It has been eight months since the novel coronavirus has turned the world upside down, yet it has also shown us what organizations are capable of. In just a matter of days after COVID-19 was recognized as a pandemic, many businesses managed to provide more than 90% of their staff a remote arrangement. In addition, jobs that we never thought could be done remotely — such as financial trading, call center operations, and more — are now suddenly thriving from homes.
Today, restrictions related to the pandemic are slowly easing in many places and companies are looking to move forward in this new normal. Now that offices are reopening, there is a rift between those who are eager to come back to a workplace with personal contact and those who have already grown accustomed to their work from home environment.
What is the New Normal?
To answer this question, we turn to the expertise of Rita McGrath, a professor of management at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. She believes this pandemic and its effects will result in changes to several divisions of businesses. One aspect that’s sure to change is the simple idea of traveling for meetings with the team or spending money and time trying to find an office that can accommodate every employee every week.
McGrath states, “There will be a complete reevaluation of business models, of taken-for-granted assumptions in the business,” she said. “If it goes on as long as people seem to think it is, we’ll have adopted a lot of new habits by… whatever the next phase is. And you’ll see people questioning, ‘Why did we do it that way? And why was I getting on airplanes and sleeping in hotels four days a week?'”
How are Companies Adjusting to the New Normal?
Before getting caught up with fast-forwarding your company’s transition into the new normal, there are a few things that need to be considered. To successfully integrate remote work for your firm’s long-term plans, it’s best to start considering the following first:
Everyone has different needs
As companies made the transition to working at home early on, every employee had a different approach to it. Because some people had done it before, they already knew what to expect. Others, however, haven’t adjusted the same way to working remotely. This is especially true for those who have worked in an office for the majority of their career.
However, it’s best to make an effort to personally meet employees with their needs, rather than pushing for them to move at your pace. It’s best to have supervisors check in with employees at least once a week to ensure that they’re staying accountable while their needs are addressed.
Know Which Roles Can Stay at Home
Make sure that your HR staff takes the time to really flesh out each person’s responsibilities before creating job descriptions. In this way, it will help you understand which jobs can be easily shifted into remote work and which ones should be in the office. This can also help remote supervisors become more effective since it will give them a breakdown of crucial aspects of the role and help create a rounded idea of what to expect from the employees.
Be Upfront With Your Expectations
Some companies have their employees sign a copy of remote work policy as a way of being transparent. In this way, the staff clearly understands what the organization expects of them. In addition, new employees may go through a day of onboarding led by a supervisor and a member of the HR team.
These meetings can cover topics including technology, work policies, and workplace culture. It can also help to have new employees schedule one-on-one Zoom meetings with their co-workers to get time to know each other.
There’s More Than Technology
When a firm thinks about going remote, the first thing that often comes to mind is the technology they need. While technology obviously plays a big role in any company, managers also need to see the bigger picture. Sometimes, the presence of supervisors, managers, and even higher-ups are even more important than the latest gadgets or technology we need for the workplace. Understanding the expectations that come along with remote work can have a bigger impact on building a culture of accountability to make sure that everything is done, even when working away from the office.
Push for Video Calls
Going on video has plenty of advantages over phone conversations, as it can nurture connections, prevent remote workers from feeling isolated, and prevents workers from multitasking (which–let’s face it–results in getting a whole lot less accomplished.)
Find Out What Remote Accounting and Tax Services Can Do for You
Managing a remote workforce under your own employ can be time consuming for both you and your team. Outsourcing those crucial accounting duties can save you time, provide you with more efficiently managed and focused departmental focus, timely reporting, and increased data security.
Thanks to Lloyd and Hodge, you never have to worry about your firm’s tax and accounting needs. Lloyd & Hodge provides professional tax and accounting services to save you time to focus on what you do best.
Our bookkeeping service runs on our secure digital cloud platform and provides access to reliable and up-to-date data, no matter where you are. Our system is completely paperless and frees you from keeping endless paperwork on hand, only to be dug up once a year for extra tax and filing work! You can easily stay on top of everything with regularly scheduled performance reports, easy to use software, and digital backups of all your important documents.