HR Software

The Benefits of HR Software for Remote Workers

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If you’re one of those businesses who have fully embraced remote working, you might be thinking about ways to further improve your workplace culture.  

 

And whilst remote/hybrid working brings about a greater degree of flexibility, there are certain challenges to overcome that you wouldn’t have necessarily experienced in a ‘traditional’ setting. Things like: 

    • Welcoming and on-boarding new starters 
    • Providing efficient ways for staff to request holiday 
    • Ensuring frequent check-ins and communications with teams 

On paper, these issues seem fairly simple to address, but when combined, they can lead many business owners to throw in the towel and utter the words no-one wants to hear,  

 

Right, I want everyone back in the office full time.  

 

Here at People HR, we want to ensure that EVERY business has an opportunity to thrive in a virtual environment, which is why we’ve come up with some ways that HR software can benefit remote workers. We’re strong advocates for flexibility in work, so if your business is keen to make remote working part of your permanent set up, then this post is for you.  

 

Read on to find out more... 

Will remote working continue after covid?

The answer is probably, yes. But what WILL change is the process of how remote workers are managed. While many businesses have been integrating hybrid or remote working policies since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, for HR leaders, getting this right and supporting remote workers with the best technology is still a learning journey. In fact, it was one of our top HR challenges of 2021.

remote worker using software

Back in early 2022, the need to adapt at speed to facilitate remote work revealed some challenges that many HR teams hadn’t needed to consider before, especially if remote work had never been an option. These included:

    • Furlough – new rules and changing guidance  
    • Health and safety protocols 
    • Tracking working times
    • Tracking productivity
    • Creating time and locations for meetings
    • Ensuring a smooth recruitment process
    • Onboarding with no / limited access to the same facilities and people
    • Ensuring engagement and happiness of remote workers  

Many businesses have found huge benefits in having remote teams – from cost savings, increased productivity as well as employees preferring a remote or hybrid option.  

 

As remote working becomes more common, many HR teams are finding that the ‘stop gap’ solutions that worked at the start of the pandemic (for example to facilitate quick communication between employees and managers) may not have been perfect for the long term rise in remote teams, and now it’s time to investigate more comprehensive remote working software. 

 

For example, a recent survey of 500 corporate employees by Australian flexible workspace provider, Hub Australia, found that almost one in four employees never feel connected to the workplace when they work virtually.  

 

At the same time, Microsoft data clearly shows an increase in the working day and a rise in after-hours work. The average user of Microsoft Teams, for example, has spent 252 percent more time in online meetings than before the pandemic in February 2020. These are big issues, which is why HR software is becoming very popular as an all-encompassing solution for all remote work challenges.

The top benefits of HR software for remote teams

We’ve compiled a list of the top benefits of HR software for remote teams to show you just what a difference HR software could make to remote working teams in a range of areas of your business.  

 

In summary, HR software for remote workers can provide:  

    • Improved remote worker productivity: Remote workers are visible, and their goals and objectives are monitored. 
    • Decreased chance of remote worker ‘burnout’: Their wellbeing can be tracked through regular check ins. 
    • Improved remote worker engagement: Despite being remote, employees can access the same news, learning tools and company information as employees in office. 
    • Improved remote work culture: Without the need to be in the same location, employees can engage with colleagues, sharing good news, thanks and become part of a community. 
    • Better remote work recruitment processes: By speeding up and digitising the recruitment journey, it’s easier to hire and onboard remote employees.  

And that’s just the start. In summary, remote worker software gives you everything you need to manage and engage people who work remotely.

  • Your employees will be more self-sufficient

HR software and in particular, HR self-service software, can help empower employees to manage their HR admin so they can become more self-sufficient. But why is remote working software that allows self-service so important?  

 

Without knowing the right process to follow, many remote workers may rely on their manager to access a payslip, ask for holiday or to clarify a HR issue. Every manager is busy, which means a remote worker may struggle to get an answer in a timely manner, causing unease. Unlike an office environment where information can be picked up ‘on the go’ or through causal interactions, remote workers may be hesitant to reach out for further help on small issues.  

 

By implementing HR self-service software, you can provide your remote team with the power to get the answers they need, when they need them. Not only will this eliminate wasted time, but it will also improve the remote worker’s sense of belonging to the business.  

 

By investing this software, you show you are making a commitment to your remote team - you are saying that you are willing to invest in the tools and resources they need to be successful.  

