiriting when you feel like your manager isn’t there supporting and encouraging you. This is why it is important to create schemes in which employees success’ are celebrated, this could occur through company-wide employee recognition programs. The program could involve messages of appreciation being displayed through a companies social feed. These motivate employees, encouraging other employees to celebrate a team-members success, and therefore encouraging collaboration through a team-work mentality.
Adopt a growth mindset
By adopting a growth mindset, it enables you to regard talents less as something fixed and concentrate more on developing skills through hard work and dedication. Those with a growth mindset are always prepared to develop and evolve, by always seeking opportunities for improvement and investing time and effort into growth.
Software for remote workers
The challenges brought on by employees having to work from home have been numerous. Working from home has forced companies to make the switch to all-digital all the time. And with managers far from their employees, it has been hard to make sure they are meeting their goals. This is why it is important to utilize software that facilitates employees in working from home.
Reasons HR software for remote workers is essential:
- Facilitate continuity- During these unstable and uncertain times, it is important that companies continue functioning as before. This is why software systems such as payroll continue operating through an automated software system.
- Foster growth- Hiring new candidates is an essential way businesses can facilitate growth. This is facilitated by HR software such as Factorial’s applicant-tracking feature.
- Measure employee satisfaction- run HR reports which measure, productivity levels, attendance, and project development as well as employee satisfaction surveys.
- Manage absences better- During these trying times employees may take more sick leave off, due to being ill or having to look after unwell family members. Having an absence management software enabling employees to request time-off will therefore prove indispensable
HR software tools facilitating remote work
Applicant tracking and onboarding for remote workers
Attract the best candidates through a custom company career page. One which syncs up to job sites such as Indeed or LinkedIn is also a plus. Once you have found potential employees, you can streamline the hiring process through an applicant tracking system. Then you can easily send the contract to new hires using a secure digital signature.
The onboarding process is also made simple through custom workflows. Additionally, document sharing enables employees and managers to easily share important materials.
Time-tracking and payroll
Factorial enables managers to easily manage time and attendance. Managers can receive a notification when employees clock in or out (if they so choose) as well as having access to the timesheets which they can review at any time.
The time-tracking feature is integrated with payroll, meaning employees do not need to be concerned about incorrect or late cheques.
Holidays and absence management
Managers should have a process in place when employees need to make any time-off requests, especially during these precarious times. With Factorial, employees can submit their requests digitally and managers are able to approve them quickly and easily. Managers are also able to view absences on the calendar, whilst also being able to run custom HR reports better understand absences and the repercussions this is having on the company.
Access from anywhere
All data kept by Factorial is stored on the cloud, meaning all the data ranging from performance management to time tracking can be easily accessed through the employee portal or mobile app.