The world of work has changed practically overnight thanks to COVID-19, and while challenges abound, there are opportunities to be seized, lessons to be learned, and changes to manage. At Kronos, we recognize how difficult this situation is for all the HR and payroll professionals we serve, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to help you manage it and look out for your employees.
We encourage you to visit this blog regularly in the coming weeks for practical ideas, tips, and tricks on how to maximize remote work during this time of disruption, as well as ideas on how you can help ensure business continuity, the well-being of your employees, and productivity for your company and your teams. We’ll provide a combination of examples from what we’re experiencing as we work remote ourselves and some more general best practices for overcoming the disruptions that have now become the norm.
Adjusting to the new normal
I know this experience has certainly been a big shift for me. For more than seventeen years my Monday through Friday was relatively the same. It was exactly a 24-minute commute to work if I missed some of the longer red lights.
There was no uncertainty around what my workday would look like in terms of physical location. Like many other human resources executives, I worked in an office environment. It was a nice, comfortable place to be. I had a home away from home, and I would often (half) joke with co-workers—who would agree—that we spent more time together at our office than we did with our families at home. Reflecting on that time, that couldn’t be closer to the truth of how things really were for us.
Working in an office environment had its challenges, but it was what I knew, and had become the norm for me.
When I decided it was time to look for new employment opportunities, my inclination was to search for remote-only positions, recognizing that remote work was the future and wanting to be ahead of the curve. Furthermore, I recognized that another valuable benefit of choosing to work remotely was that it opened a plethora of additional opportunities at great companies that were not within commuting distance of my home. Technological innovations have truly made work a global experience, and I was determined to take advantage of the innovations.
I was surprised by the amount of questions, comments, and unsolicited advice I received from peers and family alike surrounding my choice to work remotely. Upon accepting my job as a Human Capital Management Strategic Advisor at Kronos, remote work quickly became a reality for me, and some questions that others posed weighed on my mind. Would I be a “good” remote worker? Was I sure remote work is what I wanted, after spending my entire career in an office setting, surrounded by people? Would I be lonely, disconnected, and disengaged? What would my cat think about me being home all day?
Those were all valid questions that at the time, I simply couldn’t answer because I had never been a remote worker before!
Fast forward to today – just under a year into my remote work experience, and those questions have largely been answered in positive ways. I am part of a productive team of five people dispersed throughout the country who have different backgrounds in terms of working in an office and working remotely. Through trial and error, open and honest communication, and strong leadership, as a team we have learned ways to effectively collaborate, grow, and produce work as a cohesive unit even though we’re thousands of miles apart and in some cases in different time zones.
Our goals moving forward
As workers learn how to be physically separate and still collaborate professionally, Kronos wants to help you, your employees, and your teams navigate this world of remote work that is new for many who are typically in an office setting each day. To do that, our blog posts for the duration of the current crisis will focus on four major themes: adjusting to virtual work, maintaining productivity, ensuring business continuity, and of course ensuring individual and family wellness. These larger themes have many business, managerial, and personal implications within them. Our goal is to help you and your teams succeed during a time of work disruption the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetimes.
But even in times of great disruption and change, one thing is certain: work must – and will – go on. We hope we can do our part to make sure that happens for you and your employees. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, check back regularly as we post further content, look out for invites to more in-depth discussions via webinar, and above all take care of yourselves and your families.