Welcome to Talent Talk, a collection of thought leadership articles from industry experts in the recruitment and HR tech space.
Companies are slowly welcoming staff back into their offices, but it doesn’t mean that their employees are planning to return. In a recent survey, nearly half of respondents said they wouldn’t accept a job that made them go back to work full-time. Instead, many workers are quitting their jobs. With so many corporations and small businesses promising work flexibility and partial remote work, there is not much of an incentive for many to return to their office cubicles full-time.
The pandemic has created a new normal that is likely here to stay. Instead of fighting it, companies should be learning to adapt, just as their employees were expected to do at the start of the pandemic.
In this article, we at Bryq want to share with you:
- The benefits of a virtual workplace for both you and your employees.
- The Dos and Don’ts you should be incorporating into your hiring plan.
- The top qualities to look for in a remote candidate.
- How to ensure a positive onboarding experience and an ideal virtual work environment.
Benefits of remote work
Benefits for the employer
Don’t be so quick to unlock those office doors. Most of your employees do not want to go back to the office full-time, and you might not want to either. Studies by institutions like Gallup and Harvard University show that creating a remote work environment improves your bottom line, improves employee retention by more than half, and enhances staff productivity by 40% on average. Introducing a partially remote “work from home” option will improve these figures. If you have fewer in-office employees, there’s also no need for a huge office space with all of the bells and whistles.
If going fully virtual, there’s no need to pay office rent at all! Remote workers may also settle for less money when negotiating their contracts. After all, they don’t have the extra expenses of commuting back and forth to the office. They are happy enough with the convenience of remote work. These are all great incentives that remote workers love having.
Remote work is also environmentally friendly. Social responsibility is something every company needs to be aware of in our ever-changing political climate. “Cancel culture” has made it easy for businesses that don’t conform to social change to fall by the wayside. Companies have been feeling pressure from the public to implement sustainability policies and to create a smaller eco-footprint. By creating a remote-first office, you contribute less electricity, less fuel, and less single-use waste to the environment. If your company has a sustainability quota to reach, hiring remote workers really helps to hold your business accountable.
Benefits for the employee
The idea of working in your pajamas isn’t the only reason people want to work from home. (Side Note: we at Bryq strongly suggest getting dressed for work anyway. Put pants on at the very least!) Working remotely provides employees with a handful of benefits that might surprise you. These include a better work-life balance, higher attentiveness, and even positive effects on health and well-being.
One of the worst parts about getting to the office is the commute. Many of us wake up at the crack of dawn to get ready, drive or catch public transportation into the city, wait in line at a coffee stand, and stumble into the office, all before 9 am. Once 5 o’clock hits, we more or less need to do it all over again to get home. Getting to and from work eats up a large chunk of our day, and it can be really stressful. When surveyed by FlexJobs, over 80% of virtual employees surveyed said not commuting is their top benefit. Telecommuting alleviates all of this. The same study revealed that over a third of them saved over $5,000 by working remotely.
Working remotely also gives employees flexibility and a work-life balance that working in an office doesn’t allow. Sometimes employers may insist that their teams work certain hours or be based in specific locations, but truly flexible remote offices allow employees to do their work on their own time wherever they choose to reside. This means that employees don’t need to be stressed with relocating, especially when they don’t have the means to.
It also allows them to do things like pick up their kids from school or head to the market to buy dinner, allowing them that extra hour of work before they go to sleep or over the weekend. It’s no surprise that this flexibility has been proven to enhance productivity and lower stress levels in employees. While remote work can present challenges from time to time, the benefits of these jobs are obvious.
How to hire remotely
First things first, you need to have a virtual hiring process in place. There is no need for your candidates to come into an office to do an in-person interview. Conduct video interviews and use solutions like cognitive skill tests and personality assessments to help you make the best decision possible. Good AI systems can be a significant help. Not only will these help you assess your candidate, but they will also help you to see if they are an excellent cultural fit and how they can add to your company’s culture. Be as transparent as possible. Let prospective employees know how your team communicates with one another and what is expected of them upon being hired.
It’s a great idea to offer compensation packages or even benefits if your company can swing it. Be sure to try to match what their cultural norm would be wherever they live. An extra week of vacation pay may just be what it takes to get your candidate to sign on the dotted line.
Once you’ve made your hiring decision, the onboarding process of a remote hire is important. Doing this right might be the key to retaining this employee and keeping them on board as loyal members of your team. Ensure that you’ve set them up correctly with any apps or logins they may need, and make sure to answer any questions they may have. Schedule check-ins within the first few weeks on the job and make sure they receive a warm welcome from the rest of the team. After all, they are part of your virtual office family.
The great part about remote work is that employees can do it from anywhere, anytime. Gone are the days of only looking at local talent. If you are hiring remotely, you have access to some of the world’s greatest talent at your fingertips. Sourcing candidates from a local talent pool alone is a remote work mistake. Opening up your role to job seekers from across the country or even across the globe means that you have a better chance of finding top-quality talent. This will also lead to higher diversity within your team, which has been proven to enhance profitability, add to value creation, and will even help your company to attract better talent.
Another mistake you want to avoid making is believing that the culture of a virtual workplace is going to mimic that of an actual office. Remember that your employees don’t have the luxury of using physical interaction to build relationships with their peers. It’s a bit difficult for a New Yorker to grab a drink with a coworker in Los Angeles after work. If you do not implement ways for your team to foster personal connections with one another during and after working hours, you risk poor company culture and lack of employee engagement. Remote-first office spaces will never be able to replicate the culture of a physical office environment, but there are many things that can be done to help create a thriving culture. Encouraging discussion through communication channels, organizing virtual happy hours and well-being events, and creating weekly office rituals will really help you to create a virtual work atmosphere that employees will want to be a part of.