For many companies, remote work is here to stay. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, employees who worked remotely proved that being at home doesn’t necessarily mean being less productive. Many employees prefer other advantages of a “home office”—among them saving time with no commute, eating healthier by avoiding vending machine snacks, improved work/life balance, being able to get kids on and off the school bus, having more time with pets… the list goes on and on.
Some employers have opted for hybrid models where employees work a few days from home and a few days in the office. This could be due to varying job requirements, employees’ comfort level with the threat of illness, and simple personal preference.
Keeping a fair workplace despite a hybrid model
Employers with workers in different locations need to stay cognizant of one important thing: just because an employee prefers to work from home, it doesn’t mean they’re less committed to their job or the company. By following a few key points, you can help your workplace stay fair for all.
Be aware of bias
It can be human nature to relate better to people who are around you. Just take care not to create an unfair bias against remote workers. Evaluations should be based on performance, enthusiasm, teamwork, hitting deadlines, etc. This shouldn’t be influenced by whether or not an employee is in or out of the office.
Make conversations convenient for all
Some work conversations that happen in passing within the office aren’t available to those who work from home. For this reason, it’s important to ensure your work-at-home staff has all the information they need to do their jobs and the chance to join in all pertinent conversations. Holding all your meetings via WebEx or a similar platform lets all employees participate equally.
Assign work based on skillset
It can be easy to ask an in-office employee in passing to take on a project or task. But just because someone is within arm’s reach doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is best for the job. Before assigning work, be sure to assess who is most qualified to handle it. This way, you can be sure work-at-home employees aren’t being left out.
Offer in-office perks
Remote workers have certain advantages, such as the ability to dress down, get housework done during breaks, check in on children, etc. Help your in-office staff by offering them similar perks. Add more dress-down days to the calendar and allow flexible work schedules to help them fit in appointments, childcare and other personal commitments.
Need to assess your risk?
As the pandemic pushes on, you may feel the need to determine your company’s risk and set your mind at ease. Ironing out work models was step one… but what’s next? A risk management expert like Odell Studner can help! To learn more about our available services, contact us today!