Optimizing a Remote Workforce: Part 2

Optimizing a Remote Workforce: Part 2

When I wrote “Optimizing a Remote Workforce: Part 1” for the March-April 2020 issue of Search & Employ, I had no idea how timely and important the topic would become in a matter of weeks.

Since then, much has changed.

As a business leader, you may have discovered that each remote employee requires a different level of support and communication. You may also find employees with specific strengths are thriving while others have taken longer to adjust.

Stay ahead of the learning curve by incorporating these questions into the interview process:

1 | How successful have you been when working remotely? Use this question to gauge a candidate’s (or current employee’s) idea of success in a remote environment. If necessary, follow-up with questions about effectively meeting objectives and deadlines, the ability to remotely collaborate with colleagues, and ideal level of engagement in a remote environment.

2 | What is your ideal work environment? Many employees are still working remotely out of necessity, but it is not an ideal situation for everyone. Some people are energized by face-to-face interaction and the bustle of an office environment. If these employees are relegated to full-time remote work, they risk facing burn out, low contribution, productivity slumps, and general unhappiness with their role or organization. When given an option, these candidates may not be best suited for a remote position.

3 | What challenges have you faced when working remotely? This question may unveil what additional support may be required from supervisors and help you understand their work style. This may also indicate their ability to recognize and overcome challenges to productivity.

4 | What strengths have helped you (or could help you) when working remotely? I’ve found that the most successful remote employees are self-aware, disciplined, accountable, organized, and self-motivated. However, lacking these specific strengths does not necessarily equate to a bad remote employee. Candidates who are willing to learn and create new skills and habits can be great remote employees, provided the environment is suitable to their workstyle.


Mike Arsenault is senior vice president of organizational development for Bradley-Morris/RecruitMilitary and a U.S. Army veteran.


This article originally appeared in the military-to-civilian magazine, Search & Employ. Sign up here to stay up-to-date on hiring and recruiting trends.

By Mike Arsenault