IBM, a long-time advocate for remote work, recently made a surprising reversal of its remote work policy. This decision echoed the sentiments that Yahoo expressed when they similarly scaled back remote work several years ago. Both companies argued that bringing employees back into the offices would enhance collaboration, productivity, and innovation. Does your company employ the same HR policy and are you rethinking the usefulness of the remote working policy?
Many companies in Singapore are convinced of the benefits and have adopted the remote working policy in recent years.
Moreover, the Singapore Government provides grants to companies to further promote and encourage remote working. As HR managers or professionals, would you like to share with us your observations and experience of remote work reversal?
However, there are concerns such as effective management of employee output and performance. This implies that the company must have rigorous performance management process and systems in place. Other possible concerns are the number of hours that employees work remotely. Because of job roles such as customer service staff who must start work at a certain fixed time, and are expected to be on the job all the time. How do you manage and control these time attendance requirements?
While remote work may not be suitable for some employees and some industries, we believe that remote working is here to stay. The challenge is to tailor the program to maximize the benefits and minimize the disadvantages resulting in a good mix of remote and office work.
These are the key considerations:
The above considerations can be tailored to groups of employees who may be given permission to work remotely. Most white-collar workers are already doing remote work without prior arrangement with the company as they frequently do work via email, messaging, collaborating, video/audio conferencing, etc. while they are away from the physical office during or after office hours. With this observation, company management should consider implementing good management processes, HRIS, and business information systems to ensure that the benefits of remote working can be optimized easily.