3 reasons it pays to help employees unplug

Technology has empower the world to connect in ways our grandparents couldn’t have dreamed. The way we work and live has changed immensely as a result of technological advancements but are all these changes for the better? Empirical evidence would suggest not. Academics researching the psychological impact of excessive technology and internet use have denoted significant negative consequences, including technostress and social anxiety.  As organisations strive to tackle the growing issue of occupational stress there is much merit to enabling a workforce to unplug and power down.

Here’s three solid reasons why businesses should review their policies and practices to help each individual limit unnecessary technology stimulation outside of working hours:

  1. Brain Recovery: In their study which analysed  multiple determinants of psychological detachment the Kansas State University identified that downtime after work is essential for stress recover. The findings suggest that “segmenting work and nonwork roles can help employees detach and recover from work demands”. By continuing to communicate with colleagues about work issues outside of office hours not employees only increases stress but diminishes the time allowed for the brain to recover.
  2. Better Focus Leads to Better Output: We’ve all been guilty of working on a spreadsheet or answering emails while trying to help a child with homework or chat with a friend. But multi-tasking doesn’t work. A 2013 study revealed those people who have a great tendency to multi task are actually less skilled at it than those who multi task infrequently. Putting policies in place that allow for employees to sperate work and home and will inevitable result a more focused and productive workforce.
  3. Technology use affects sleep and mental health: it is well documented that blue light from screens can inhibit sleep and the impact of sleep deprived workforces is gaining increasing attention from academics. Furthermore, Forbes cited a study which demonstrated a connection between technology use and psychological disorders. While personal habits may mean screen exposure before bed, organisations can regulate the work related stimulation that might spike adrenaline late at night.

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing & Customer Success Manager @ Wrkit

References:

https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.dcu.idm.oclc.org/doi/epdf/10.1002/job.760

Why annual leave is good for business.

Summer is just around the corner and undoubtedly there will be many of your colleagues who have booked time off to enjoy holidays abroad or downtime at home throughout the year. However each year 40% of workers don’t take their full allocation of annual leave and over 30% will work while on holidays. There is an abundance of reasons why employees don’t use their well-earned days off but there are negative consequences to this pattern of behaviour.

For the individual, untaken leave equates to an increased risk of burnout. Time away from work, unplugged from the ecosystem of always on emailing and IM chatter is vital to allow the mind to recuperate. Just like labourers or professional athletes, thinking workers need an “off season” to rest and recharge. When the boundaries are pushed by long stints of time without a break, it results in increased stress, decreased morale, cynicism and disengagement, which translates into organisational level challenges including absenteeism and presenteeism.

Research has found that employees who take breaks in general (lunch breaks, walking breaks etc.) are more engaged and committed to their place of employment, with 81% of respondents having a strong desire to be an active member in their organisation. Holiday breaks yield a similar positive result. In a 2016 study of its own workforce, Ernest & Young  found that for every additional 10 hours of holidays taken by employees, performance metrics went up an average of 8%. 

While taking breaks can yield a more relaxed, creative and productive workforce there are often apprehensive employees who will worry about accumulated workload or the stress of planning a holiday. Organisations can help address these issues by providing services to assist in the holiday planning stages and by ensuring comprehensive policies and practices are in place to manage the holidaying employee’s workload in their absence. It can be beneficial to incentivise full use of annual leave days too.  For example, GE Healthcare give a fifth week of leave in the year following an employee using their full allocation of leave the previous year.  

Author: Sara Glynn, Customer Success & Marketing Manager @Wrkit

From Annual Survey to Pulse: Are you ready for the switch?

Employee engagement is dynamic and difficult to influence. Historically, the annual survey has played an important role within organisations, helping mangers and leaders to understand the mood of their workforce from one year to the next. However, administering an annual survey to the entire workforce has its drawbacks. Due to the time and human resources required to analyse responses, compile legible reports and distribute insights, it can be such that by the time insights have been shared, the core engagement issues have changed. The lengthy process inevitably limits however much change HR and managers can influence.  

