As we close out 2022, a year where we’ve adjusted to hybrid workplaces as the new norm, tried to understand quiet quitting, navigated ongoing inflation and economic uncertainty, and faced increasing demands for compensation and employee engagement, it’s time to look ahead to see what the next year will hold for organizations and HR teams.

1. HR will have to bridge the divide. 

Companies are going to over-index on performance — and risk damaging the employee experience.

We are still dealing with a global pandemic, and on top of that, we now also have inflation and economic uncertainty to contend with. As businesses look for ways to cut costs and increase productivity, organizations have tried various tactics to get more out of their current workforce, including requiring employees to return to the office at least a few days a week or using surveillance software to track employees.

Increasing productivity is easier said than done. Gallup found that highly engaged teams are 18% more productive and 23% more profitable than low engagement teams. However, only 21% of employees are engaged at work globally, with workers in the US and Canada slightly higher at 33%, meaning the majority of employees worldwide are disengaged. Low engagement teams have 18% to 43% higher turnover rates than highly engaged teams, which is costly to the bottom line.

Disengaged employees are leaving companies, but the reasons why they’re leaving and the reasons that executives believe they’re leaving are mismatched. Executives attribute attrition to transactional elements — compensation, poor health, and employees looking for a better job. Meanwhile, employees have reevaluated what they want in a job in the last few years, and it now takes more than money to retain top talent. A Lattice survey of 2,000 US and European employees showed that younger workers are looking for a place to belong. Work flexibility has also risen in importance: Recent Lattice research showed that 59% of Gen Z and millennial employees would consider walking out of a job over a company’s remote work policy. Plus, in light of layoffs and cost-cutting efforts, employees are being asked to do more with less, which is a surefire recipe for burnout.

HR teams have the difficult job of finding the middle ground, working with executives to set realistic goals for the organization while also trying to increase employee engagement and retention in order to achieve those goals. HR teams can create or revisit their employee value proposition (EVP), which is the promise the organization makes to employees and candidates that incorporates company values, compensation strategy, learning and development opportunities, and more. Employees are looking at their work experience in its entirety and are looking for businesses that align with their values. By emphasizing deeper connections, personal growth, flexibility, well-being, and a shared purpose, employers can shift their EVP to be more human-centric to show employees that they are valued as people, not just line items on a spreadsheet.

Your employee experience doesn’t have to be at odds with your business performance. Check out How to Use Performance Management to Inspire Employee Growth to learn how.

2. Your managers are not okay.

Manager engagement and retention will be a mission-critical priority for HR and business leaders this year. 

It’s clear that employees at all levels have faced challenges these past years, and that is certainly the case for managers, who sit in the wide middle area between C-Suite executives and employees and have to balance the priorities of both. Good managers have a specific set of skills and are more than just advanced individual contributors. They lead, manage, and develop their teams and reports. The past few years of the pandemic and shift to hybrid work have made managerial responsibilities multiply and grow in unexpected ways — not only do they have to champion their employees but they’ve also had to help employees navigate an unsettling economy and potential job insecurity, and managers are reaching a breaking point.

With engagement and retention more important than ever, the brunt of this responsibility falls on the shoulders of managers. Gallup data shows that team engagement depends heavily on the manager, who can account for a 70% difference in engagement rates. Employees want purpose in their jobs, but the “who” that can drive employee engagement is a caring manager. A GoodHire survey of 3,000 American workers showed that bad managers not only impact engagement, but also retention, and 82% of workers would potentially quit their job because of a bad manager. One of the top reasons employees leave their jobs is because they don’t feel valued by their manager.

But managers are also struggling with engagement. According to Gallup’s State of the American Manager Report, 35% of US managers are engaged, and 14% are actively disengaged. With these rates, it’s no wonder that employee engagement rates are also low, as employees who work for engaged employees are 59% more likely to be engaged themselves. And it’s not just that managers are disengaged; they’re also burned out and leaving their jobs. Lattice research also found that middle managers (defined as managers who oversee teams of managers) were the most likely cohort of employees to be actively looking for new work (70% in the UK and 50% in the US). 

Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index showed that managers felt like they were stuck between managing executive and employee expectations, which often aren’t aligned. Over half of managers surveyed felt that their organization’s leadership was out of touch with employees. But managers felt powerless to create change, with 74% of surveyed managers saying they lacked the resources and influence to make changes for their team.

The role of the manager as a team motivator is more critical than ever, but managers are facing an extraordinary amount of pressure to have their teams deliver while trying to balance heavy workloads, manage people, engage employees, and maintain everyone’s well-being. Most managers do not have the resources or bandwidth to combat burnout when they’re facing it themselves. 

