How Businesses Can Adapt To A Remote Workforce
The workforce has changed dramatically in the last several years. The pandemic created a huge shift in the business world when millions of workers were forced to do their jobs from home as offices closed across the country. The result is a labor pool full of workers that learned their jobs could be completed remotely.
This is not the only factor driving the growth of remote work opportunities. An increase in entrepreneurship has also resulted in many employees venturing out on their own, providing products and services from the comfort of home offices.
Businesses have had to adapt quickly to the changing needs of the workforce. While many jobs still require an in-person presence at all times, there are plenty of roles that can be fulfilled with a hybrid or fully remote employee. The question now becomes how can businesses adapt to a remote workforce.
Home Office Stipends
Businesses that choose to offer remote positions do not automatically have an advantage over those that do not. There are right and wrong ways to do it. One right way to offer remote positions to new hires or even current employees is to offer a home office stipend. This is an allowance that the worker can use to create a comfortable and functioning home office space from which they will conduct their responsibilities. This stipend could go hand-in-hand with new equipment for employees, such as laptops, dual monitors, or Bluetooth keyboards. However, you can also allow employees to use whatever devices they choose so long as they have the right capabilities, and then this stipend could be used to purchase items like an office chair or desk that will suit their needs.
Benefits Geared Toward Remote Lifestyles
Attracting remote workers is not just about having the option. Other companies are also competing to attract talent, and their remote positions may be comparable to your own. One way to stand out from your competitors for top talent is by offering benefits that suit a remote worker’s lifestyle. For example, telemedicine is a growing trend in the healthcare industry, so offering benefits related to telemedicine could be attractive to workers that plan to stay at home. Another example would be professional development opportunities like online seminars or virtual workshops. These benefits that fit perfectly with a remote work lifestyle could entice better talent to your company.
Embracing Cloud Technologies
Cloud computing is playing a significant role in the business world. These platforms allow companies to rely on off-site servers, integrate multiple applications in one location, can grant greater accessibility to data and online tools to employees. This last benefit is perfect for businesses that are adapting to a remote workforce. Cloud platforms have the scalability and online access required for virtual workers to have the tools they need to do their jobs from wherever they are. Some cloud tools can function across multiple types of operating systems and devices, making it easier for employees to gain access without too much trouble. You can learn more about cloud computing functionality on websites like getgsi.com which provide services to companies that leverage cloud computing for business operations.
Foster Remote Culture
Another factor that is affecting the workforce today is employee value. Workers that do not feel valued by their employers, whether they are remote or in-person, are less likely to stick around and be productive. For this reason, you must focus on creating a positive culture specifically for remote workers. Don’t just turn on the webcam during the office party so they can sit there and watch every in-person worker have fun. Come up with unique opportunities that help foster camaraderie between the remote workers and the in-person employees. You may have to get creative, but other companies are doing the same thing to improve morale and increase productivity. The added bonus of a great remote culture is that employee retention will likely improve as well. Create new initiatives, host virtual events, and build an internal culture that values remote workers as much as the in-person workforce.
Adapting Requires Real Effort
The emergency response to the pandemic by most businesses was simply to let their workers do what they could from home. This approach, however, was not sustainable. Employees can easily become burned out if they do not feel like they are valued. Adapting to a remote workforce takes work and a focused response. Offering benefits like professional development incentives and home office stipends can help you attract new talent and hang onto current employees. Migrating to the cloud for greater accessibility makes it easier for people to do their jobs from anywhere. Creating a remote-centric culture will help those employees feel like they are part of the team, resulting in greater productivity. Look to the example of other companies that have successfully navigated these workforce changes to create an effective strategy.