By embracing more frequent dialogue through Pulse surveys, HR can overcome many of the challenges associated with the annual survey. Frequent snapshots of the company mood give a deep understanding of the core engagement drivers and enable managers to more effectively influence change. Before making the switch from annual surveys to more frequent dialogue it is important to ask yourself the following:

  1. Is my company open to frequent and honest feedback?
  2. Is my company ready to strive for continuous improvement?
  3. What are my organisations core engagement drivers?
  4. Does my leadership team fully support the need for frequent dialogue?

Beginning the journey of change with these questions will help ensure an organisation is culturally ready for the new approach. Should there be one area where the answer is not a ‘yes’ then prioritise addressing this as a first step. For example, if your leadership team is hesitant to increase frequency, plan an in-depth education session. Present the facts and supporting evidence, pre-empt any issues and propose solutions. Use the sessions as an opportunity to identify your champions and leverage their influence to get those who are less convinced onboard and enthusiastic.


Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing & Customer Success Manager@ Wrkit

References:

https://hbr.org/2018/03/employee-surveys-are-still-one-of-the-best-ways-to-measure-engagement

Q&A: Social media recruiting


Welcome back to the third instalment of our Q&A with BidRecruit, the A.I. and automation driven recruitment software. In our earlier conversations we covered the latest recruitment trends, and the importance of candidate experience.

In this week’s chat with Susan Comyn, Marketing Manager of BidRecruit, we discuss the growing trend of companies using social media to recruit, its advantages and the importance of it for employer branding.

Q1. Why has social media recruitment become so popular?

Well, while 98% of recruiters are on LinkedIn, according to a Global Report by social talent, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all job seekers are on LinkedIn. In fact, as companies move toward hiring a younger generation into their workforce, they need to be present and active where that workforce is, social media. This is not to take away from the importance of LinkedIn for employers, as according to the same Social Talent report it is still the top resource to source candidates. However, when creating a recruitment strategy other social media platforms should not be overlooked, particularly when considering the recruitment of passive candidates.

Q2. What are some of the benefits of social media recruitment?

Social media recruitment is an incredibly cost-effective way to get in front of the right audience: passive and active, in fact, a 2015 SHRM study found social recruiting to be 55% less expensive than other recruiting methods. By building up a positive employer brand on social media (more on that later), companies can leverage social channels for free, and with the addition of low cost, highly-targeted ads, there is a great opportunity to reach a large and relevant audience. Additionally, some other benefits include; candidate screening and reduced time-to-hire. Social networks can be used to screen a candidate depending on the channel you are using i.e. LinkedIn for experience & skillset, along with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for culture fit. HR teams can also communicate with candidates instantaneously, quickly establishing a candidate’s interest and availability, therefore potentially reducing time-to-hire significantly.

Q3. Ok, we’re sold on using social media to recruit, where do we start?

There are actually a few steps before you can utilise social media to recruit, and it doesn’t take place on social media! The first step is to create a company culture that not only your employees will love, but one that can be promoted on social media. We have lots of advice in our recent blog on ‘how to create a great company culture’. As we mention in the blog, 85% of employees say they are more likely to take initiative when they are happy at work, so outside of using company culture to attract candidates through social media, culture is a critical business investment.

Once you have established a great culture, a careers page should follow to positively demonstrate life within your organisation. According to LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Talent Trends report, 59% of job seekers go to a company’s website before applying for an open position (irrespective of where the position is posted), so be sure that the cultural message is accurately reflected on your website . The best way to achieve this is utilising your current employees. As Glassdoor reports, 90% of job seekers rely on the perspective of current employees when learning about an employer, so they are your best promotional asset. Ask employees to submit testimonials on their positive experiences working with your company, or go one better and film them speaking about the company and the culture, along with footage of a ‘day in the life’. All of this can then be directly promoted your careers page as well as social media.