Companies need to find ways to support their managers, as they are a crucial part of improving engagement and company culture. That means including managers in the employee experience to get a full picture of how employees are doing, and implementing the right systems and processes to enable managers to succeed. Managers are less likely to know what’s expected of them than the people they manage, and over 40% of managers surveyed say they have competing priorities, so setting clear priorities and expectations can help managers focus on the most impactful business goals instead of trying to do it all. Organizations should provide career development opportunities to help their managers grow, as well as performance management resources (best practices in giving and receiving feedback, conducting one-on-ones, etc.) to help their teams succeed. And there should be a focus on well-being initiatives or programs to help managers combat burnout for themselves and their teams. 

Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy (SOPS) showed that manager training was the second highest priority for HR leaders in 2022, behind employee engagement. Investing in managers helps invest in the teams they oversee. Bad managers negatively impact engagement and retention and are therefore costly, but good managers give employees a reason to stay and perform to their best ability.

See what HR professionals around the globe had to say about this year’s priorities, successes, and challenges in The 2023 State of People Strategy Report.

3. Pay transparency is coming, and it’s going to be a mess.

Creating a compensation philosophy is only half the equation; employees want to know where they stand.

California recently passed a pay transparency law requiring all companies with more than 15 employees to list salary ranges for jobs. California joins the growing number of states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, and Washington, that have passed similar legislation requiring employers to disclose pay. The laws vary from state to state, which may be difficult for job seekers to navigate. Still, pay transparency has benefits, such as helping to counter the gender pay gap, the difference in salary between men and women in the US. Research from 2022 shows women earn $0.82 for every $1 men earn, and the gap is even wider for women of color.

Pay transparency is also in line with what employees want from employers. A Lattice survey on compensation found that 67% of US employees agreed their company should have transparency around pay policies, and over half of respondents think companies should disclose how much everyone is paid.

Companies, on the other hand, are still catching up. Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy found that pay transparency within organizations is still low, and even lower at smaller companies.

  • 54% of HR leaders said only HR and finance know pay bands.
  • 25% of employees know the salary band for their job level, but only 9% know the pay band for the next level up.

With 59% of companies investing in pay transparency, and 21% investing considerable effort in it, companies are making some progress. Pay transparency helps employees have trust in pay equity across the organization and can also increase engagement and retention. For example, if employees see a comparable job listing with a salary that is much higher than theirs, that information may help them negotiate during the next round of performance and compensation cycles. It can also save time during the recruitment process by weeding out candidates who are looking for a role that pays differently.

Compensation transparency can’t happen without proper planning and strategy. Businesses need to be clear on what they are going to disclose and how. To achieve that, People teams need to develop a compensation philosophy that provides clear guidelines, ties back to company values, and explains how salaries, raises, and bonuses are structured. Creating the compensation philosophy is only half the equation; organizations then need to develop a communication plan so all employees know where they stand and what the potential opportunities are for movement within the company.

Keep in mind that compensation goes beyond salary, and a compensation philosophy should factor in a total rewards package, which can include benefits, health and wellness programs, learning and development, and paid time off. These additional items may not show up directly on a paycheck but can still positively impact the employee experience. 

One way to add structure to your compensation strategy is to use a compensation tool, which can help HR teams securely share data, collaborate across teams, and implement updates as needed.

Fair compensation can improve retention, employee motivation, and overall business performance. Download How to Reward Top Talent With Pay-for-Performance to learn more.

4. We’re returning to fundamental workforce strategies.

The world of work is moving on from gimmicks like quiet quitting, productivity paranoia, or the hybrid push/pull.

Changes in work norms have led to rebranding of old trends with new terms in an effort to describe the shifts in employee expectations. For example, “quiet quitting” is simply a new term for employee disengagement, and “productivity paranoia” is when leaders are worried their teams aren’t working hard enough with hybrid work models, despite 87% of employees reporting they are productive. And even employees recognize that these are just new names for old stories: Recent Lattice research found that 45% of employees reported that they were not very familiar, or not familiar at all, with the phrase quiet quitting — and yet 36% of those same employees self-reported having “quietly quit” in the last year when it was defined as disengaging from their work. 

Neither of these trends began during the pandemic, but coining phrases for them highlighted the fact that engagement and productivity have always been organizational priorities, and HR teams have been at the forefront of navigating this new world of work. According to Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy, HR leaders expect some, if not all, of their workforce to be remote, and have prioritized employee engagement; manager training; learning and development; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) programs; and performance management over talent acquisition.

