Working remotely is more common now than it ever was before. Not only has technology made it easier for employees to work remotely, but the coronavirus pandemic has seen unprecedented numbers of remote workers as companies try to limit the spread of the virus. While there are many advantages to remote work, for both companies and their employees, there are also some challenges.
Companies’ success is tied to communication. But when workers are remote, it can be harder for them to communicate with each other and with their managers than when they’re working in an office. What can companies do to stay connected with their employees when they’re working remotely?
Use Video Communication
If your HRIS doesn’t already have video conferencing technology, there are plenty of software options available, including Zoom. Using video communication is a great way to recreate as much as possible the in-person communication of an office setting. This can help remote workers feel more connected to each other and to their managers. Working remotely can be a lonely experience for some and video communication can help to mitigate that.
Managers can check in with their staff one-on-one as well as set up group meetings that everyone can join.
Communicate via a Chat App
Many companies use a communication tool like Slack or Google Hangouts to communicate informally and quickly between team members or even in groups. Your HRIS may also have such a feature available. With chat software, employees can quickly get in touch with each other to collaborate on projects. They can also use this kind of software to recreate remotely what at an office would be water cooler chat.
It’s important for employees to have a good rapport with each other so that they can work together well. Such bonding is essential to good teamwork and employee morale.
Be Careful with Email Wording
Email and chat software is very convenient and allows employees to communicate with each other instantaneously. However, one disadvantage is that tone doesn’t come across well, making misunderstandings and miscommunications easier. Anyone sending emails should be careful with their wording so that the meaning isn’t misconstrued because of a lack of tone.
Check up on Employees Regularly
In an office setting, it’s easy to see which employees are overworked and stressed out. Especially during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential for managers to check up on their employees. Some may thrive on remote work while others may find the experience lonely.
Stress and burnout can have a negative impact on both an employee’s health and productivity. A face-to-face conversation with video communication software can go a long way towards ensuring that employees are doing well while working remotely.
Limit Communications to During Office Hours
It’s important to set a schedule for what is during and what is after office hours. A hazard of remote work is that employees tend to work more hours than they do in the office, where there’s a clear delineation between work and home. With remote work, the line between the two is often blurred, resulting in employees checking work communications late into the evening and never actually “clocking out.”
Remote work schedules can still be flexible, but it’s important for employees to have set hours that include regular breaks and a specific ending time. They shouldn’t receive or be expected to respond to communications outside of those work hours.
Are you looking for a HRIS to manage communications between your employees and managers? HR Payroll Systems’ vendor match page can match you with the HRIS vendor that will best fit your company’s needs.