Q4. Are there any other areas that you would recommend a company to focus on when promoting themselves on social media?

Focus on company values and aligning them to what your ideal candidates want from the company they are working for. Take wellness as an example, research by the Irish Business and Employers Confederation found that 60% of employees were more likely to stay at their job long-term if their employer showed concern for their wellness, while almost 50% said that they would leave a job if their employer did not. In a changing workforce pay packages aren’t enough, candidates want to know the company they will be working for has a genuine interest in them, both in and outside of working hours. Promote specific wellness benefits and post pictures of company wellness events on social media to demonstrate the organisations commitment to employee wellbeing. This will appeal to prospective candidates and give you the competitive edge over other companies.

The final piece of advice on the use of social media is that it is an ongoing commitment. Though it’s not a full time job, posting up a few pictures and leaving it idle or just posting up new positions can do more harm than good. There is a need to constantly engage with prospective candidates through content they will want to engage with. It pays to invest in social media to attract top talent.

BidRecruit offer lots of advice on smart recruiting, including more tips on utilising social media. Find out more on their blog or sign up for their monthly HR industry insights.

Interviewee:  

Susan Comyn, Marketing Manager @ BidRecruit

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancomyn

About BidRecruit:

BidRecruit is A.I. driven recruitment software for HR & Hiring Managers to help you hire smarter.

More info:

www.bidrecruit.io

Connect:

LinkedIn

Facebook


Q&A: How to create a winning candidate experience

Following on from our previous smart recruitment Q&A with recruitment software company BidRecruit where we spoke on the latest recruitment trends and tips for HR & Hiring managers considering investing in HR software, we caught up once again with Susan Comyn, Marketing Manager of BidRecruit.

Today’s Q&A focuses on one of the biggest trends in recruitment, Candidate Experience, and it’s importance during the recruitment process and beyond.

Question 1: What is candidate experience?

Candidate experience is defined as how job seekers perceive and react to employers’ processes during the hiring journey, including initial exposure to your employer brand to the interview process regardless of the outcome. As we spoke about previously, it has become an increasingly important trend due to review platforms like Glassdoor becoming more widely used and regarded. In fact, a LinkedIn survey found 72% of candidates have shared their experience on online employer review sites, therefore companies have to ensure candidates have a positive experience irrespective of their hiring success. According to Career Builder, 78% say the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people. What’s worth remembering is, while people might talk about good candidate experiences, they will more likely talk about negative candidate experiences. So it’s worthwhile investing in processes and best practice to create a great candidate experience for all.

Question 2: Where is the best place to start when improving candidate experience?

We would first suggest reviewing your job descriptions and application process. According to Recruiting Brief, 60% of job seekers report they have quit an application due to its length or complexity. Take the time to speak with the department hiring manager to properly establish what is required and the skills, both hard and soft, they are looking to add to their team. Make sure to relay company culture and values in the job description to help attract the right culture fit, something that is key to employee engagement and retention. Next, review your application process and the number of steps needed to apply. Having to create an extensive profile and answer numerous questions that don’t relate to the position will inevitably result in drop-offs. This shouldn’t be seen as a lack of intent by candidates, in fact, candidates will see this as a lack of investment by the company to find the right candidates by creating a time-intensive process and a negative candidate experience. No two jobs are the same and the application process should reflect this, making it as straight forward as possible for candidates to apply.

Question 3: So you’ve improved your application process and you have a huge stack of CVs, what’s next?

The biggest issue surrounding candidate experience is a lack of communication during the process, with 65% of job seekers saying they never or rarely receive notice of their application status, according to Lever. As we stated previously, HR Managers state that recruitment is 25% of their job but takes up 95% of their time. When you are recruiting for numerous positions and receiving numerous CVs for each position, it’s understandable that you can’t get back to every individual with individual emails, you are only human! That’s why technology and automation is the best solution to overcome this and improve the candidate experience. Automation software allows you to communicate quickly and easily to groups of people with relevant feedback. Automation software also allows you to streamline and bring candidates through the process efficiently with constant communication, allowing you to focus on the human element of the candidate experience, the interviewing stages.

