Remote working, either exclusively working from home or using a hybrid approach, is here to stay. According to data available on the website Statista as of May 2023, 39% of workers in Great Britain had worked from home at some point in the previous 7 days. With this in mind, businesses need to understand that how they approach the delivery of an effective HR function has to change and primarily than involves implementing HR software which has many benefits for remote worker. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of HR software for remote workers.
Probably the key benefit of HR software for both businesses and employees as end users, is the employee self-service functionality that HR software systems enable. The website HR Zone defines employee self-service as, “HR software that allows workers to perform tasks normally conducted by the HR function”.
All employees, regardless of their working location, have some essential HR tasks in which they are involved, such as booking annual leave and reporting and recording sickness absence. Traditionally, those tasks have involved filling paperwork in, getting signatures, and filing vast reams of paper which have to be dug out of a filing cabinet when needed. All of those tasks include a physical touch point that simply doesn’t happen with remote working.
HR software benefits remote workers as it allows them to complete these tasks online at a time and place that suits them. HR software can typically be accessed via web browsers or apps and therefore they are incredibly flexible for remote workers.
The standard way for companies to store employee data has commonly been to have an individual hard copy file for each employee. In those files there’ll be everything from the employee’s original application, through to their contract, letters, sicknotes and anything else the company sees as relevant to keep. If an employee wanted to see what was in that file or find out some information stored in it, then they’d have to speak to someone in HR or an admin role in order to gain access to their own data and information, again a physical in person interaction which isn’t suited to the nature of the modern workplace and remote working.
HR software will benefit remote workers as they can use the system to view their HR record in a few clicks. That means no more time wasted looking in files and no more calls to HR to get a copy of the letter that they’ve lost. All that information is saved in the HR software system. Not only that, but if a form is actually needed for a particular purpose, then HR systems store the forms electronically in knowledgebases so they are easy to find and simple to fill in and submit remotely.
Communication & engagement
A key challenge for many businesses is effective communication and engagement with remote workers. When everyone is together, getting messages across is simple and can be done in a variety of ways from quick team brief meetings, to posters on office doors or even just a chat in the kitchen whilst making a drink. Communicating with and engaging remote workers is more difficult but with effective planning and the use of technology, including HR software, it can still be done well so that remote workers don’t miss out and aren’t out of the loop.
Some HR software systems include real time messaging functionality which remote workers can make use of to keep in touch with colleagues and teams. Many HR software systems will also have the ability to communicate with staff via dashboard or banner messages so that when employees log in via self-service, they see key information straight away, they may even get a notification from the system to see that the message is waiting. Communicating with staff in this way will ensure that they stay informed, and informed staff tend to be engaged staff.
Recruitment & onboarding
Recruitment and onboarding is usually carried out in person but in the digital world, remote workers see it as a real benefit if all or at least some of the process can be conducted online. Waiting for a contract in the post or filling in paper forms with personal information slows processes down and doesn’t create an image of a forward-looking employer.
Using an HR system benefits remote workers as these processes can be slicker and much more streamlined. From online interviews to digital onboarding through an HR system, there are numerous possibilities to make use of this technology for more efficient and effective recruitment and onboarding and remote workers will feel the benefit.
Although compliance might not be top of the list when you ask a remote worker about the benefits of HR software systems, it can actually be really useful and again save them plenty of time and hassle. HR is wrapped up in a wealth of legislation and compliance and employers have various duties and obligations which they must fulfil. Using HR software will help them, and their workers to do so.
As we’ve seen, HR systems can store a myriad of data and so if a remote worker has a particular qualification or registration which expires periodically, they can use the system to remind them when that expiry date becomes due so that they can keep things up to date. Remote workers can also upload things like qualification certificates and other compliance documents to their record via employee self-service and so don’t need to have the inconvenience and cost of either posting important documents into the admin team or driving into the office for what would be a two minute job of someone making a photocopy.
Why not try out HRX?
If you employ staff who work remotely, then HRX is a great solution for your business and delivers a host of benefits for you and your team. Find out more by contacting our team to book a demo or sign up up to our FREE 30 day trial to see for yourself!