As we have transitioned into a new normal in the post-Covid world, it has become clear that remote work, in some form, is here to stay for many companies. As organizations and employees have learned that they can successfully run their business remotely, the “traditional” in-office workforce model has transitioned to include more hybrid and remote elements.
As evidenced in a survey by McKinsey in 2022, 58% of those surveyed reported having the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week, and 35% of respondents reported having the option to work from home 5 days a week. The survey went on to say that these statistics included all industries and all parts of the country – this shift is not unique to one type of business or one geographic location.
So, it is clear that remote and hybrid work is here to stay, and companies must ensure they are adapting to accommodate. A shift in the workforce model requires changes from not only workers, but also at the higher level from companies. From updating technology and implementing new processes to revitalizing management styles, we’ve pulled together our top 3 tips for successfully adapting to hybrid and remote workforces.
1. Provide resources and technology to keep your teams equipped and connected. First and foremost, if your team is working in various locations, you must ensure they have the tools and resources they need to be successful. Whether that means updating your technology with remote file access, implementing new communication platforms like Teams or Slack, or simply setting recurring meetings to keep in touch, your teams need to have the resources and the outlets to stay on top of their work and connected to their team.
At FGP, we have implemented several new tools for our team and upgraded our remote login set up to make sure our teams have the ability to easily access what they need to do their jobs well. We’ve also started hosting virtual company huddles for our leadership team to share updates on the business and for our team to have a chance to connect as a larger group. Our individual teams also host daily and weekly team meetings to stay on top of their priorities, and to maintain a sense of belonging on the team. Our goal is to keep our team engaged in their work and keep them connected to their colleagues and leaders.
2. Equip your management team to supervise well remotely. As the workforce shifts, and work styles change, management styles also need to adjust. In previous years, managers had mostly managed by visibility – the assumption that if you are at work, then you are getting your work done. While that certainly wasn’t a 100% accurate reflection of productivity, it has become even less of a feasible way to measure output as we manage employees working from different locations.
To effectively manage a remote workforce, we recommend redefining your key performance indicators for each job. Then, set precise and measurable goals for your employees. Share those goals and the ways in which you will measure success with your team, so that you can accurately track performance while also hopefully increasing employee productivity and accountability.
Here at FGP, we use several reports to help hold our team accountable and encourage positive work habits. We have both weekly and monthly reports that are distributed to the entire company, so we all have a sense of how our teams are performing, and how the business is doing overall. When employees feel like they have a part in the company’s overall success, they feel a sense of pride and responsibility to do their work well.
We also offer our teams structured reviews and check in meetings with supervisors and teammates. This allows the opportunity for open feedback from both directions – our team members can share their thoughts with their supervisor, while supervisors can share their feedback with the employee. This helps strengthen team relationships, ultimately contributing to increased buy-in and employee ownership and investment.
3. Provide Opportunities for Engagement. Even with a remote workforce, it is important to keep your employees engaged and take opportunities to foster connection and show appreciation. At the onset of the pandemic, companies had to find creative ways to stay connected, not knowing how long it would last – now those efforts are a routine part of planning and consideration.
At FGP, we have remote employees, as well as three different physical office locations, so we host multiple events throughout the year where all of our employees are encouraged to attend and connect as a group. We also provide virtual opportunities for our teams to connect, for example sending Virtual Gratitude Grams to each other for Valentine’s Day or hosting a remote baby shower for a teammate who is remote. We work to include a virtual element for most meetings, so that even if a team member is not physically present in our office, they still have the opportunity to attend.
We also make sure that if we are distributing an anniversary gift or team gift throughout the year, that remote and hybrid employees receive those at their home. The ultimate goal is that these employees have the same positive experience as a part of the FGP Family as those who come into the office every day.
As you consider how to best manage your workforce as the “traditional” work model is redefined, you can contact us for assistance with creating and executing a plan for managing your workforce. We have firsthand experience, and we are here to help!