How leaders can make the most of remote work for employees

Forrester has suggestions for those in leadership roles to ensure that remote and hybrid employees operate at their most productive.

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For some organizations, it’s back to in-office work as usual, but the majority of enterprises are embracing remote and hybrid models. A new report from Forrester entitled The Anywhere-Work Preflight Checklist shows that when done correctly, businesses embracing remote and hybrid work are able to grow talent, culture and technology over time. However, if the move is not done correctly or at all, companies may experience disastrous results.

“While we predict that anywhere work is here to stay, we also point out the many headwinds facing companies as they try to operationalize employee-experience-focused return to office (RTO) programs,” said JP Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester in a blog post for the company. “Regardless of where you are today on your RTO journey, we believe there’s a much longer road ahead to making anywhere work work well.”

SEE: The COVID-19 gender gap: Why women are leaving their jobs and how to get them back to work (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Making anywhere work successful for employees

Forrester estimates that nearly 70% of companies will implement a fully remote or hybrid work model, and it’s up to enterprises to ensure employees will be successful no matter where they’re operating from. To make the most of this move, the research company offers four tips to ensure that businesses are giving their workforce the best possible chance for success:

  1. Make in-office interactions purposeful.
  2. Uncover employee challenges and barriers.
  3. Construct a digital backbone.
  4. Revisit and refine your strategy while avoiding chaos and uncertainty.

One of the simplest ways to cater to employees making the shift to hybrid work is to try and condense the amount of time spent in unnecessary meetings. If workers begin to feel as though their valuable time is being wasted, they may begin experiencing Zoom fatigue if online or burnout if they’re in the office.

Another way leaders can ensure they’re getting the most productivity out of their workforce is to collaborate with employees to discover what issues stem from remote employment. By listening to personnel, those in leadership roles can incorporate valuable feedback from their workforce and streamline processes as needed.

While digital tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams may be helpful for remote workers, it is important to note that these will not fix all issues that occur. Forrester suggests that businesses invest in collaborative tools such as whiteboards and large-format digital displays, which would allow multiple employees to cooperate on solving issues together.

Forrester also stressed the importance of always being ready to adapt to change or evolve work strategies. The work anywhere model is still fairly new when it comes to a large scale deployment, so it is imperative that businesses are supporting their employees if any issues should arise. Companies may even want to look into the use of employee monitoring software in order to confirm that work is being completed in a timely manner.

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