The global pandemic has seen many businesses drastically shift their ‘norms’ of business.
Remote working, flexi hours, and restructuring have become the new normal. Coupled with the UAE’s recent workweek changes, and the new labour law, HR Managers are having to rethink the way that their organisations are run. So how can HR Managers maximise employee performance whilst employees work from home?
The usual 9-5 working environment had already been a relic of the past for many businesses, however, others are newly adapting to these changes. Many employees now expect flexibility as standard and remote work has added further to this mindset shift. Teams are able to communicate through Zoom, Teams, Meets, and other software whilst working collaboratively from home.
This raises the question however as to how HR manages to ensure that productivity is not impacted and the business continues to perform as previously planned and expected.
First and foremost the focus needs to be on ensuring that the employees have all the relevant tools and resources required to work as efficiently from home as they do from the office. This can be as simple as ensuring that they have the correct equipment such as laptops, monitors, printers, and phones, however, it goes further than that. Businesses must ensure that their processes and procedures are set up with collaborative software in mind. There is no use in an employee being able to do their job perfectly in isolation if that means that the rest of the team suffers.
Moreover, the remote work environment also has to be considered. Whilst HR Managers and the management team themselves may be able to work effectively from their homes this may not be the case for all employees. HR must consider if the employee is using a shared workspace, with multiple distractions? Do they have a proper desk set up with everything required? Will they be able to concentrate on their daily tasks in that environment?
The common dilemma HR managers and employees face are how to keep track of ongoing work whilst employees are working remotely. Whilst in the office managers often can monitor workloads and get regular updates, this becomes more of a task when an employee is working remotely. This is where collaboration tools can help. Using tools that allow work to be visible to everyone in the value chain, and communicating regularly, can ensure just as effective monitoring and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Eventhough remote working has allowed greater flexibility, it is still important to remember to value an employee’s work-life balance and mental health. The blurring of lines between work and home environments can make it increasingly hard to switch off, leading to employees working well beyond their usual hours and then needing to take long breaks whilst other employees are working. Ensuring that everyone sticks to a normal working schedule when it is not necessary to divert from this, can help ensure employees are focussed on work at the right time and also available to each other when required. In addition, it helps create more of a divide between home life and work.
To ensure employees’ mental well-being, HR managers should implement fixed working hours for every remote employee. HR managers should encourage the employees not to attend to work-related emails or calls beyond working hours unless it is very important. This will help them to be more focused on work while enjoying all the benefits of working remotely. Always put in mind that employees will only be able to give their best when they are mentally healthy.
Wellness programmes can help HR Managers to keep a handle on employee wellness needs, bringing in a professional team with expert knowledge and experience allows overworked HR managers to get a helping hand and provide both themselves and their employees with some much-needed wellness.
Finally, how do HR Managers keep on top of who should be working and who is on leave when they can’t physically see people in the office. Introducing an HR Management Platform, such as Beneple, can help keep track of leave, monitor sick time, and give HR Managers an overview of all employees in the business. It also helps HR Managers themselves shift to a remote working environment, whenever required. By digitising requests, keeping track of documents, and storing all HR files in the cloud, the Beneple HR System can provide HR Managers with tools that would previously take significant amounts of time out each day.
Remote working is most likely here to stay, in some way shape, or form. The quicker companies can adapt and use it to their advantage, the more likely they are to find effective ways to increase productivity and efficiency within their businesses.