Before the coronavirus pandemic began, it was estimated that around 4.6 million people in the UK worked from home. Despite being in the millions, this represented just 14% of the country’s 32.6 million workforce.
Figures from market and consumer data analyst, Statista, show a steady rise in home working over the last few years, growing by 1.69 million since 1998. Fast-forward to 2021 and the ‘WFH’ landscape has changed exponentially, with a reported 60% of the UK’s adult population working remotely.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the workplace and, despite positive steps being made towards opening up the economy and a return to ‘normal’ working life, businesses have had to adapt to new ways of operating and, importantly, new ways of managing their employees in a remote world.
Technology has clearly played a crucial part in the transition from the office to home, but performance management still remains a ‘hands-on’ task – whether that’s appraisals, reviews with underperforming workers, or rewarding high performing individuals.
While remote performance can be harder to observe online, or over the phone, the argument for effective feedback, regular conversations about performance – good or bad – and setting clearly defined goals, has never been stronger. These are all fundamentals of good performance management, regardless of the current climate.
Performance management is both complex and crucial in equal measures, made more so by the experiences of the last 12 months. Many factors need to be taken into consideration to ensure it is delivered effectively, particularly online. In a remote world, it’s all too easy for employees to misinterpret actions, emails and comments, which can result in them believing they are being bullied or discriminated against. What is clear is that the fundamentals of performance management remain important cornerstones of creating an effective, happy and well-run team – whether in the office or at home.
If you would like to discuss any employment-related concerns within your workforce, contact Katie Kennedy on Katie.Kennedy@pannonecorporate.com or call 07711 767099.