How HRMS helps your remote workers feel more connected

Lower stress levels, better morale, greater productivity… the list of remote working benefits can seem endless, but there is a flip side. For remote workers and virtual teams, the biggest problem is often timely communication. When it comes to keeping everyone in the loop, good management and leadership practice aims for everyone getting the same message at the same time. But how do you ensure that your distant remote workers and employees in the field receive the equivalent treatment to those sitting in a shared office at HQ? The obvious answer is technology, and your HRMS can almost certainly help.

Availability and transparent calendars

For those back in the office, the unspoken assumption is often that their remote colleagues are somehow ‘off work’, not subject to the same responsibilities for attendance. Your HRMS time and attendance functionality ties in to everyone’s schedule and shows exactly what everyone is doing and where. For remote workers, having a full calendar that is available to their peers can alleviate some of the ‘them and us’ feeling that can arise in a virtual team.

Recommended reading: make sure your remote workers are getting the most out of their HRMS with our six steps to self-service success

Similarly, when everybody is punching in and out via the HRMS, there is parity of treatment and therefore fewer accusations (often unspoken) of the team’s telecommuters having an ‘easy life’.

Breaking down barriers

An HRMS that links to social collaboration software can help bring teams together. The same instant messaging, videoconferencing, crowdsourcing, and community tools that help departments work together and people on different floors talk without leaving their desks can work just as smoothly for people in different buildings or cities. As more and more communication is done ‘at a distance’ then that distance becomes less of a distinguishing feature.

Broader feedback options

A common complaint among remote workers used to be, “I don’t know how I’m doing.” However, with the increase in both number and ease of messaging and communication options, the virtual team is drawing together. Some HRMS functions allow instant and informal feedback- the long-distance equivalent of the manager checking in on a team member as they walk past. Nor does the feedback have to be informal. Moving on from the traditional face-to-face annual performance review, videoconferencing functionality allows regular, two-way checkpoints on key projects, giving remote workers just as much ‘facetime’ with their manager as their more local peers.

Self-service = same service

Finally, when routine HR interactions (changes to personal data, online paychecks, time off requests…) are carried out via your HRMS’s self-service dashboard then all employees are accessing these services in the same way regardless of location. This reduces the sense of their being a two-tier HR system. With an HRMS, everyone can be treated equally.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall