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Organizational CultureArticle

Remote Work Resources

by Melissa Walters and David Goott

As the pandemic and remote work arrangements continue into 2021, organizations still need guidance on how to encourage employee engagement, manage workers remotely, and look toward the future of work after the pandemic.

We have gathered the following resources with those needs in mind.

Employee Engagement

Leading Edge: Quick Tips for Remote Work

This document outlines some basic tips for maximizing remote work and maintaining well-being while working from home. While many of us who have been working remotely for almost a year have figured out how to be productive, some reminders might be helpful.

SHRM: How to Engage Remote Employees During the Coronavirus Pandemic

A second list of quick tips for remote work from the Society for Human Resource Management. If you’re looking for ways to keep your people motivated and engaged while they’re working remotely, this list provides some basic ideas.

Leading Edge: Remote Work Inspirations

These inspirations offer ways for leaders, HR professionals, or “people people” to support their employees while they continue to work remotely. The list may spark some ideas of ways to take action at your organization.

Leading Edge: Leading Virtual Meetings

This guide may help you plan and implement better virtual meetings and includes information on how to plan a meeting agenda, check-in at the start of meetings, and finish strong so employees know who is responsible for what pieces of a project. The guide includes some templates for inspiration, too.

SHRM: Measuring Employee Engagement During a Crisis

If you’re thinking about how to get a better sense of how your people are doing, this article reviews options for understanding how employees are handling the changing work environment, including surveys, focus groups, internal social media platforms, and interviews. It also shares some important advice for avoiding common pitfalls.

Remote Management

Harvard Business Review: How to do Performance Reviews — Remotely

This resource is particularly useful in listing Do’s and Don'ts of performance evaluations during the pandemic and includes case studies with examples of how managers handle different situations with employees.

SHRM: Amending Your Performance Review Template for the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article provides performance review templates for employees with a variety of responsibilities and competencies, including ideas to measure adaptability and flexibility, creativity and innovation, and change management. It also offers suggestions for raising expectations in ways that promote employee growth.

The Management Center: Onboarding during COVID-19

This resource provides examples of how to prepare for new hires before they start at the organization, as well as tips for helping them feel part of the group once they start. It also provides ideas for setting up a good manager-staff relationship and for setting up the new hire for success, including goal-setting and ongoing feedback. There’s also a checklist available to download.

LifeLabs Learning: The Ultimate Remote Work Guide

In this guide, LifeLabs Learning outlines some of the common mistakes of remote work, like miscommunication, procrastination or distractions, overwork and burnout, invisibility and under-communication, and loneliness.

Return to Work

Leading Edge: Reopening Our Workspaces Playbook

This playbook can serve as a guide for organizations considering returning to the workplace. It includes information to help you decide when to open and tips for communicating these decisions with staff. It includes questions to consider when deciding to reopen, components of a healthy organizational culture, and checklists of important steps to take before, during, and after reopening your workspace.

Harvard Business Review: 5 Ways to Bring Women Back Into the Post-Pandemic Workforce

In this article, HBR offers suggestions to offer women support if they have experienced furloughs or job loss during the pandemic. Some ideas include offering a 12+ month leave of absence for women with caregiving responsibilities, scaling return-to-work programs, or training women in new skills to help with reentry into the workforce.

Harvard Business Review: What to Do If Your Team Doesn’t Want to Go Back to the Office

This resource offers ideas and tips for balancing the needs of both senior leaders and employees. These tips include having conversations with leaders to determine what their main concerns are, and if those concerns are about all employees or a few employees working from home. Other suggestions include allowing employees to choose where they work, new habits to help normalize remote work, and matching the communication rhythm of senior leaders to keep them at ease even if staff choose to continue working from home.

LifeLabs Learning: 5 Ways to make return to work brain-friendly

This is a quick, easy-to-read sheet with fast and easy tips that can make returning to the workplace feel safer for staff. It offers some how-to’s which are useful as they are, or they could be used for inspiration to create your own reopening plan.

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Leading Edge is happy to help organizations think about their reopening strategies regarding organizational culture. However, we are not health experts, so we advise you to review federal, state, and local guidelines for information about vaccines and reopening your workspace safely.
 

Center for Disease Control (CDC) on COVID-19

Future of Work

SHRM: Does a Strong Workplace Culture Require In-Person Work?

In this interview, Natalie Baumgartner of Achievers talks about ways to create connections with employees even if they’re working remotely. The top priorities include ongoing feedback, recognition, empathetic leadership, and a sense of belonging at an organization.

Harvard Business Review: 9 Trends that Will Shape Work in 2021 and Beyond

While the decision of remote or in-person work is on the minds of many leaders, this article explores 9 trends that will impact organizational culture and lives of employees. Some of these expected trends include organizations prioritizing employee mental health, helping staff with work/life balance, and adopting stances on social issues. Other trends may include an increase in the gender wage gap, legal consequences for organizations based on their vaccine requirements, and more.

McKinsey: The future of work after COVID-19

This report offers a closer look at how different industries were impacted by the pandemic and how remote work might reshape each going forward. Some predictions include the continuation of remote work and virtual meetings after the pandemic and the adoption of new technologies. McKinsey also includes predictions on which industries may experience job growth or decline in the coming years.

About the Authors
  • Melissa Walters is Program Associate at Leading Edge.

  • David Goott is Program Manager at Leading Edge.

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