While several experts around the world predict that remote work is here to stay, businesses and economies are formulating their reopen plans. Several are reworking day to day routines while fixing new policies to ensure employee safety and overall well-being in times of this ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
On some levels, work from home has proved to increase productivity in part, but there is always a pro to every con. With extended work from home measures, and with several companies considering this to be the way forward until the end of the year, employee burnout while being remote is also a worry to factor in given the various challenges it might come with.
Stephan Roulland, CEO of Dacast shares a few thoughts with TecHRseries, on this note:
Work from home has been the enforced norm as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, although not completely new to the tech and SaaS marketplace, the need for more teams and businesses to shift more staff to WFH models is now increasing: what are some of your top thoughts when it comes to keeping employee engagement at an all-time high during an enforced and long-term work from home model across multiple industries?
Avoid screen fatigue by helping your team match the type of interaction to the correct communications tool. Interactive multi-panel video like Zoom or Google Meet provide tools that emulates face to face interaction for coordination calls. Broadcast platforms should be used for demos and presentations for large groups so you can maintain top quality audio and video, regardless of the number of viewers/participants. This helps to avoid quality problems that diminish effective communication and cause viewers to disengage. Companies can provide employees with simple, inexpensive directional noise cancelling mics and/or headphones with noise cancelling mics, and a few cheap ring lights, table top or photography table top lights so people aren’t in the shadow.
Could you share some best practices and thoughts in regards to what other leading brands have been doing when it comes to boosting employee morale during a time when the global pandemic is leading to job uncertainty and other insecurities.
Employees with families lose some of their uninterrupted adult interaction time while single employees can lose a significant element of their social lives. So encourage ad hoc group “coffee breaks” and sessions to keep them connected. Talk to your team members and direct reports to reinforce that they are valued and needed on the team. Specifically, speak to the company’s strategy plans in an all-company meeting to replace the casually overheard manager-to-manager discussions that are common in an office setting.
How according to you should leaders / department heads plan stronger team bonding efforts while being remote during a time when some companies or teams might move to or continue work from home models till the end of the year while some teams may resume a work-from-office model in the near-term?
Thankfully at Dacast, we were practicing remote work prior to the pandemic.
We have multiple global locations and remote employees located between our San Francisco and London offices. Our culture is built around tools like Slack and video meetings to keep teams working together even when employees are not in the corporate office setting. We don’t expect to see much difference since our team had already adapted to remote work.
How do you foresee the role and responsibilities of HR change given the new normal and the changes everyone will have to adapt to at the workplace?
I believe the HR role will become even more important as a communications conduit between employees and managers. Employees can’t get together with their co-workers as easily to discuss challenges and rally together. Managers are losing some of their opportunities to read the reactions of the staff as there are less in-person meetings. HR will have to be even more proactive at ferreting out small problems before they become major, and make sure that these issues don’t get treated impersonally when people can’t address them face to face. HR will also have to innovate and provide more effective methods for on-boarding new employees all the way from the interview processes to the first few weeks.
Any other last tips / thoughts for us?
Above all, companies cannot lose the spontaneity that leads to the most effective new ideas and creative solutions. HR will need to help build up the structures in the new normal that supports and encourages this when people cannot be in person as often.
The Dacast live streaming and video hosting platform launched publicly in October of 2010, and has been offering the best online video platform that simplifies the distribution of premium media content. The company’s goal is to offer the highest quality streaming solutions available at the most competitive pricing. More than 155,000 professional broadcasters and businesses have trusted Dacast to deliver their live and on-demand video content. In March 2019, Dacast announced the acquisition of vzaar, a video hosting platform trusted by businesses worldwide, further establishing Dacast’s position as an uncontested leader in the OTT industry.