If your organization CAN avail employees the option of working remotely (at least part of the time), and you don’t work to find innovative ways to make this happen, you can expect turnover. Remote work is one of a number of substantiated trends from #COVID that isn’t going away.
(And my two cents: it’s about time we lead first with “what do you need to be successful in life and your career?” For people to do their best work, to work with greatness, we need to support them to have the conditions to be successful.)
Retaining Great People
Many people in our current #knowledgeworkforce, in this fourth #industrialrevolution (coined by some as #technologyrevolution), not only CAN work remotely, they may do their best work without the distractions, hellish commute and stress of a typical 5-day workweek.
Here’s one last reason to take remote working options very seriously. You’re not just competing with other more remote-friendly employers. You’re also competing with the growing #gigeconomy where people can work for themselves. The rise of entrepreneurship means you may be competing with the employee themselves to convince them to stay with you!
Great people have options. Let’s give them a reason to choose you.
Considering it costs 2.5x someone’s annual salary to replace them, if you are hearing a lot of questions from prospective employees about “do you offer flexible work options?” and questions from existing staff, “can we continue to work from home?” and managers remarking, “I get so much more done when I have a work at home day”, then you know remote needs to be considered as a key ingredient to attract and retain those great folks.
They’re asking for a reason. You have their trust for them to express it to you. NOW is our opportunity to capitalize on it before they take flight.
What About Mental Health?
When I first shared some of these thoughts in a LinkedIn post, I received some great feedback about the importance of attending to loneliness and isolation can have a negative impact on professionals working remotely. Couldn’t agree more. AND we can’t assume that it could lead to more mental health issues working remotely than all on-site or a hybrid model.
The opportunity RIGHT NOW is to ensure that those work relationships, remote and on-site, are healthy and truly connective. All too often, we think physical proximity = community. Unaddressed workplace incivility, the stress of constant distractions, and other factors can lead to mental health strain and stress at work on-site. Yet, because it’s so accepted, we hardly register it in a workplace context. Every organization needs to decide the model that works for them, and I implore you to take an unbiased view (wipe the slate clean of “how we’ve always done it) of what the healthiest workplace looks like, and what unaddressed issues and new unintended consequences might need to be examined further and solutions sought.
The beauty of this time is it’s opened up a whole conversation about what mental health, wellness, connection, a sense of team, and doing meaningful work REALLY means, remotely and on-site.
Now THAT is a conversation worth having and so very needed, COVID or not!
And Don’t Forget About Recognition
Work contexts devoid of regular, sincere, meaningful recognition, remote and on-site, have lower trust, innovation, engagement, meaningful relationships, and satisfaction with colleagues and leaders. I have the data to substantiate this – download the infographic HERE
As part of “how we do things around here”, recognition and appreciation MUST be a part of any on-site and remote workplace. This can be done remotely and on-site, and if we’re working flawlessly when we were bricks and mortar, then we would have an argument that it’s tough to switch. However, the data shows us we didn’t rock at it across the board before. So again, this is an opportunity to bring intention and perhaps even reinvention to the table.
As always, if you’re not sure how that recognition reinvention needs to look in today’s workplace, reach out. Let’s talk.
Here are more recognition resources for you:
- Creating Recognition – Are You Missing Out On Greatness?
- Holding People Accountable in a Remote World – A Recognition & Resiliency Perspective
- Answers for Setting Your Virtual Recognition Intention
PS – Did you see there is a new book Remote Work? By business mentor, Kim Shepherd and her coauthor Chris has created a juicy, resourceful and fabulous deep dive into this workforce structure that’s here to stay in many organizations