With just over 50% of adult Americans now vaccinated against COVID-19, employers are beginning to consider what is next for their workforce. Will employees remain remote, will they go back into the office, or will they do a hybrid of both? For business owners and company leadership who are poised to decide on where to go from here, we recommend asking yourself these 4 key questions before you decide what to do:
1. Do employees need to be together in order to maintain the culture you want to have?
Prior to COVID, having a friend at work was a key factor in employee retention. With a fully remote workforce, office friendships and bonding among employees is different. If your remote team is working well cohesively and is still demonstrating the traits you are passionate about as company, then you can feel more confident about continuing a fully remote arrangement.
2. Are you providing the best products and services to your customers?
For many businesses, simply maintaining the status quo over the past year has been a success on its own. But in order for your business to thrive, you have to innovate. You also have to adapt to the changing needs of your customers. Creativity and innovation are often associated with collaboration and being able to feed off of the energy and ideas of others. Sure, this can be done via Zoom, but is it being done? How inspired is your team and how happy are your customers?
3. Can you recruit, hire, and continue to develop your team within this structure?
Offering a fully remote work arrangement is usually seen as a big perk in the job market. But how easy of a time are you having with finding and keeping great employees? If you plan to remain fully remote, how will you create bonds between team members and management, and how will you retain people who you might never see in person?
4. Do employees place a significant amount of value on the ability to remain fully remote, or would most people be just as happy to go back, or have a flexible, hybrid arrangement?
How well do you know your employees? They are your biggest asset, so their opinions should be a factor in deciding what the future holds for your company’s remote work policy. Most of us have gone through a lot of change over the past year, and there have been a lot of lifestyle changes as a result of that too. Talk to your team, send out a survey, and ask people what matters to them. Ask for feedback (pros and cons) of working remotely, working in the office, and offering a hybrid arrangement. You’ll receive valuable insight into what people like and what they’re open to, and their responses might surprise you.
Ask us your Human Resources and talent management questions via the online chat tool in the lower left corner of your screen. We love helping companies align their people with their business needs, and we love to share what we know.