As employee expectations change and organizations adapt to meet them, we’ll see a shift from The Great Resignation to The Great Recognition. Organizations will recognize that the best employees are engaged employees and that listening to workers’ feedback is not only good for employee growth, but for company growth as well.

5. “Hybrid work” is just “work” now.

Employees who have embraced it will increasingly shape where the new workforce is headed. 

For better or worse, a majority of workers have gotten used to remote work and all that it offers: no commute, comfortable work clothes, and more flexible schedules. According to behavioral economics, people avoid loss more than they seek gain, and thus they are not likely to want to give up remote or hybrid work, no matter what the additional in-office perks are. In fact, six in 10 fully remote employees and three in 10 hybrid employees said they are “extremely likely to change companies” if remote flexibility is not an option. Even though a company’s percentage of remote workers varies significantly by industry and organization size (for example, professional services and tech companies will have more remote employees than manufacturing companies), for most employees and employers, hybrid work is not an option anymore, but rather a requirement. 

Some of the early concerns with remote work were about how managers and employees needed facetime together for productivity and engagement. However, managers have become comfortable managing their teams remotely, with 45% saying they have enough facetime to effectively manage most employees and situations. Even the 26% of respondents who would prefer more facetime feel they have enough of it to handle major issues. This is consistent across companies whether they are 10% or 90% remote. HR professionals who feel there should be more facetime cited engagement and culture as their top concerns, with productivity ranking second to last.

Employees have realized that they don’t need to go to a physical office to do work and that they want increased flexibility so work can fit into their lives instead of the other way around. Smaller companies can shift to hybrid and remote work models more easily, and traditional businesses will have to follow suit to retain talent. Gen Z not only places greater importance on purpose at work, but will also be the first generation that has not been required to be in the office five days a week. Gen Z’s percentage of the total workforce will only grow over time, and as a result, as an increasing number of hybrid or remote employees move into leadership and manager roles, hybrid strategies will improve and solidify in the long term.

A shift in employee values and demographics, new and hybrid spaces where we physically do work, and an ongoing struggle to maintain employee engagement despite internal and economic pressures have all upended traditional organizational playbooks. HR teams play an increasingly important role in balancing priorities at all levels of the organization, evolving company culture to meet dynamic needs, and driving employee and business success.

‍Resources for Humans is Lattice’s Slack community of over 18,000 People leaders. The community is designed to help HR professionals connect, share advice, and ask questions. Together, we help each other navigate challenges by sharing resources and firsthand experiences. Click here to learn more about the free community.

You want to do everything you can to help your employees reach their full potential. But it’s not enough to just assign them tasks and hope they’ll grow into the career path that’s right for them. To really foster their growth, you need to help them develop a concrete plan.

Employee growth plans lay the groundwork for your team members’ growth within your organization. They create a process to help employees get from where they are now to where they want to be, whether that means growing into a management position, developing new skills, or making a transition to a new department.

However, creating an employee growth plan is only the first step of the process. If you want your employees to successfully navigate their plans and get where they desire to be in their careers, you need to monitor and measure that plan as it progresses.

Let’s take a look at how to monitor and measure an employee growth plan in order to optimize your employees’ career growth and development.

Why Monitoring Growth Plans Is Important   

Before we get into how to monitor and measure an employee growth plan, let’s look at why that oversight is so important to begin with.

“Measuring and monitoring an employee’s growth demonstrates not only the value in the learning, but the standard to which someone should be performing,” said Leanne King, CEO of SeeKing HR, a Texas-based HR consultancy that specializes in employment services, employee development, and HR program and process management.

By setting measurable goals within an employee’s growth plan and then monitoring their progress as they move through their plan, you and your employee can be on the same page as to where they’re going, how you expect them to get there, and how you’re going to be gauging their progress and readiness to move forward.

Playing an active role in measuring and monitoring employee growth plans also allows you to continually assess the effectiveness of the program and make adjustments as needed.

“If you aren’t monitoring for progress and measuring success, then you are wasting time and money,” said Amy Lafko, owner and principal of the Philadelphia-based organizational consulting firm Cairn Consulting Solutions. “You have to ensure the efforts are effective — and if they aren’t, determine how to adjust the plan.”

Monitoring and measuring your employees’ growth plans is necessary if you want them to successfully navigate their plans and grow in their careers. Here’s how to manage the monitoring and measuring in a way that empowers your employees and delivers the key insights you need to aid them in their career growth and development.