Question 4: What are your tops tips for the interview stages to improve candidate experience?

With 74% of employers saying they hired the wrong person for a position, according to a recent Career Builder survey, preparation is key. Read the candidate’s CV, research them online, prepare job description & company relevant questions along with questions directly relating to the candidate and their experience. With an increased focus on company culture and employee engagement, candidates now more than ever want an interview that is a two-way street. In an interview, both the interviewer and candidate are trying to sell each other. While the candidates are selling their skills, experience and personal fit, the interviewer needs to be actively selling the company. Finally, remember that the little things go a long away when interviewing; informing reception of incoming candidates for an interview so they receive a warm welcome, offering a drink upon arrival and establishing a relaxed atmosphere can differentiate you from the competition in terms of candidate experience.

Make sure to check out the BidRecruit blog for more tips and advice on ways to improve the candidate experience and all things smart recruitment. Join us next time where we will discuss why companies need to embrace social media when recruiting and tips on making the most of this to attract talent.

Interviewee:  

Susan Comyn, Marketing Manager @ BidRecruit

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancomyn

About BidRecruit:

BidRecruit is A.I. driven recruitment software for HR & Hiring Managers to help you hire smarter.

More info:

www.bidrecruit.io

Connect:

LinkedIn

Facebook

International Women’s Day

March 8th marks international women’s day, an annual celebration to commemorate women’s strength, achievements and legacies. The theme of this year’s celebrations is Balance for Better, promoting gender balance and equality across the world and different industries. While diversity and inclusion initiatives are top priorities in most organisations these days there still remains a significant gender gap at C-level with less than 5% of CEO positions in Europe and the US held by women.

Top level female representation is not merely a question of ethics but rather about business success. Research demonstrates that organisations with diverse leadership teams outperform those that do not. In fact one study conducted by Boston Consulting Group found that organisations with leadership diversity generate up to 19% more revenue.

Fostering an environment where everyone can achieve their full potential is no easy feat however there are practices which help women and men progress in their career, while maintaining a balanced life.

  1. Bias training – unconscious bias exists in many forms within the workplace. Providing bias training will help raise awareness of the issue and ensure adequate measures are in place to help overcome the challenge.
  2. Change the long term hours norm – in a recent article about resilience training I touched on the mounting evidence that long days should become a thing of the past. Changing the attitude toward long days will open up greater opportunity for career driven parents and provide better work life balance for mothers and fathers.
  3. Offer paid paternity leave… and enforce it – Gender equality works both ways. Offering and enforcing paid paternity leave encourages better work life integration for male employees. It also helps to close the gap which is often opened when mothers take time off to rear children.  
  4. Focus on inclusive leadership programmes and sponsorship – having a diverse pipeline is half the battle. Encourage female participation in leadership development programmes and ensure that the right people are sponsoring female candidates (sponsors with influence).  
  5. Celebrate female achievements – share the stories and experiences of your female high fliers to inspire others. Celebrate their journey and achievements and leverage their role model image to attract new female candidates to aspire to C-level.

Increasingly, employees are expecting organisations to have truly diverse and inclusive cultures. As the war for talent heightens those who are slow to change will lose.

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing & Customer Success Manager@ Wrkit

References:

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/
https://www.ft.com/content/1090105c-fb7b-11e8-aebf-99e208d3e521
https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/2018/how-diverse-leadership-teams-boost-innovation.aspx
https://wrkit.com/blog/2019/02/13/resilience-training-reducing-stress-or-masking-the-problem/
https://hbr.org/2007/09/women-and-the-labyrinth-of-leadership
https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/human-capital/hc-2017-global-human-capital-trends-us.pdf
https://hbr.org/2010/09/why-men-still-get-more-promotions-than-women

Q&A | How Smart Recruiting Will Change Your Life

At Wrkit, our mission is to help organisations cultivate happy, healthier working environments, to strengthen and retain a talented workforce. We know an important element of retention starts with attracting the right candidates and finding the right fit for your company. With that in mind we have teamed up with recruitment software company, BidRecruit, to help you hire smarter. BidRecruit simplify difficult & time-consuming tasks so you can focus on finding the right person. In this series of blogs we will discuss current recruitment trends and tips and tools available to you to enhance your recruitment.