 

Benefits of Self-Service Software for remote workers:  

    • Remote workers can book time off: Instead of having to remember to book their own time off or track it themselves, they can do it all via the HR software.  
    • Remote workers can easily make requests: If they need to request a new laptop or equipment, they can raise a ticket which is then automatically logged, monitored, and fulfilled. This could also include equipment to aid their comfort and safety at work.   
    • A simpler way of updating personal details: If an employee moves home or needs to update their details, they can do it all in one place without having to contact different departments or rely on a manager. 
    • Instant ways to check holiday entitlement/ payslips: With HR self-service software, remote workers can also log into the portal from anywhere in the world, at any time, perfect for checking holiday entitlement/ payslips.  
    • Remote workers staying on top of learning: With self-service software, remote workers can also access training materials and development opportunities as they need them.  

By using HR software and HR self-service software, you minimise errors due to miscommunication. This ensures confidence in your HR data quality and reduces admin time for a busy HR team or individual.  

 

Find out more about People HR’s Self Service Software.

 

  • It’ll make remote recruitment easy

remote worker softer being used

Recruitment is one of the biggest challenges that has come with remote working. While you have a wider pool of candidates to choose from as people aren’t limited by geography, it can be difficult to manage the recruitment process when you’re not in the same location as the candidates. One of the major benefits of HR software for remote teams is the addition of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). 

 

An ATS supports recruiting of remote workers, whilst also speeding up the recruitment process. Online interviews and the flow through to onboarding can be seamless, all from one portal. Job postings can be monitored, and it can also be used to track the progress of your candidates through each stage of the recruitment process, from initial application to final interview.  

 

All these functions help create a recruitment process that is optimised for remote candidates.  

 

Benefits of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for remote workers: 

 

    • Efficiency: By using a portal to process new remote applicants, you will avoid the back and forth of emails, which can be easily lost or forgotten.
    • Collaborative recruitment: Video interviewing makes collaborative recruitment easier. Both HR teams and teams from other departments can engage in the recruitment process, rather than having to be in the same location.
    • Quicker routes to interview: With an ATS, you can book in and start video interviewing with the best candidates, helping you move the position to closed quickly and efficiently without needing them to come into the office.
    • Better quality remote candidates: With an ATS, you can target specific skillsets and requirements to ensure that you are only reviewing candidates that fit your needs. This helps to save time weeding out unsuitable applicants.
    • Improved application process: Using an ATS, you can create a more engaging and streamlined application process for candidates. By doing this, you will improve your brand perception and candidate experience, which could result in better quality applicants in the future.
    • A database of quality candidates: By using an ATS, you will build up a database of quality candidates that you can contact for future positions. This is especially useful if you are frequently recruiting for the same roles.
    • Easy to find data trails: By using an ATS, you will have a clear and concise data trail of all your recruitment activity. This is useful for auditing purposes and measuring the success of your recruitment campaigns. 

Discover how People HR’s Applicant Tracking System can make your remote recruitment process more efficient. 

  • Engage, motivate and inspire - even when they’re not in the office

remote worker

Employee appraisal software (also known as employee engagement software) that comes as part of HR software is another great tool for managing remote teams. This type of software allows you to set goals and objectives for employees, track their progress, and ensure they are engaged in 'office life' - even if they are based remotely.  

 

There are many features of appraisal software that can benefit remote teams. Here are just a few: 

    • Communication tools: Communication is key to keeping remote teams engaged. Employee appraisal software often comes with communication tools, such as instant messaging, video conferencing and group chat rooms. These tools will help you to keep in touch with your team, no matter where they are in the world. 
    • Task management: It can also help you to manage tasks and projects. By assigning tasks to specific employees, you can keep track of who is doing what and when it is due. This will help you to stay organised and ensure that all tasks are completed on time. 
    • Performance tracking: You can also track employee performance. This is important for remote teams, as it can be difficult to know how employees are performing when you cannot see them every day. By tracking performance, you can identify any issues early and take steps to address them. 
    • Accountability: Ensure managers are checking in with their team regularly - which is even more important if they are not in the same location. Performance reviews and 1 to 1s are not just one-way flows of information, but a chance for employees to reach out for help and to make sure they're heard. 

 

A lack of camaraderie that comes from mismanagement of remote workers can be a huge problem, and it's very easy for remote workers to become isolated. Employee appraisal software helps to overcome this. Here's how:  

 

Benefits of employee engagement software for remote workers:  

    • Regular check ins:  By giving managers the ability to have regular check-ins and a way to monitor progress you can ensure that your remote team is on track and meeting their goals, even if you're not in the same office. Remote working software ensures no-one ‘slips through the cracks.’ 
    • Performance monitoring: By showing you monitor performance and workload you can ensure remote workers are not burning out or struggling alone. Issues can be identified and rectified quickly.  
    • A way to Identify development opportunities: You can also use the software to give feedback and identify development opportunities. This is a great way to engage and motivate employees and ensure they are progressing just as if they were in an office.   
    • Access to news and updates: Employee engagement software can be used to share company news and updates with remote workers. This helps them to feel engaged with what's going on, so they feel part of the bigger picture.  
    • A sense of community: By using employee engagement software, you can create a sense of community amongst your remote team through chat, positive comments and through the act of giving thanks (peer to peer recognition). 

