How Remote Work Has Changed The World of HR
By Jori Hamilton
Image Source: Pixabay
June 26 2022 - Many human resource (HR) departments have done well adapting to the increasing trends in remote work and navigating through the challenges those trends present.
However, in other companies, remote employees may notice a discrepancy in the resources and support they receive in comparison to those offered to in-office employees. This difference, however, doesn’t always have to be that way. The more common remote work becomes, the more HR departments will adapt successfully.
Let’s look at how remote work has changed the world of HR and how you can successfully manage these changes at your company.
The Recruiting and Hiring Process is Different
As remote work becomes more of a permanent fixture in companies worldwide, we must note how that has impacted recruiting and hiring. Companies have access to a global talent pool to fill positions rather than being restricted to a local one.
In addition, companies conduct their recruiting and hiring tasks remotely. For instance, they require candidates to complete applications online and conduct interviews with digital tools.
To ensure your recruiting and hiring process remains strong in a world where remote work is becoming the norm, you must first ensure you’re technologically ready to bring on remote talent. Then, you can focus on using your tools to attract and move potential candidates through the process.
Employee Onboarding Issues Exposed
Throughout an employee’s timespan at a company, the most influential period is during their onboarding. This is when they gain more permanent, realistic impressions of the company and their role within it.
If you have a faulty onboarding process that is compounded with a lack of guidance and camaraderie that comes with remote work, you’re at a high risk of losing new employees.
You must assist company leaders in creating an onboarding process that supports remote and in-office employees. Establish a process similar to the five-stage process flow or timeline approach to onboarding. With a well-established onboarding process, you and your employees can checkmark monumental milestones, and as a result, everyone can celebrate their accomplishments or find growth opportunities.
When it’s all said and done, new employees should come away with an understanding of their responsibilities, a deep sense of the company culture, and feel connected to coworkers and leaders.
More Demand for Work-Life Balance
Remote work has inspired employees to demand a healthy work-life balance, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Although a work-life balance was still crucial before this sudden shift to working from home, remote work highlighted some unique challenges when achieving that balance.
Some employees may experience challenges like family distractions at home and others may find it difficult to clock out at the same time every day. As a result, these challenges, and remote work in general, have ignited an employee well-being conversation.
In addition to physical health, HR leaders must address mental health and emotional well-being practices while their employees work from home. Develop a comprehensive healthcare package that includes therapy and substance abuse treatment. Encourage employees to prioritize their mental health by sharing tips and resources for things like meditating regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting adequate rest.
Furthermore, offer flexible work schedules to all employees. Make it easy for them to call out when they need to. Ensure they use their vacation and personal days too.
Unique Safety Concerns
Many companies made the mistake of thinking workplace safety was the employee’s responsibility once they started working from home. But it’s still the employer's job to ensure their employees are safe - no matter their location.
Dangerous instances, such as when an employee trips and falls at the office, hurts their back on the job, or goes through an emotionally traumatizing situation in the workplace, can still happen at home.
HR professionals play a significant role in ensuring workplace safety extends to wherever their employees are. Be sure your employees know what support is available should they hurt themselves while working remotely.
Growing Concerns Surrounding Technology Access
As more and more people turn to remote work, growing concerns surround access to the required technology.
For instance, working from home requires access to the internet. Many employees can’t afford the quality of internet necessary to perform their job duties if they can afford it at all. Likewise, many employees can’t afford or access the hardware, software, and additional tech tools needed either.
To help your employees navigate technology concerns, you should provide the tools they need, including high-speed internet. If you can’t afford to give them the technology they need outright, a stipend for high-speed internet and tools is a good alternative.
How HR Communicates and Connects With Employees
Finally, remote work has changed how HR communicates and generally connects with employees. For example, an employee visiting you in the office used to be as simple as that. You could call them and ask them to come see you to fill out paperwork, answer questions, and so forth.
Now, companies work with employees all over the globe, so they have to find ways to communicate and connect regardless of location. In addition, HR still needs employees to get the paperwork done, submit timesheets, grow relationships with them, and stay in contact.
Implementing communication and collaboration tools can help with all of these tasks. Ensure that all employees know how to use your tools effectively. Also, take the lead on staying in contact with them. Reach out often to learn about them, talk about their experience, and guide them through any challenges.
Remote work has changed the world of HR in various ways, and we can count on more changes in the future. But for now, use the tips we shared above to work through the challenges we’ve discussed here to ensure your employees excel remotely and in person.
Jori Hamilton is a freelance writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of subjects but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity, recruitment, HR, and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and Contently.
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