Remote Workers are Looking for More Community in the Workplace

Are you working remote or in a hybrid scenario and feel isolated in your career or from you coworkers?

At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for 30 years.

Glassdoor recently partnered with The Harris Poll and asked working professionals how they felt about their careers and what they would like to see as remote and hybrid roles become more prominent. Based on their survey results, nearly half (48%) of employees have felt isolated from coworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to a lack of in-person connection during the COVID-19 pandemic, 42% of employees have felt their career stall. Over half (56%) of employees wish they had a community where they could get career advice for how to deal with problems at work, and more than two-thirds (69%) of employees wish they were able to learn more about the team they would be working with when deciding to accept a job.

Increased communication was a common theme including:

  • 64% of employees wishing they had a way to ask questions of industry peers around the country.
  • 65% of employees would be more likely to ask industry peers for career advice if they could do so anonymously.
  • 7 in 10 (70%) employees think conversations about salary should be more transparent among professionals.

If you are a leader or manager, Gallup states there are three key areas summarized below you can focus on to help your remote teammates feel more engaged including:

  1. Individualization. When people are in the office, it’s easier to have one set of rules for everyone. But when many employees are working from home without a dedicated office, when children are not in school or daycare, and when neighborhood broadband connections are stressed to capacity — individualization is king. Managers have to figure out where structure is required and where it is flexible — like shortening meetings by five or 10 minutes to allow people to transition between calls and reset an activity for a child at home. There may be a need to accommodate flexibility to hours worked, available, or the meaning of “close of business” (COB) to mean midnight or even 8:00 a.m. the following day.
  2. Communication. While many managers are effective communicators, taking that show on the road — or more specifically, home — means that the only method of communication is what your managers are providing. If an email tone is too harsh or question on phone call feels abrupt, there is no facial expression to soften the sting. For this reason, videoconferencing may be ideal and should be encouraged for remote team communication. Much of our language is nonverbal. When managers are forced to limit the nonverbal cues available to their direct reports, they increase the chance for miscommunication, defensiveness and conflict. Managers need to communicate with their teams in multiple ways and through multiple mediums to keep expectations clear. Managers should ask how employees prefer to be contacted and how often.
  3. Accountability. When everyone is physically present, it tends to be easier to evaluate the level of effort people are putting in and the output your team is generating. The reason most remote employees can work remotely is that they’re doing the type of work that may be harder to count or measure productivity against. Managers must create or improve upon their systems for holding their teams accountable when everyone is working remotely. This is based in communication but includes tools for measuring timelines and deliverables, check-ins, and evaluation of submitted work. It’s important that everyone understands the quality of work expected from them while working remotely — and that your managers are prepared to assess and hold team members accountable for their continued performance.

As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, remote and hybrid work arrangements will remain and helping all teammates feel connected and engaged will be important to retaining top talent.

At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for thirty years. Our strong reputation for consistently delivering exceptional service at value sets us apart. If you would like more information on our services please check out our website at https://www.transitionsolutions.com/ or you can contact us directly at 888-424-0003 or email us at info@transitionsolutions.com.

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