Throughout the past year, leaders have adapted to COVID-19’s ever-changing influence on the workforce. We spoke with Christy Wyatt, CEO of Absolute Software, to reflect on 2021 and remote working.
“If the past 20 months have taught us anything, it’s that we need to reimagine the employee experience, and the infrastructure required to support it,” Wyatt explains. “The pandemic forced the shift from over 90% of work happening in an office to almost 100% digital remote collaboration—which, for the large majority, looked like a 2-dimensional engagement that offered productivity but lacked true human connection.
“We all remember the experience of being the only remote voice on the call—and it was the experience of watching a conversation, not actually being in one. It is a huge step backwards that leaves employees feeling disconnected and not included,” Wyatt continues.
“Fast forward 12-18 months, and this gap will widen—will remote employees be left behind as people tend to gravitate towards people they feel a connection with? Are we introducing a new opportunity for bias? Companies that embrace this shift and truly think through the hybrid workforce will be positioned to win. To fully embrace and benefit from the shift that is happening, employers need to re-examine what defines the employee experience and the broader implications of a ‘Work from Anywhere’ culture.”
Companies that have acknowledged hybrid and remote work have the unique opportunity to improve and grow. But, as with all change, it can come with difficulties. It’s vital for HR professionals to take the new year as an opportunity to grow. Change is best executed from the top down, so leaders should try to alter their managing style to suit their virtual workers.
Read our advice to remote leaders throughout 2021:
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically shifted the nature of daily work for millions of Americans. Many are operating in a hybrid model or are entirely remote. Managing from afar is different and requires different skills, strategies, and techniques. What skills do managers need more than ever in an era of remote work and why? How can they build or enhance these skills?
HR departments took the lead in restructuring the workplace during the height of the pandemic. Now that employees are slowly returning to the office, this evolution will only continue. COVID has served as a forcing function for reshaping the way work, career development, and skill acquisition are conducted. Managers must face these changes and develop an approach in the hybrid workplace for career-pathing, managing, and mentoring.
After a large portion of the workforce switched to working remotely over the last year, organizations and managers are still scrambling to keep up with the reverberations of a massive change. While efforts must constantly adapt, leaders need to prioritize a more human approach to managing workplace relationships.
Since the widespread shift to working from home, some teams have been struggling to manage hybrid environments, while others are thriving more than ever. What makes the difference for the 40% that have increased productivity in this new landscape? It turns out their success can be attributed to continued collaboration and high employee engagement.
Now more than ever, the workplace looks different for both employers and employees, whether it’s hybrid, virtual, or in person. But no matter what type of work setting you’re in, coaching is all about conversations.