How Experienced Remote Workers Bring Value to New Ways of Working

Despite their mass activation during the epidemic, remote and hybrid work is not a new phenomenon for many. Some people have worked for years in remote teams spanning different continents. Others may have worked in virtual companies or may have worked in a regular home during the work week.

Many parents or caregivers have sought work remotely over the years in order to better manage their therapeutic responsibilities, although there are a variety of reasons why someone may need or want to work remotely. Technology has been the great enabler for many.

In most cases, these workers are left to ‘make it work’. And often they were not asked how they did it or were invited to discussions on how to make mass or hybrid work better. This is despite the fact that different ways of working can be challenging and many employers are still in the early stages of adapting to change or may still oppose it.

“Too often remote workers are left to their own devices to get the most out of remote work, but this one-sided approach means the employee and employer do not overcome the big challenges or reap the full benefits,” says Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People.

WorkingMums and The Changing Work Company recently collaborated on a qualitative survey of remote or hybrid workers, half of whom have been working this way for more than three and a quarter years for more than five years. Most of them work for small and medium-sized companies.

The survey revealed some interesting findings. Over two-thirds of respondents [68%] Were not asked about their experience working from home to help others who switched during Cubid.

There was also a clear sense of being disabled as a result of working remotely. 80% said they had not been promoted since working in this form and 44% had not received training. Moreover, 30% found it difficult or very difficult to negotiate remote work. The feeling of being sidelined is further demonstrated in the respondents’ feelings about missing information. Nearly a third felt they had missed vital information and most of those who did not say so were because of their efforts to find out what was going on, and not because of their employer’s efforts. 36% felt they were not included in decision making because of being remote.

two thirds [66%] Respondents were offered resources such as laptops by their employers, but 71% said their employer did not pay for things like work-based calls. a third [33%] There was no access to technical support.

Respondents were also asked what helped them in terms of insulation in the home. Keeping in touch, planning out-of-work social interactions and maintaining a routine were popular choices. To keep in touch one of the respondents opened a virtual lunch chat. Others have created Chat for Teams and other media forums.

When asked what skills they think are needed to work remotely – something that might be useful for recruiters and HR managers – 85% said self-motivation is an essential skill; 68% said independent thinking, and 58% said resilience. 74% said they honed these skills through remote work and 22% developed them due to homework. When it came to managing remote employees, the ability to communicate was by far the most popular skill they felt managers needed.

So it was not surprising that when asked what would improve their situation, remote workers said better communication and appreciation for what they do. While 58% felt valued and listened to as office-based people, the rest were mostly unsure or unsure.

However, the respondents felt that they developed greater skills as a result of their experience, including more discipline and a greater awareness of their ability and resilience. Their advice to other remote workers included organization and planning, structure, adherence to work hours, and thinking of alternative forms of social interaction.

Bridget Workman of The Changing Work, which has advised government ministries on changing flexible cultures and is a big supporter of employee engagement, said: “These employees know the pitfalls and have learned the necessary skills and tricks through their resourcefulness and resilience.” She would like to see more employers take advantage of the wealth of experience that may be sitting right under their noses.

Mandy Garner is the Editor-in-Chief of WM people.

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