How S2S is Adjusting to the Changing Employee Landscape
How S2S (and other small businesses) can adjust to the changing employee landscape.
The recent trend of working from home (WFH) has been on the rise in the workplace due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses have struggled to manage the transition to a hybrid environment, while maintaining regular business practices. While remote work has its advantages, including increased flexibility and reduced commuting times, it has also presented numerous challenges for businesses, especially those that were not prepared for this shift. From the beginning, S2S has adapted to ensure that their employees can work from home and still maintain the same quality of work that our clients expect.
One of the primary difficulties that businesses are facing with employees working from home is the lack of face-to-face communication, feedback and mentoring. Communication breakdowns can lead to misunderstanding of scope/work objectives, delays, and reduced productivity, especially when employees are working on complex projects or collaborating with team members. The absence of non-verbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice, can also make it challenging to convey and interpret messages accurately. To combat this, S2S asks employees to commit to a hybrid schedule, encouraging employees to book meetings and group collaboration time on their days in the office, and to save admin tasks, background reviews, and reporting for days spent WFH.
Another major challenge is the lack of access to essential tools and technologies. Some employees may not have the necessary equipment or software to perform their job duties effectively from home, which can hamper their productivity and job performance. Additionally, some businesses may not have the infrastructure in place to support remote work, which can lead to connectivity issues and delays. S2S has adapted by providing their employees with the necessary tools and technology to work remotely. S2S has created a VPN (virtual private network) that is able to connect all employees to massive quantities of files quickly and remotely. Hosted locally, there is very little downtime for employees, and large file transfers between co-workers can happen quickly and smoothly. Through communication software such as Microsoft Teams, following up on deliverables and client correspondence is much easier, and less formal than an email. Additionally, S2S has implemented policies and hired staff to ensure that their employees have equal access to resources they would have in the office, such as training, support, and IT help.
Mental health and wellbeing are also critical concerns for businesses with remote workers. Isolation, loneliness, and burnout are common issues among remote workers, and businesses must take steps to support their employees' mental health and wellbeing. S2S has put in place initiatives to help WFH employees with their physical and mental health through the creation of a supportive culture that encourages employees to speak up if they are experiencing any issues or difficulties while working remotely, with caring managers that check in with their employees regularly to ensure that they are coping well. Furthermore, S2S encourages their employees to take breaks and set boundaries to ensure that they do not suffer from burnout, stress, or chronic pains.
Finally, managing remote teams can be challenging for supervisors and managers. Without physical oversight, it can be difficult to ensure that employees are meeting their goals and objectives and maintaining high standards of performance. Managers may need to develop new strategies and techniques for tracking progress, providing feedback, and motivating their teams. At S2S, managers use an extensive hiring process, on-going employee feed-back process and “touch-base” informal evaluations to ensure that all employees that work for S2S are self-motivated, passionate individuals. With established timelines and quality standards,employees are able to self-manage and stay engaged, which minimizes the need for manager intervention.
In conclusion, while remote work has become a necessity for many businesses during the pandemic, it has also presented numerous challenges. By recognizing and addressing these difficulties, S2S is doing everything possible to ensure that their employees remain productive, engaged, and supported as we transition into hybrid work environments.