Estimates from the Department of Labor suggest that a growing percentage of the workforce is employed as remote workers. According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Time Use Survey, 20 percent of regularly employed workers completed some or all of their work from home in the last year. Many others complete the majority of their work from client or customer work sites. Trends indicate that businesses can expect their numbers of remote employees to increase in the years ahead. There are many reasons for this, from a growing desire for flexible work arrangements, to new technologies that make working remotely more efficient, and shifting talent needs on the part of businesses. Businesses that are able to create the systems and infrastructure to adapt to the changing marketplace may be poised to access world-class talent when needed, while controlling labor costs as well. Here's a closer look at several steps HR departments should consider taking in order to be ready for remote workers.
Maintaining Company Culture and Quality
One of the challenges is how to build and maintain a positive company culture and a commitment to quality. When all of your workers are housed in the same facility and overseen by a manager on site, it's theoretically easier to collaborate effectively, identify problems, and maintain open lines of communication. Human capital management strategies can help provide a framework for communicating expectations and helping remote workers succeed. As part of your human resource strategy, it can be helpful to define company values and codes of conduct. Communicate these clearly as part of your employee handbook and other relevant documents. Proactively addressing company culture and overall work quality can help ensure this important area of employee relations stays on track, regardless of where workers are based.
Invest in a High Quality Human Capital Management Solution
Having the right infrastructure in place can help prepare businesses to support remote workers by making it easier for them to interact with systems and by increasing manager visibility. One of the most useful infrastructure investments is to establish a human capital management solution. Integrated HCM solutions allow for better visibility and communication across functional areas of the organization, so managers can more easily help remote workers optimize their productivity. In turn, remote workers have access to the data they need in order to efficiently complete work assignments, report status, and stay connected with vital worker systems.
Today's workforce arrangements are rapidly evolving. Companies are increasingly investing in cohesive human capital management strategies and the underlying integrated HR systems needed to make them a reality. When companies have remote workers stationed around the world or telecommuting from home, having a clear human capital management framework may help ensure a positive and productive experience for everyone in the company.