3 Challenges of Flexible Hybrid Work for International Business
Spurred on in part as a necessary reaction to the recent global pandemic, as well as in response to continuing advancements in the development of smart technologies, it appears that more modern businesses are seeing the value in employing international teams working within flexible schedules.
Recent studies seem to suggest that highly skilled workers across many major industries actively seek out flexible roles as an employment incentive, with 87% of surveyed workers claiming they’d be in favor of these positions if they were offered such a role, but flexible schedules can present a number of unique challenges for global companies to contend with.
For leaders of international businesses, effectively managing, instructing and taking care of dispersed teams can prove to be a difficult and frustrating task, with staff frequently reliant on well implemented smart technologies to ensure that operations can continue to run smoothly. For employers that may be considering such developments, here are 3 challenges of flexible work for international business.
- Finding suitable office space
Though some international business leaders may be content with allowing remote teams to work from home, there are several notable benefits that can be gleaned from providing workers with a dedicated office space in which to perform their duties. For example, teams reliant on frequent collaboration may require the use of a communal office space to help create and strengthen a positive company culture.
Research shows that employees working in communal offices spend around 52% more of their time collaborating on ideas than they would if restricted to virtual communications, with 86% of employees blaming a lack of collaboration for workplace failures, so how do international businesses avoid this?
For global employers hiring small teams in foreign countries, the steady growth of coworking spaces could prove to be an ideal solution. New hires can receive all the benefits associated with traditional office environments without employers budgeting for increasingly expensive commercial real-estate.
2. Delivering effective onboarding programs
HR professionals employed by international businesses may struggle when it comes to suitably integrating new hires into an existing company culture. Traditionally, effective onboarding strategies are known to benefit from face-to-face communications, though for remote workers this isn’t always possible.
Of course, modern smart software tools can be leveraged to support flexible workers by virtually providing new hires with the information required to perform their roles. However, staff that take part in virtual onboarding procedures may feel less engaged with or connected to the company’s unique culture.
In terms of employee retention, data shows that a well-executed onboarding process can prove vital, with studies showing that 69% of employees who receive a great onboarding experience will remain with that company for at least 3 years. With this in mind, international businesses intending to hire teams in remote or flexible roles must commit to developing well-planned and researched remote onboarding programs.
3. Development and performance monitoring
There has been a significant amount of discourse surrounding employee engagement, productivity, health and wellbeing in recent years, with most modern companies now taking steps to support their teams through personalized performance monitoring and dedicated employee wellness programs.
For on-site teams, these procedures can be performed by in-person representatives carrying out frequent staff meetings and bond-forming conversations. However, ensuring that international teams engaged in flexible work are able to benefit from dedicated performance management will require business leaders to develop intelligent software solutions capable of analyzing a wide range of relevant work-related metrics.
It’s important that international businesses utilize virtual employee wellness tools to support flexible staff, as without a clear vision of professional progression, teams may begin to become disengaged in their roles. In fact, 45% of workers claim they’d stay with a company longer if they felt that leaders were invested in their development, with 92% agreeing that these programs positively affect engagement.
Though the growing popularity of flexible and remote work continues to provide staff and employers with several wellness and productivity benefits, transitioning to such schedules or branching out via the hiring of international staff in flexible positions can expose a few significant issues for global business leaders.
Employers must consider how important in-person communications and collaborative efforts are to the success of their own operations, and act to supplement the potential loss of these processes in flexible arrangements through the implementation of intelligent technologies. By developing virtual systems designed to support international teams, flexible workers will be better positioned to thrive in their roles.
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