Q1: Tell us about BidRecruit  

BidRecruit was founded in 2016 by 2 recruitment specialists who saw a gap in the market and knew there was an easier, more efficient way to hire. BidRecruit utilises the principle of 3 steps to successful hiring: engage, manage, report. Our software allows you to post a job across all major job boards, social media and your careers page in one easy step. Then with our A.I. technology and automation we have streamlined the complete hiring process from scoring and matching CVs to interview scheduling and team collaboration. Also, an important element of our software is the ability to analyse how you hire, improving the process whilst making real savings. Our clients have seen a 50% reduction in hiring admin and up to 75% savings on recruitment costs. Most importantly, our clients have seen a genuine improvement in the quality of candidates and people they hire.

Q2: What are the biggest challenges your clients face when hiring?

For nearly all of our clients, the number one challenge they face is candidate volume & quality. We are now in a candidate driven market, with 70% of candidates being passive job seekers i.e. they’re not even looking for a job! Therefore to attract the right talent, you need to be seen. As our software allows you to post to every major job board, social media and your careers pages, we are giving your roles more exposure. Where one job board might be effective for one role, it may not be the case for another. When it comes to recruitment it’s not a “one size fits all” and we have a way to combat that. Further to this, how people hire has to change and adapt, the old method of recruitment is outdated and very time intensive, many HR Managers state that recruitment is 25% of their job but takes up 95% of their time! There is an imperative need to improve efficiency, allowing more time to focus on employee engagement and retention.

Q3: What trends in recruitment do you see growing in 2019?

Definitely companies embracing A.I. and automation to recruit is the biggest trend we see growing in 2019. This is in large part due to the above points, to save time and to increase candidate quality & volume. Further to this, it helps you to hire smarter. Use of A.I. & automation allows you to take back more control of the important ‘human’ elements of hiring. Removing admin during recruitment allows you to focus on interviewing, researching and considering the most suitable candidates. Another area of focus in 2019 is candidate experience. With review platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed becoming increasingly popular, companies have to ensure candidates feel positively about their experience irrespective of their hiring success. As a recent LinkedIn survey reported, 83% of talent says a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked. Where a lot of companies fall down is a lack of communication at screening and interviewing stage. For many hiring managers and HR departments this is of course not intentional but due to time constraints when replying to all candidates. Again, automation is an excellent way to overcome this issue as it allows you to instantly communicate with multiple candidates, therefore improving candidate experience.

Q4: What tip would you give to hiring or HR managers looking to invest in HR software?

Do your homework on what you actually need. Where companies might not see the value in recruitment software due to tight budgets, if you hire more than 5 people a year you definitely would see the benefits of software. Do the maths on the cost per hire i.e. recruitment and social marketing costs, potential recruiter costs, sponsored job boards, onboarding & training costs, benefits, relocation costs etc. You would be surprised how much it is costing you to hire and where you are possibly investing money in the wrong places. The best place to start is with your HR team, survey the team to ascertain where their pain points are, where they need to see improvements and what their goals and objectives are for the year. Where your company may not have had the capacity to focus on employee engagement previously, taking on recruitment software and investing in employee engagement strategies combined can drastically improve the quality of new hires and your employee retention rate.

Join us next time where we will discuss in more detail the importance of candidate experience when hiring and our top tips to ensure your hiring experience is at its best.

Interviewee:  

Susan Comyn, Marketing Manager @ BidRecruit

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancomyn

About BidRecruit:

BidRecruit is A.I. driven recruitment software for HR & Hiring Managers to help you hire smarter.

