How HR and IT can Collaborate to Create Effective Remote Work Environments CEO Insights 02-11-2019 By Jim Steinlage President & Chief Executive Officer Table of Contents It’s a revolution, not an evolution Collaboration key to creating optimal remote work environment Just as digital technology has changed our everyday lives, it’s now transforming HR and, more specifically, the creation and support of remote work environments. Today’s workforce has seen the line between their professional and personal lives blur like never before. And they look to their employer to provide them with an effective remote digital work environment It’s a revolution, not an evolution It’s a new world for HR and IT departments. Digital technologies are bringing about a revolution that is forcing HR to completely rethink the employee experience. Many of the foundations past policies and strategies were based on must be abandoned if you hope to improve employee experience and retention. Two-thirds of the world’s population is now connected by mobile and almost 4 million U.S. workers are reported to be working from home, yet HR teams remain far behind in embracing mobile solutions for their employees. Cultivating an effective remote workforce means ensuring your employees feel they are a valued part of company culture. Collaboration key to creating optimal remote work environment Remote employees must be provided with the technological tools they need to be a productive member of the team. Instant messaging, video conferencing, virtual hangouts and more are popular ways to do it. Beyond physical and digital tools, there are other collaborative ways for HR and IT to deliver a flexible and self-governing work environment that still feels inclusive. A new perception on how remote work should operate must include trusting your employees’ ability to get the job done while left to their own devices (in more ways than one). Outlining explicit goals over a set time period helps employee build autonomous skill sets. And sinc many remote employees still worry that in-house co-workers regard them as less productive, your goal as an HR leader is to remove this stigma by adopting a company philosophy that establishes remote work as a valid and valuable alternative. Speaking of culture and management, your organization’s tech infrastructure must align with the organization infrastructure with policies and practices in place that help remote workers achieve peak performance. Periodic face-to-face meetings, video conferencing, and regular two-way feedback are all powerful ways to keep communication channels open and productivity levels at their best. When there’s a gap between the tech IT provides and the remote work policy HR endorses, there’s a high risk of dissatisfaction on both the management and remote employee sides of the aisle. Leaders who work to achieve a balance by governing perception, integrating new technologies, and embracing remote works as valuable team members will quickly find those flexible workers are better workers.