The pandemic has forced companies to introduce remote work within their organizations, and for many, it has been a success. As restrictions ease, employees are returning to the office but there has been a notable shift. Businesses are allowing staff to work full time from home and the benefits are paying off. But how do you transition your team to remote work? And are you ready for this jump? It helps to consider the benefits:
An open office environment is not always ideal, especially for work that requires high levels of concentration. Remote work allows employees to set up their own workspace that minimizes distractions and increases their productivity.
Bigger hiring pool
There are limitations in hiring someone who has to be based in a specific area close to your office. Remote work gives you access to a bigger hiring pool. You have a broader selection of candidates spread out worldwide, giving you access to top talent.
Reduced overhead costs
Running an office can be costly, but you would not have to pay these additional overhead costs if all your staff worked remotely.
Studies have shown that employees are valuing flexible work options over increased salaries. By allowing them to work remotely, you are increasing loyalty, reducing your staff turnover and saving you time and money on finding new hires.
That brings us to the big question: How do you transition your team to remote work? It is a continuous process that involves a lot of trial and error, but there are a few things to consider:
Prioritize going digital
In order to meet your team’s unique needs, it is important to adopt digital tools and systems that are easy to use. What you use depends on your needs but the following are great to start with:
Communication: Zoom, Slack Productivity: Trello, Asana Collaboration: Kissflow, Google Drive Management: ProofHub, ProProfs Project, LeavePro
Check-in regularly, but not too much
How you manage a remote team comes down to an organization’s individual needs. Some have to stay in regular contact with employees, while others can let them get on with it. It is tricky to strike a balance here. As time goes on, it can be easy to neglect workers. Don’t wait until you notice productivity is slipping, stay in touch with your staff but just don’t micromanage them as this can lead to decreased morale.
Hold regular meetings
Virtual meetings are essential to ensure everyone is on the same page and that employees know what is going on within your organization. Meetings also help them to feel connected to a team, which will lead to increased motivation.
Introduce remote work policies
Policies within a company may change when you go completely remote. Introducing remote work-specific policies will help make sure that employees understand how remote work will impact their daily work. Review your older policies and adjust accordingly. That being said, the topic of sick leave is one of much confusion for companies that have gone remote. If they are working from home, are they still allowed to apply for sick leave? In short, yes. The labour guide clearly states the following:
- An employee who works 5 days per week is entitled to 30 days off every 36 months.
- An employee who works 6 days per week is entitled to 36 days off every 36 months.
According to the labour guide, sick leave may be claimed for by an employee that is too sick to work. Employees taking sick leave in South Africa are required to produce a medical certificate if taking more than two consecutive days off. If they fail to do so, an employee does not have to pay them for those days.
That being said, it is important to pay attention to how you manage leave as certain methods can leave room for errors, and ultimately an abuse of leave. This is why it is important to consider implementing a good system, like an online leave management system that can help you track employees who are taking too many days off. With LeavePro, all sick leave is logged into the system, allowing you to see how many days have been taken off for all employees. You can also run a detailed report of all sick leave applications.
Based on this information, you may notice certain patterns emerge. For example, an employee may take time off on certain days like Fridays and Mondays or take days off every month with little explanation. Once you’ve recognized a pattern, you can take steps to reduce sick leave abuse.