More info:

www.bidrecruit.io

Connect:

LinkedIn

Facebook

Instagram

4 ways to optimise benefit communication

Good benefits are something every employee wants, however not all employees want to spend time reading about benefits or tracking down the information they need. This challenge regularly presents a dilemma for HR professionals with poor employee uptake inevitably creating an issue when it comes to justifying the budget for services which aren’t being used. Getting benefit communication right will not only make budget conversations easier but might also increase employee tenure.

At its heart, benefit communication is simply internal marketing and so the same approach should be taken to communicate with your employee audience as your prospects. Here’s our expert tips to help you optimise employe.

  1. Use the skills of your workforce – first and foremost, draw on the skills of your marketing team. So often we speak with HR professionals who are sending out ad hoc email updates without recognising there are talented professionals who understand marketing strategy available to help them. Allocate the role of internal communications to the department where it will have a dedicated resource.
  2. Plan a long-term strategy – with your marketing experts, draw up a 12-month calendar, plan in key calendar events which will complement your benefit comms. For example, if you have an employee discounts platform use days like Valentine’s day to trigger action.
  3. Use multiple channels – email fatigue is a major issue, make sure to build out a strategy which leverages multiple channels. Include canteen screens (or posters if you don’t have screens), intranet, IM, social media, company apps, Forbes.com even suggests using old school post to get your message in front of people. Word of mouth is an invaluable method of communication, identify champions, engage them in regular trainings and update meetings to keep them up to speed with what’s on offer, where to find the info and how to redeem/register for available benefits.
  4. Apply the rule of seven – The rule of seven is an age-old marketing concept which says your audience should hear or see your message seven times before they will take action. The same can be said for your workforce. Over communicating will guarantee employees know about every benefit on offer to them.

Effective benefit communication is essential to make a strong business case for existing and future initiatives. Take the time plan out your goals and how you plan to achieve them applying the above tips.  

Author: Sara Glynn – Marketing & Customer Success Manager @ Wrkit.

Wrkit specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments. Our platform connects global, remote and local teams through five modules; Surveys, Recognition, POWR, Learning and Savings. Speak to an Engagement Specialist today – info@wrkit.com

Resilience training: reducing stress or masking the problem?

The topic of resilience at work is one which in recent years has received a lot of air time. Alarming figures demonstrate that workplace stress continues to rise, bringing with it a myriad of problems for businesses and individuals. Absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace are costing the global economy billions of dollars each year, while employees are presented with the long-term health risk associated with stress and burnout.

It is perhaps not surprising that resilience training is becoming increasingly popular as an aspect of employee development. According to Organisational Psychologist Yseult Freeney, the business rational for investing in resilience training is to empower employees to over come work stress, to persevere in the face of adversity and have bounce back ability. Undoubtably there are benefits to resilience training, however conflicting opinions question the authenticity of this “benefit”. One argument posits that companies investing in resilience training are merely masking the underlying issues of work intensification. This being the case, resilience training is not a long-term solution.

Tackling workplace stress needs to start with the root cause: how we work. A major contributing factor to burn-out is the perception that long working days equal productive working days. This mentality fuels the growing issue of presenteeism. Employees feel obliged to be present out of fear they will fall behind, or they might miss out on promotion opportunities if they don’t work late as their colleagues do. Add into the mix working weekends and the late-night emails, and burn-out is inevitable not matter how resilient the person.

Without doubt, companies should continue to offer a mix of wellbeing supports including resilience training, but for those organisations which promote and praise long days, a shift in culture is required. Research demonstrating that even in an 8-hour day, people have just a few productive hours. Furthermore, a recent trial of a 4-day week by a New Zealand company demonstrated that with improved processes employees could perform more efficiently in a shorter week, with decreased stress and increased work-life satisfaction. Hence a change in mentality will result in a more productive and happier workforce.

