An April 2020 Gartner survey of 229 HR leaders has found that many workers are planning to work remotely more often in the future. Currently nearly 50% of organisations report that 81% or more of their employees are working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 15% of those surveyed said 61-80% of employees are working remotely at this time.
While 30% of employees surveyed worked remotely at least part of the time before the pandemic, Gartner’s study found that post-pandemic, 41% of employees are likely to work remotely at least some of the time.
Though remote workers are highly productive, the turnover risk is also much higher. A 1Q20 Gartner Survey of more than 5,000 employees found that 48% of fully remote employees exhibit high discretionary effort, versus 35% of employees who never work remotely. The same survey revealed that the percentage of employees exhibiting high intent to stay with their current employer is 13% points higher among those who never work remotely.
Please refer to our earlier blog regarding the importance of cyber security over remote working, along with the minimum set of controls that any organisation should have in place.
Beyond this, it’s important to ensure that staff maintain a sense of “connection” and “belonging” so as to mitigate isolation which could, in turn, lead to turnover. This could include setting up regular “check-ins” with team members. Hold team-wide video-conference meetings if possible. Let all team members see each other and allow time for casual conversation to help build personal relationships and team bonds.
If you’re a manager, make sure you mentor, develop, and sometimes have tough conversations with the people you lead, all remotely. Set up regular one-on-one video meetings with your direct reports. Try to give feedback in that setting instead of via email, which can be misinterpreted.