Supporting Remote Workers as Home Offices Become the New Norm

mother with child at computer

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a major and abrupt change in working culture for companies where employees can competently work from home.

Telecommuting has grown more common over time. Improvements in technology have allowed staff members to connect to each other and their supervisors, along with clients and vendors, in a more consistent and powerful way. However, the recent pandemic and the public health restrictions put in place to address it led to a large increase in employees working from home when able.

While not a universal sentiment, many workers have enjoyed the work-from-home experience. Supporting remote staff members effectively can allow your company to align with a key employee preference — which can then boost engagement — while equipping your staff with the tools and resources needed to complete their work on a daily basis.

What do remote workers need?

A remote workforce requires a mix of technology, infrastructure and connections with their colleagues and superiors to operate efficiently.

In general, an employee who works from home needs a stable internet connection that has the bandwidth to handle the digital tasks they regularly encounter. This can change significantly from one role or business to the next. Employers can set standards based on existing knowledge of in-office requirements in terms of upload and download speeds and other relevant factors.

Hardware and software are another important consideration for remote team members. While the specifics can vary significantly, nearly every professional in an office setting needs some tools to complete their duties. Your organization can provide staff with the necessary assets directly, reimburse them for their own purchases or take another approach. Building a plan that takes your organization’s needs and resources into account is the most vital component when addressing this need.

Strategies for connecting staff despite their physical distance is another key concern for remote employee management. Video chat software can enable immersive, face-to-face connections in a digital space. Occasionally gathering workers in a physical space when possible can also be important for building a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

Addressing the needs of workers with disabilities is an especially important consideration in this context. Employees need to have the same relevant accommodations in terms of software and hardware that they receive in the office.

How can businesses support remote employees effectively?

Your business can build a strong base of support by providing the tools and systems outlined above. From there, your company can look at ways to engage and connect with staff working remotely.

Video chat systems provide the environment necessary for in-depth conversations, but supervisors and company leaders must also leverage such tools in an effective way. Regular one-on-one check-ins, team meetings, status updates and similar gatherings can all yield valuable feedback about the remote work experience. Soliciting opinions through more direct means can also help provide insights into what is and is not working for employees who telecommute. Leaders can then make adjustments to address common pain points, keeping employees both productive and satisfied with their work-from-home arrangements.

Comerica Bank is here to help businesses with their financial management and oversight needs as the economy continues to adapt. And, as the economy recovers, we will be here to continue supporting your company with banking, treasury management, corporate services and many other solutions. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

This information is provided for general awareness purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal or compliance advice.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. While the information contained within has been compiled from source[s] which are believed to be reliable and accurate, Comerica Bank does not guarantee its accuracy. Consequently, it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor be relied upon as such.

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