Here’s what business leaders think of employees working from home

The ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks suggest a hybrid way of working could become the norm, say Boston Consulting Group (BSG) and Spencer Stuart, an executive search and leadership consultancy.

According to Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index report, more than 70% of workers want flexible and remote work options to continue, while at the same time, more than 65% want more in-person time with their teams.

BCG and Spencer Stuart interviewed 13 South African CEOs to understand their experiences with remote work.

The survey found no evidence that remote work harms performance or productivity.

“Less than 40% of survey participants said that efficiency and productivity had significantly decreased. Less than half of respondents said their employees working remotely compromised data security and privacy,” BSG said.

Respondents suggested prioritizing employees to recharge and log in in person.

They further emphasized that business leaders need to set clear standards for planning ahead of key meetings to ensure the issues that need the most attention are addressed and that virtual engagements are effective.

“Tailoring performance reviews to the realities of remote work provides performance transparency at all levels of the organization while ensuring a more nuanced, diverse and broader review process.

Respondents highlighted the following challenges with working remotely:

  • Integrate new employees seamlessly – 60% of respondents said onboarding remote employees is less effective than in-person arrangements.
  • Negative organizational culture – Due to a lack of face-to-face interaction, respondents found remote work not conducive to multi-person organization.
  • Difficulty detecting signs of attrition – they noted that it was more difficult to retain employees because they could not see signs of people wanting to leave.
  • Difficulty defining a long-term strategycompany executives said it was difficult to realize the benefits of remote and in-person models if no detailed approach was implemented over the long term

Improve the working environment

“With flexibility and remote working set to define the post-pandemic workplace, businesses and business leaders must prioritize reconnecting with employees and keeping workers connected to avoid fatigue and stress. isolation, which negatively impact employee well-being and productivity,” said David Seinker, founder of The Business Exchange.

Seinker said meeting all professional and personal needs with remote work requires a delicate balance.

He said a hybrid work environment, where part of the workforce works from the physical office part of the time and remotely the rest, can allow companies to offer flexibility that is not not in high demand while still allowing employees to have the traditional space to engage with each other.

“To do this, companies need to establish clear processes and policies around logistics and expectations. Maintaining traditional cabin configurations would be contrary to promoting a more social environment. »

Seinker emphasized that employees need to feel they can speak up and be heard to promote communication. This can be achieved by creating a corporate culture based on appreciation and recognition.

“Employee well-being has a direct impact on the work they produce and their willingness to stay with an organization,” Seinker said.

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