During the Covid-19 pandemic when core workplaces and key contributors to the local economy were instructed to work from home where possible to comply with public health guidance, establishing a virtual presence to connect with colleagues made business continuity possible. By continuing the physical relationship from the traditional workplace through virtual means in a remote setting, businesses could ensure that they continued to operate seamlessly with limited service disruption.
Elevating technological standards for modern working
By advancing the technology on hand for employees, such as video conferencing and live-chat facilities, communicating with colleagues can be made easier, cutting out infinite email chains and injecting life into a mundane routine. Upgrading the technology available can help elevate the communication journey and upgrade the technological standards of the business, helping you build the image of a modern employer.
This can work in favour of more technologically able employees and help increase the capabilities of less experienced staff. By improving employee satisfaction levels through the incorporation of better technology, employee wellbeing can be protected, increasing efficiency and simplifying the communication process.
Recruitment of new talent
By establishing virtual communication as the employer or a senior employee, you can maintain a physical presence in the working lives of staff members. If your business is growing and embracing new opportunities, investment in new talent may be high on your agenda to maintain the business with the most experienced hands on deck. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and long-term social distancing rules, hosting a series of virtual interview sessions to recruit new staff may be more appropriate to mitigate the spread of the virus and to reduce delays to the recruitment process.
Incorporating a series of virtual interviews to the onboarding process can prove time-efficient as you can filter out prospective employees quicker without the need to book meeting rooms, use resources and commute to a designated meeting point. From an external perspective, the incorporation of online communication and a virtual hiring strategy can show the end party that you’re serious about innovation and business growth.
The importance of corporate culture may have waned after workforces across the country experienced working from home alongside family, showing greater signs of productivity and increased communication with colleagues. Although cutting out the office commute, spending more time with loved ones and reducing expenditure is a welcomed thought for many, the emotional impact of withdrawing from office life can have an adverse impact to both mental health and physical performance.
Maintaining a virtual presence as an employer can help bridge the gap in emotional contact, allowing you to forge new connections and maintain existing relationships. Emotional wellbeing is important during the pandemic as strong emotional support can reduce employee exhaustion, stress and demonstrate effective team management.
Showcasing employee recognition
Showing employee appreciation by establishing a virtual presence through weekly team meetings and 1-1 consultations can add value to the relationship and help retain staff. Establishing a physical presence in the lives of employees when working from home can help maintain motivation and morale; enhancing your employer brand. If you are recruiting new staff during the pandemic, you will likely need to focus on establishing a work culture through virtual means and connect new starters with employees through the likes of Slack and MS Teams to replace in-person office introductions and encounters which would naturally occur in an office setting.
Unmasking business management team
When recruiting a new member of staff, take note that first impressions matter and can help shape the employee’s perception of the business, despite this being through virtual means. If your business has a strong identity and a modest number of employees, speaking directly with the business owner or a senior staff member can help humanise the workplace, improve your employer brand and drive employees to share your vision and mirror your passion for the company.
Jon Munnery is a partner at UK Liquidators, business restructuring and company liquidation experts. As a licensed insolvency practitioner, Jon is regularly providing support to company directors in financial distress by advising on the best rescue or closure solutions available.