Optimize a Remote Workforce (Part 1)
It’s no secret that remote work is growing in popularity for organizations worldwide. Is yours one of them?
As both a remote employee and part of the leading organization in the veteran recruiting and hiring space, I appreciate the benefits and challenges of optimizing a remote workforce.
Though some challenges of a remote workforce will be unique to your organization, there are a few universal obstacles.
Challenge 1 | Communication
Communication is a huge challenge with remote employees, regardless of organization size. It’s critical to invest in technology that can break down communication barriers. Video conferencing is a great way to ensure valuable face-to-face interaction.
Another solution to the communication conundrum: overcommunicate. Check-in with your remote employees often. Make sure they feel like they are part of the team – and the conversations.
Challenge 2 | Leadership
Effectively leading a remote workforce can be difficult. The solution goes back to the basics of leadership: care about your employees.
Your engagement with remote colleagues will likely be hyper-focused on tasks and projects. Before a meeting or work conversation, take a few minutes to ask about your colleague’s kids, or new house, or softball team. Losing valuable engagement can lead to culture and team problems, which are not easily fixable.
Challenge 3 | Training & Strategy
Technology can help us overcome many obstacles of remote work, but some things are just better in person. Occasionally bringing teams together in the same location has been invaluable at Bradley-Morris/RecruitMilitary
There is a lot of nuance and absorption that can be lost in remote training and strategizing; consider bringing your team together for these types of efforts. Being in the same room with colleagues and leaders can facilitate progress for employees, teams, and the organization.
There are many reasons offering remote positions could be beneficial to your organization, including:
Benefit 1 | An Expanded Hiring Pool
In a tight-labor market, removing geographic constraints from your hiring requirements could help you find the specific talent and experience you need.
Benefit 2 | Increased Productivity
Research* suggests an increase in reported productivity for remote workers. By reducing commute time and increasing overall work-life balance, remote work options could lead to happier, more productive employees.
Benefit 3 | A Recruitment and Retention Draw
The option of remote work could allow you to tap into underutilized populations. Military spouses, for example, are typically educated, talented, and experienced, but have little control over their geographic location. The option to remain with an organization through frequent cross-country moves would be ideal for this group (and others).
Mike Arsenault is senior vice president of organizational development for Bradley-Morris & RecruitMilitary and a U.S. Army veteran.
By Mike Arsenault