Two years into the pandemic, and we’ve already seen a lot of changes. We’ve adapted to wearing masks, taking rapid tests, and calming ourselves down every time we cough a little too hard for a little too long, but have we yet adapted to remote work? Before March of 2020, if people had been told that the majority of the office world would go remote for two years, I’m sure we would have laughed. I know I would have. But now as we approach March of 2022, it’s no longer a laughing matter—it’s everyday life.
Remote work isn’t just a trend that will come and go; it’s a staple that most prospective employees are looking towards. Studies find that 66% of employees would look for a new job if asked to go back to work in the office. Clearly remote work in some capacity is here to stay. But how can we learn to swim through remote work without sinking?
First of all, it’s vital to learn how to cultivate an active remote work culture. Without a real life water-cooler for employees to bond over, it’s harder than ever to feel connected with the entire team. However, there is something to be said about the benefits of virtual events like weekly cocktail hours, scheduled meet-ups between coworkers, and, Covid restrictions permitting, designated retreats designed for employees to finally meet in person.
Remember that remote living is just as hard as remote working. Give your employees something to look forward to while keeping socially distant. It’s the same as a company paying for lunch after a great quarter— a little can go a long way. How can you make your customers successful if you aren’t helping your employees succeed first?
It’s no longer about making sure everyone has high speed wifi or even a chair with decent lumbar support, it’s about ensuring that everyone feels included. In the brave new world of hiring remotely, new employees who must undergo remote training won’t have the benefit of onboarding in person. They will have to either learn over Zoom or figure out how to make a hybrid situation work. Think about what it might be like in their shoes: how can we make sure that they feel just as included while remote as they would in person?
There’s nothing else to compare to the dopamine rush of getting a package in the mail. A care package of company swag can go a long way. Sometimes, a branded water bottle or coffee mug can make the difference between feeling like you’re on a deserted island versus a valued team member. Looking into something like hosting an introductory virtual mocha-meet up for the new employee (brand new company coffee mug included, of course) is another wonderful way to have your newest team member meet everyone else!
Though remote work is definitely here to stay, it’s not the only choice moving forward. 67% of employees want a hybrid working environment, giving employees the option to split their time between the office and home. You can have the best of both worlds with hybrid work, without too much change. Consider offering Mondays and Fridays (the work force’s universally most resented and most beloved days) as remote days, with Tuesday-Thursday in office. Or, maybe have one week on, one week off. Or, if you’re feeling frisky, keep your employees home on Hump Day instead and in person for the rest of the week. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. Just make sure that your employees are given a voice in choosing what works best for their schedules as well.
The fact of the matter is, people work where they feel welcomed. In the dawning of the Great Resignation, keeping your employees engaged and enthusiastic to work with you is key. If you want your business to succeed, you have to make sure that your team wakes up every day wanting to go to work. Whether that’s from the comfort of their own home or in the office, well, that’s up for you and your team to decide.
Want to learn more about how work environments have changed or what employees are motivated about in 2022? Head on over to bettsrecruiting.com where we show you exclusive data and insights on hiring, layoffs, remote work, employee expectations, and more. Happy working!