Getting work-life balance right is an imperative for employer branding. Exploring efficiencies and processes which might alleviate the intensity of work will contribute to reducing employee stress. Email policies too should be reviewed ensuring out of hours communication from managers is limited (if not completely eradicated). Most importantly, key influencers should drive the shift in attitude by demonstrating healthy work-life balance themselves.

Author: Sara Glynn – Marketing & Customer Success Manager @ Wrkit.

Wrkit specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments. Our platform connects global, remote and local teams through five modules; Surveys, Recognition, POWR, Learning and Savings. Speak to an Engagement Specialist today – info@wrkit.com

Keeping cohesion among a remote workforce.

As organisations strive to attract and retain talent, there is a critical need to differentiate through employer branding, offering something distinct from the competition. No longer do the millennial perks of table tennis and treats meet the ever-changing expectations of a modern workforce. 21st century benefits are about flexibility and facilitating work -life balance. A movement embracing remote and telecommuting workforce’s is well underway with many organisations including Dell, embracing a blended approach (part remote, part present). With new specialist recruitment services such as Abodoo offering platforms to match remote workers with employers seeking talent, it seems inevitable that remote workforce’s will become increasingly popular.

This new structure brings significant benefits to employers, employees and local communities. In Ireland, for example, the team behind Grow Remote are working with rural communities to create employment opportunities with remote employers. An initiative which will inevitably rejuvenate the economy within these smaller communities.

Beyond the benefit of work-life balance, individuals who work remotely can gain financially by living outside of cities without incurring commuting cost. Businesses too can make financial gains by embracing remote teams, reducing fixed costs associated with property rental and decreasing environmental impact costs. Additional support for the remote workforce business case can be found in the figures reported in a 2017 inc.com article which suggested that collaborative open plan offices are hampering concentration and productivity of employees.

Without doubt, there are significant arguments for a remote workforce. However, a remote model isn’t one which will work for every business or employee. Situational factors such as technology infrastructure will influence how cohesive and effective a remote team can be.

At a very basic level, technological infrastructure within a region must be in place to facilitate the possibility of remote working. For a team to work cohesively however, the required technology infrastructure of an organisation must be comprehensive, designed to connect and engage people, provide easy access to information and deliver the same employee experience to remote, telecommuting and onsite workers.

Instant messaging and video conferencing software are essential for effective collaboration. New VR and AR innovations are striving to replicate the in-person meeting experience. Further to facilitating the cohesive execution of tasks, technology also plays an essential role in keeping remote workers engaged with the company mission and facilitating workplace friendships. For example, recognition platforms allow for global, remote and even gig teams to give and receive praise, keeping the entire workforce up to date via a digital newsfeed, instilling a sense of pride and purpose.

One concern which often arises in the remote working dialogue is employee mental health. It’s difficult to notice those subtle changes in demeanour when a colleague is not physically present. So how can an organisation leverage technology to support an individual from afar? Firstly, surveys provide a method of gathering regular feedback, bite size pieces of information can generate all the information you need. Workday for example, have feedback Fridays an approach which is sensitive to the busy schedules of employees, therefore asking just one or two  different questions each week. This regular feedback provides a gauge for a variety of metrics related to job satisfaction and engagement, an approach which can be easily tailored to gather wellbeing related feedback. Further support can be found in digital wellbeing tools such as POWR, which empower employees to self-manage their own wellbeing while providing management with insights pertaining to company-wide wellbeing.

While technology alone will not result in high performing remote teams, it is one of the foundational building blocks which supports managers and teams to work at their best. Platforms provide a central point of reference where all employees can connect with peers, find information and stay up to date, streamlining the everyday experience.

Author: Sara Glynn – Marketing & Customer Success Manager @ Wrkit.

Wrkit specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments. Our platform connects global, remote and local teams through five modules; Surveys, Recognition, POWR, Learning and Savings. Speak to an Engagement Specialist today – info@wrkit.com