Talk about a second wave of COVID-19 has refocused attention in some quarters about the future and consequences of allowing employees to work remotely. The good news is that those employers who permitted their staff to work from home during the pandemic received high ratings.

A recent survey of more than 800 employees in various industries by internal communications and leadership development firm The Grossman Group revealed that 88% said their satisfaction level increased or remained the same because of working remotely.

As importantly, 90% reported that their trust in the organization rose or remained the same while 78% believed their company leaders held true to company values during the pandemic. The other critical question dealt with whether workers’ supervisors supplied them with the information they needed. 80% agreed.

Whether there’s another pandemic or not, Global Workplace Analytics estimates that as much as 30% of the country’s workforce could be working from home several days a week by the end of next year. The future for remote work is high. The firm also estimated that 56% of the U.S. workforce have jobs that may be compatible for remote work. Here are some tips for companies planning on remote workers.

Good Culture

Nurturing a good company culture is paramount as both employer and worker need to have high levels of trust and confidence for remote work to succeed. Employees need to know their company cares and listens to them. Employers need to respond quickly to concerns and needs while being clear about their expectations.

Venue Flexibility

Everyone’s different and the same is true for employee habits and preferences. Trust that if they work remotely they’ll do it in a place that works best for themselves and the company.

Newbies Need Attention

New hires working remotely haven’t had the benefit of in-person orientation. Consider assigning them mentors or guides who can answer questions and make the journey easier.

Prioritize

What’s most important? What can wait? Being clear on priorities is even more important with a remote workforce. It’s also crucial to re-examine performance goals and adjust them where necessary.

Reset the Culture

Taking editorial liberties with a somewhat similar saying, American businessman Michael Bonney once said, “Different times call for different skills from citizens.” Since the pandemic and the resulting increase in remote workers, this is also a good time to consider if management needs to change some of its expectations and values in acknowledgment of this shift.

Communications

As a reminder to remote workers that they’re important parts of a team, regular virtual meetings should replace the in-person ones. This will remind everyone of their roles as well as foster camaraderie. Encourage open discussion and questions. Important comments, suggestions and findings should be written down and shared with all. So, too, is sharing success stories.

Management Support

In large companies, supervisors will likely need help and support managing their remote workers. Training and examples of best practices will arm them to work more confidently and effectively with their teams.

Don’t

Foster trust and confidence by not following what the media reports some companies have done, which was to require remote workers to have their webcams on whenever they were working. This will destroy any efforts to instill trust and be counterproductive. Being clear about employee goals and discussing them regularly are a lot more effective.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.