How We Moved to a Remote Workforce
Even before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, the number of Americans working remotely was increasing. Now, workforce data shows about 16% of companies entirely rely on remote workers.
Working remotely comes with many benefits, including cost-saving and increased employee satisfaction. Due to this realization, we decided to transition to a remote workforce, and here's how we went about it.
Establishing a Remote Workforce
Our first step in adapting to a remote workforce was to establish a remote work policy. This policy covered crucial aspects such as measuring employee productivity, working hours, and software tools to use.
It also covered how employees remain accountable and how they would remain connected irrespective of their time zones.
Creating Workforce Database
Human resource teams and executives require adequate data to make informed decisions. We needed a comprehensive workforce database to help us measure growth and forecast, enhance performance appraisal, evidence-based hiring, diversify workforce composition, and create proactive strategies.
With the right technology, we were able to develop a comprehensive workforce database to meet these needs.
Communication Channels and Guidelines
We also had the task of establishing efficient communication channels to enhance collaboration among remote workers. We chose different mediums for communication purposes. For instance, we used email to disseminate reports and video chats for one-on-one meetings.
We also established ground rules for virtual meetings and the frequency of one-to-one and group meetings. The guidelines also covered response time and expected availability.
Legal Considerations and Compliance
If you plan to shift your workforce to a remote platform, it's essential to meet the letdown legal requirements and abide by labor laws. In a bid to meet the legal standards and labor laws, we had to update our employee contracts to reflect their work environment and scope of work.
We had to thoroughly train our HR department on labor laws regarding remote work. The guidelines also covered working hours concerning different time zones.
Cyber Security and Securing Company Data
Security is a significant concern for any company that has to undergo a digital transformation. Cyber-attacks and breaches are some of the most significant threats businesses face online.
In our remote workforce, policies established clear guidelines on how we expect our employees to maintain security on their devices.
We advised them to use a virtual private network (VPN) to limit online security threats and facilitate secure connections. Since most employees are unaware of the scope of cyber security risks, especially when working remotely, we organized training to enable them to work in a safe remote environment.
Assembling the Right Tools
It can be challenging to maintain a dispersed workforce. As part of our corporate culture values and mission, keeping our employees connected and engaged is essential. Therefore, we assembled vital tools to ensure our employees work hassle-free and collaborate easily.
We selected some of the tools for remote work include Zoom, Google Drive, Dropbox, and password management tools. These tools enable our employees to interact and collaborate on different projects.
Additionally, we adopted a performance management tool to allow our employees to enter weekly goals and accomplishments to make it easy to measure their performance.
Training Employees and Managers
Working remotely is unlike working in the office; this means the management style must change. Our approach in transitioning to a remote workforce included educating our employees on maximizing productivity and balancing work and personal life.
We additionally issued tips on how to respect working hours and respect teammates.
We trained our managers to collaborate with their teams and create a management strategy that fits the remote workforce. Our managers received training to help employees understand the new processes and use the different tools we adopted for the online workforce.
Carrying Out a Test Run
Before launching a remote workforce, it's essential to gather information and feedback and understand where issues arise. Before rolling out the remote workforce on a full scale, we selected a few employees in different departments for one week and established the bottlenecks in the system.
This helped us identify the employees' challenges and implement the best remedies for a smooth transition. During the test run, we also had time to amend our remote working policies.
Tracking Employees Progress
Remote employees need a work schedule alongside tasks you expect them to complete in a certain period. We developed work schedules for different departments and timeframes to cover the specific roles. These efforts helped our employees to understand their roles and responsibilities and also helped work get done.
Successfully Implementing a Remote Workforce
Besides creating robust policies and defining expectations, we understood the right tools and technology had to be in place for a successful shift to a remote workforce. Our cloud-based options for communication data, analytics, and project management came in handy in facilitating a smooth transition to our new system.
After establishing the bottlenecks during the test run, we had ample time to amend our remote working policies and ensure the process was hassle-free.
Transition into a Remote Workforce
If you are considering a remote workforce, you first need to understand the workforce dynamics. The research is massive and can end up in dead-end rabbit holes if not done right. To assist other business owners, we developed a workforce system that helps you look into several data of your competitor's practices.
You can use our system to benchmark and pick on the best practices for your own company as you transition. Schedule a demo to see what our workforce system can do for your company.