 

Learn more about Employee Engagement Software and how it can increase your remote worker retention.

  • Effortlessly track absence visibility

Absence management is a crucial part of HR management for any business, but it's especially important for businesses with remote teams. Throughout the pandemic, absences were rife, and COVID-19 is continuing now and there may be more absences due to this. But keeping track on remote workers absence patterns can be difficult, especially if your business also offers flexible working arrangements.  

 

There are a few key things that an absence management system will track: 

    • Requested and planned time off: This includes holidays, sick days, parental leave, and any other time off that has been requested or planned.  
    • Unauthorised absences: This is when an employee takes time off without letting their employer know or without having a valid reason.  
    • Attendance: This is a record of when an employee is at work.   
    • Lateness/ Early departure Tracking when or how often an employee arrives / leaves work.  
    • Scheduled working hours: Details will be kept on the number of hours that an employee is scheduled to work. 
    • Overtime: Details will be shown on how much overtime has been completed.  

By using absence management software, you can get a complete overview of the primary causes of absence. This is important because it can help you to target specific areas and improve them.  

 

Benefits of absence management software for remote workers: 

    • See patterns: By being able to see patterns in employee absences, you can start to identify any issues early on. This could be anything from an illness going around the office to someone struggling with their mental health. By identifying these patterns early, you can address them quickly and efficiently.  
    • Enable remote employees to manage their own absences: Not only can you take some of the burden off HR, but it also improves communication and transparency between HR and employees.  
    • Manage shift patterns: If you have a remote team, it's likely that you'll also have to deal with different time zones. This can make managing shift patterns difficult. By using an employee absence management system, you can easily see which employees are available to work when, and plan accordingly. 
    • Improve employee productivity: By understanding the primary causes of absences, you can work on improving them and discovering the real reasons behind any unexpected, persistent absences, whether that's down to workload, management, or mental health. This can have a positive impact on employee productivity.

 

Find out more about how People HR Software and Absence Management Software can help your business transform the way you handle absence, especially for remote workers.

  • Report on exactly how remote working affects your business

One question many leaders have, especially in the early days of remote work is 'how does remote work affect the business?'  This is a question HR teams need to be able to answer, and it’s far easier if you already have remote working software in place.  

 

To answer the question of how it affects your business overall, there are many more micro questions to be answered first: 

    • Are employees more productive when working from home?  
    • Do they take more sick days?
    • Do they work longer hours? Are they at risk of burnout?  

To get these answers, you need to be tracking employee engagement and performance, and the best way to do that is with HR software.  

 

With HR software in place, you can report on exactly how remote working affects your business: giving clear and concise reports that show worker productivity, remote worker absence, overall engagement, as well as additional insights. 

 

By accessing reports, you can identify:  

    • If your remote workers are more or less productive out of the office
    • If your remote workers are having more days of absence
    • How your remote workers have found onboarding
    • If your remote workers are being trained effectively
    • How much your remote team know about the business activities
    • If your remote workers are adhering to company policy 

And this is just the start. This information can help you make decisions about the future of your business, and it can also help you identify if your remote team need support in their day-to-day activities, either through a change to management, increased training and development, or the introduction of hybrid work options.   

 
Learn more about our HR reporting software, and how it can help you understand the effects of remote working on your business.

 

What’s next for my remote workers?

 

Remote worker software can improve so many remote worker processes, increase retention of remote workers and develop them into an employee who is an advocate for your company, engaged in their work and importantly, happy, and productive.  

 

Where should you start?  

    • If you want a recruitment process that is optimised for remote candidates, you need an applicant tracking system.
    • If you are looking for a way to engage remote employees, you need employee engagement software.
    • If you need to track and manage absences for remote workers, you need an employee absence management system.  

Each of these software solutions will help you to manage remote workers in a way that is efficient, compliant and helps to improve productivity. Implementing just one of these systems will make a big difference to the way you manage your remote team - but using all three together will give you the best possible chance of success!

 

If you are convinced of the benefits of HR software for remote teams, we would love to show you how it's all possible with People HR. Start the journey to improving your remote working with our HR software free trial. 

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