Optimizing a Remote Workforce: Part 2
As a business leader, you have likely discovered that each remote employee requires a different level of support and communication. You may also find employees with specific strengths are thriving while others have taken longer to adjust. Use these four questions to optimize your current remote workforce and develop a well-rounded remote team in the future:
1 | How successful have you been when working remotely? Use this question to gauge a candidate’s (or current employee’s) idea of success in a remote environment. If necessary, follow-up with questions about effectively meeting objectives and deadlines, the ability to remotely collaborate with colleagues, and ideal level of engagement in a remote environment.
2 | What is your ideal work environment? Many employees are currently working remotely out of necessity, but it is not an ideal situation for everyone. Some people are energized by face-to-face interaction and the bustle of an office environment. If these employees are relegated to full-time remote work, they risk facing burn out, low contribution, productivity slumps, and general unhappiness with their role or organization. When given an option, these candidates may not be best suited for a remote position. For current remote team members who prefer an office environment, brainstorm ways to increase daily engagement, communication, and interaction.
3 | What challenges have you faced when working remotely? For current employees, this question may unveil what additional support may be required from supervisors and colleagues. A candidate’s answer to this question can help you understand their work style and their ability to recognize and overcome challenges to productivity.
4 | What strengths have helped you (or could help you) when working remotely? I’ve found that the most successful remote employees are self-aware, disciplined, accountable, organized, and self-motivated. However, lacking these specific strengths does not necessarily equate to a bad remote employee. Candidates who are willing to learn and create new skills and habits can be great remote employees, provided the environment is suitable to their workstyle. For current employees who may be struggling with the move to remote work, find out how you can help them grow in these areas.
This extraordinary and trying time will not last forever, but it will certainly change many aspects of the workforce going forward. Learning how to optimize your remote workforce under less-than-ideal conditions can set your organization up for success today and in the future.
Mike Arsenault is senior vice president of organizational development for Bradley-Morris/RecruitMilitary and a U.S. Army veteran.
This article originally appeared in the military-to-civilian magazine, Search & Employ. Sign up here to stay up-to-date on hiring and recruiting trends.
By Mike Arsenault