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, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.