Rising Number of Remote Workers Presents Challenges and Opportunities, Says Jeff Nock of Iowa
The number of employees working from home was on the rise, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of remote workers had increased 44 percent from 2015 to 2020 and totaled 4.7 million people in February 2020, according to FlexJobs. This trend can lead to employees that are more engaged if companies lead remote workers effectively, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Companies can help assure the success of remote workers by establishing clear expectations around working from home, says Jeff Nock. For example, what hours an employee is expected to work to how much flexibility is allowed or encouraged, clear expectations allow employees to establish routines that better ensure their good morale and higher productivity. Expectations can also include security standards, how often an employee should provide updates to management and other team members, and when an employee will be available for team meetings. Companies want to ensure that they don’t have to go looking for an employee to provide a key update but that they also empower employees to have some flexibility with their work time.
Autonomy and Flexibility
Allowing employees to work remotely even when the pandemic is over is a good way to engage some employees who have complex schedules and are motivated by autonomy and flexibility. The key, however, is that managers lead by setting goals and allow these employees to meet the goals in their own ways, rather than by micromanaging, says Jeff Nock Iowa. Not all employees are as motivated by working at home as others, however. A good manager will know which employees will need more structure and support, especially if they will continue to work remotely after the pandemic, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
With everything it does, company leadership will want to build a culture of trust and transparency to keep employees engaged and productive.
Communication is a key factor in employee engagement. Team meetings conducted using an audio/visual platform, such as Zoom and Slack, can help by allowing employees to see and interact with each other as well as managers. Providing some time before and after the meeting for informal chitchat is also a good way to build camaraderie and teamwork. Management also can use technology effectively to communicate goals and evaluation metrics, showing employees how they are performing to those metrics in real-time, says Jeff Nock Iowa.
Jeff Nock Iowa is the founder, president, and CEO of Prescient Consulting. Jeff Nock and team help funded early-stage and mid-cap companies achieve their vision and growth goals. Prescient does this by offering services that include C-Level mentoring, application development, strategic planning, business planning, business model ideation/evolution, market analysis, competitive niche analysis, business development, operational efficiencies, and brand evolution. Jeff Nock Iowa and his team at Prescient have helped organizations in a variety of industries including software platforms, ed-tech, manufacturing, finance, health care, medical device, retail, hospitality, e-commerce, and nonprofit.
Jeff Nock Iowa has more than 30 years of leadership experience and excels at growing companies and nonprofits. He has served as CEO of Goodwill of the Heartland. He served as an entrepreneur in residence at the University of Iowa, where he oversaw the exponential growth of Student Ventures as part of the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. He also led a struggling traditional forms printer through a turnaround that resulted in the company being sold for twice its worth. He has a Master of Science in Management from Regis University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Jeff Nock Iowa is the father of four children. A Christian, he also gives to charities within his community.