Using HR technology to enable effective remote working
As we settle into 2018, discussions amongst HR practitioners and recruiters once again turn to the topic of flexible and remote working. There are so many technological options available that it is no longer necessary to be physically sat in an office between the hours of 9am-5pm to have a productive day.
So why are so many organisations still reluctant to embrace this ‘new’, highly effective flexible lifestyle?
Amongst the concerns are questions such as: “how can we monitor the effectiveness of our remote workers?”, or “if our employees are not sat in the same building, can we really offer them effective line management support?
The fact is however, that there is plenty of scope for businesses with multiple locations to ensure that everyone is working as efficiently and productively as possible – if they adopt the right tech.
Thanks to the growing prevalence of cloud-based systems, across all functions, it is now easier and far more practical for organisations to offer flexible working. organisations can now offer better flexible working options for all employees. This is not only helping to attract stronger employees and boost staff morale and support changing business needs but can also increase efficiency.
Below, we look at five ways in which companies can use HR technology to support remote working:
Mobile is key
Thanks to mobiles and tablets, we have become accustomed to being able to handle everything online, from wherever we happen to be. Most HR software vendors have optimised their portals for mobile, allowing managers to access business data or even download full reports at the touch of a button, whether accessing from home, on the train or during off-site meetings. This can be particularly useful for CEOs wanting access to data analytics in the middle of a corporate Board meeting with minimal disruption, without the need to involve your HR teams.
Mobile functionality enables you to report on data or provide insights straightaway – no more rescheduling another meeting for another day once you’ve had a chance to ‘pull the figures’.
Supporting global working
International organisations will know of the difficulties in handling global HR practices – with thousands of workers across different offices in different countries, it’s certainly a headache for even the most experienced of HR practitioners.
But with a carefully chosen HRIS, you can set global standards which will aid consistent HR practices. This will allow you to run comparable reports not only between offices, but also between countries so your business can understand which locations are over performing, and which may need additional support.
And thanks to the mobile options we’ve already mentioned, senior management can instantly view comparable data no matter where they are in the world.
Identifying training needs
On a more local level, your HR system will automatically track the training needs of all your employees throughout the duration of their careers. By incorporating online learning into your HR software, through a learning management system, you can allow staff members to access online training opportunities at a time convenient to them. For staff working from home, it gives them the same advantages of those in the office.
Your HR software will not only track when employees have completed learning, but can monitor ongoing performance levels, so you can spot high achievers or identify additional training needs and implement solutions.
Remote access isn’t just for vanity – it can be a lifesaver
At the heart of every HR team is access to confidential business and employee data which is used to drive all key business decisions. But what if you can no longer access that data? In the case of industrial incidents (such as office fires), the ability to log on remotely to your chosen software provider may be the key to having your business up and running again quickly.
Vendors have worked hard to incorporate cloud-based security features which will ensure that all your confidential documents can be accessed online via a secure environment – something that certainly can’t be said if you are still relying on desktops and filing cabinets!
Boosting your recruitment
Finally, technology can be used to boost your recruitment efforts.
As society changes, you may find that offering remote or flexible working options may open you up to a new pool of suitable candidates who will be eager to benefit from a flexible working pattern.
For those with a long commute, or those with family commitments, having the flexibility to work from home is something which is carefully nurtured, rarely abused. Employees who have been awarded this flexibility tend to work much more effectively as they are not distracted by office chatter, and your HR software can continually track their productivity and compare to office-based colleagues.
From a recruitment perspective, mobile functionality will support your recruitment and onboarding activities thanks to dedicated Applicant Tracking Systems. Not only will you be able to automatically share job vacancies to jobs boards and manage applications via your mobile phone, but you can also undertake video interviewing (ideal for those recruiting internationally) and allow successful candidates to upload their personal details and documentation before they’ve even walked through the door on their first day.