VP, Head of New York Life Business Solutions
Meeting these challenges takes creative thinking and smart adaptations to ensure the arrangement works well.
Remote work comes with certain common challenges, including:1
A lack of interpersonal interaction.
Less shared knowledge on which to base trust and respect.
Social isolation that can contribute to disengagement.
Distractions in the home, such as a less-than-optimal workspace or childcare.
On-boarding new-hires in a way fits their remote location may help them and their coworkers stay engaged.
Providing a welcome package, training schedule, login credentials, resources directory, and information about communication practices and meeting protocols may help newcomers become acclimated more quickly. A work mentor can offer help and advice and answer questions.3
Collaboration tools, such as messaging apps and video-conferencing, work best when they're incorporated into work processes and used by managers to set an example. Many companies may see the value of these tools but still not fully have integrated them. A rise in remote work may heighten the need for managers to focus on this area.
One thing technology can't replace is the physical workspace. Free swag in the company's brand colors and printed with its company's logo or tagline can help employees feel like they're at work even through they're working from home. Swag may include such items as calendars, coffee mugs, water bottles, or notepads.
Supervising workers remotely may be a new experience for both managers and workers. Finding the right balance can take time but should pay off for the company in the future.
About the author
Bob Patience is Vice President of Business Solutions at New York Life. Bob oversees our employee benefits business, including our payroll deducted individual life products and our group life and disability offerings. In Bob’s four years with New York Life, we launched our group offerings, re-priced and redesigned our individual products and re-positioned the business to support our agents by focusing on the financial needs of small businesses, their owners and their employees. In addition to his oversight of Business Solutions, Bob is also leading a number of work streams related to NYL’s pending acquisition of Cigna Group Insurance. Before coming to New York Life, Bob spent 30 years with Prudential, where he held a variety of product, underwriting, segment head, and technology leadership positions. Immediately before coming to NY Life, he was the P&L owner of Prudential’s $3 billion block of group life and voluntary benefits business. Bob has a BA from Colby College in Maine and a Masters in Business Administration from New Jersey’s Montclair State University.
This article is provided only for general informational purposes and is not directed toward any particular business or location. Business owners should consult with legal counsel or other knowledgeable advisors on governmental requirements and best practices before reopening.
1Barbara Z. Larson, et. al., "A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers," Harvard Business Review, March 18, 2020, https://hbr.org/2020/03/a-guide-to-managing-your-newly-remote-workers.
2Rich Hensen, "How to keep your remote employees engaged and productive," HR Morning, April 27, 2020, https://www.hrmorning.com/articles/keep-remote-employees-engaged.
3Christine Trodella, "4 ways to manage remote workers when you don't know how long they'll be working from home," Fast Company, March 16, 2020, https://www.fastcompany.com/90477145/4-ways-to-manage-remote-workers-when-you- dont-know-how-long-theyll-be-working-from-home.
This material is provided for informational purposes only. New York Life Insurance Company, its agents and employees may not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. Individuals should consult their own professional advisors before implementing any planning strategies. © 2020 New York Life Insurance Company. All rights reserved.