Perhaps more than any other functional department, people operations — referred to as "human resources," "HR," "people success," or simply "people" across various organizations — is front and center in helping shape and optimize the changes required when a sudden shift to an all-remote environment becomes necessary. This guide outlines how people teams might navigate the sudden shift to an all-remote work environment, what challenges are most important to tackle, and how the new normal can unveil unforeseen benefits.
As with any new initiative, thinking and operating strategically is important for success. Maintaining company values, ensuring clear communication guidelines, and supporting managers and team members through the transition are essential to making the shift seamless. Here are some strategic considerations to evaluate during your planning stage:
As with any significant change, emphasize flexibility. When setting up an all-remote work environment, hiccups are natural and should be expected. The shift requires time to flush out what’s working and what isn’t. Remaining agile in the face of these evolving realities is essential to course-correcting trajectories. Let team members know that change is a constant, that adjustments will reflect reality on the ground and no set of initial rules are set in stone or sacrosanct. To accomplish this, find ways to leverage the following elements of a solid internal communications strategy:
Key tools and technologies needed to make the shift from in-person to all-remote collaboration among team members include:
The impact of any sudden change to people operations will fall unequally on team members. Given this, consider the following as you build, implement and tweak your road map:
Not all disruptions are bad. Often, they tend to spark new ways of thinking that spawn innovations. Consider the following benefits from a people perspective:
People teams which embrace the suddenly all-remote shift for its upside potential rather than its downside possibilities are likely to provide greater support. By thinking creatively, embracing ambiguity, maintaining flexibility, and focusing on behaviors and results, people leaders will have a central role in managing the shift and optimizing it over time.
Return to the main all-remote page.