Finding the Right Fit: Assessing the Suitability of Remote Work
Remote work remains a prominent topic for both management and employees. Management is requesting employees who were previously working fully remotely to consider transitioning to a hybrid work model. However, employees harbor apprehensions around the change it may have on their work routines. While some individuals embrace the prospect of returning to the office, others have opted to withdraw from the workforce altogether.
Our advice to hiring managers is to consider two things:
Our most successful clients are instituting an individualized approach. Blanket return to work requirements result in natural push back from employees creating tension between management and their workforce. Individuals have different needs based on personality and productivity. And just like everyone learns differently, they work differently. Lean on your employees to let you know what works best for them.
Also, consider flexible work arrangements and the impact it has on company DEI initiatives. A recent report out of India cited their return to work policy as a major contributing factor to their high turnover rate of women employees. Remote and hybrid work have made it easier to balance work and personal life. In the United States, 57% of working women felt remote work was important compared to 44% of men.
Want to know what’s best for your employees? Our advice is to ask or survey your workforce. Managers should be having at least one meaningful conversation a week with their direct reports. We find open communication is best in these circumstances.
The Role & The Company
There are some very loud points of view in certain technology spaces. And while you find leaders like Musk implementing blanket return to work policies, remember that every company has different values, cultures, and missions. You must consider what works best for your company and the role, first.
Consider what type of collaboration is required for your specific team. A good starting point is to discuss when the team collaborates best. What gets done when they’re together that doesn’t when they’re not? Teams that work together to set their schedules are more engaged, productive, and accountable.
Also, make sure your culture can support a remote workforce. If you have a strong culture that values accountability and communication your culture won’t suffer. Company cultures that include a high level of oversight may not thrive in a remote or hybrid environment. Remember, company culture starts at the top.
Lastly, there is a fascinating solution trending to create leadership positions to help creatively solve some of these issues. With titles like Head of New Ways of Working, Chief Evangelist, Head of Global Workplace Management Operations, and Head of Remote, leadership positions evolved to focus on improving employee productivity, loyalty, and retention.
Our biggest piece of advice is to figure remote work before you hire so expectations are aligned.
eHire can help navigate the candidate marketplace when it comes to talent availability whether in-person, hybrid, or remote. We have been working with complex hiring needs for over a decade and would be happy to help support your team.