1. Ensure the plan aligns with the employees’ career goals.

Different employees have different career goals. An employee growth plan is only going to be effective if it’s aligned with the kind of growth your employee actually wants to achieve in their career. Even if you think they have potential to grow in a certain area, if that’s not the career path they want to pursue, the plan isn’t going to drive lasting results no matter how much you measure or monitor it.

“Gauge the employee’s interest in a growth plan,” advised Eric Mochnacz, a consultant at New Jersey-based HR consulting firm Red Clover. “There are individuals within an organization who don’t want to move up. They are content in their current role, and see the growth and challenge opportunities in that role, so taking on a different role doesn’t motivate them.”

There are also some employees who want to grow in their career — just not in your organization.

“It’s also possible that someone doesn’t see a long-term future in your organization, and that’s okay,” said Mochnacz. “If they don’t see themselves with your organization long-term, accept it. Still challenge them in their role, but don’t feel obligated to invest the time in developing a long-term growth plan.”

Monitoring and measuring an employee growth plan takes time and effort, so before you expend the energy, make sure the plan you have in place for your employee is in line with their long-term career goals.

2. Determine what you’re going to monitor and measure.

You can’t effectively measure and monitor an employee growth plan if you don’t know what exactly you’re trying to measure or monitor, so you need to define those elements from the get-go.

“Hard skills and soft skills are equally important when monitoring and measuring employees’ growth plans,” said King, so it’s important to incorporate both.

Which skills you measure and monitor will depend on the role. “Every role has unique skills and the only way to know what skills need to be monitored is to be clear on the key accountabilities for the role,” Lafko said. “Determine what the job requires — not a description of the job, but key accountabilities for success.”

Let’s say you’re working on an employee growth plan to help your team member move from their current role at the coordinator level to a mid-level manager or director position. In terms of hard skills, you might want to monitor and measure their proficiency in the different software needed to grow into their desired position as well as their technical proficiency overall, which they’ll need to successfully navigate a higher-level position.

In terms of soft skills, “if one of your core values is ‘self-starting,’ you need to be able to identify how you measure that in a growth plan,” said Mochnacz, “even if it’s a matter of being able to identify ways you’ve seen the employee start a project independently and pointing out examples where they still need to grow within that value.”

Early on, take the time to establish how you’re defining progress and what specifically you’ll be measuring and monitoring along the way.

3. Set metrics from the outset.

Once you define what you’re going to be measuring and monitoring, you’ll need to define how you’re going to be doing that measuring, and that means setting clear metrics.

“The leader and employee should set clear KPIs and performance metrics and also set a time limit for the growth plan,” Mochnacz said.

For example, say you’re working with an employee who wants to get promoted from marketing manager to marketing director. In order to determine when they’re ready for that promotion, you’re going to be measuring and monitoring their people management skills, ability to drive leads for the company, and technical proficiency in the software they’ll need to effectively run the marketing department.

In this case, your metrics might look something like this:

  • At the end of three months, the employee will have completed software training with the IT department.
  • Each month, the employee will host mentoring sessions with marketing employees and collect employee surveys from the attendees about their experience with the session. In order to be considered for promotion, the employee must rank at a seven or higher on all surveys for three consecutive months.
  • At the end of each month, the employee will submit a report outlining new leads; total marketing spend; a detailed description of the most current lead generation strategy; and a summary of wins, challenges, and any changes that are being implemented to optimize the strategy for the following month. To be considered for promotion, the employee must drive 150 new leads for three consecutive months.
  • The employee will meet with management on a biweekly basis to discuss progress on the growth plan. If the employee has not met the necessary KPIs and performance metrics for promotion by the end of one year, the growth plan will be adjusted as needed.

Setting clear metrics will give both you and your employee a baseline to measure their progress against, and ensure that everyone knows how progress is being defined and what metrics they need to hit in order to move forward with their plan.

Just make sure your employee is on board and understands what metrics you’ll be using to measure their progress. “Confirm that the employee is clear on the definition of progress,” Lafko said. “Clarity of expectations is often assumed, and we should never assume.”

4. Check in regularly to monitor progress.

Having metrics in place helps you measure your employees’ progress. But you can’t distill the entirety of an employee’s progress into numbers, and you can’t give them the support they need to succeed if those numbers are all you’re looking at. That’s why monitoring their progress with regular check-ins is also important.

“If you are working with an employee through a growth plan, there should be devoted time where they have your undivided attention,” Mochnacz said. “It’s a chance to build the relationship and it creates an openness where you both can discuss progress towards the plan’s goals — and identify areas of challenge or where the plan isn’t working.”

A mixture of short, informal sit-downs and longer, more structured progress meetings are the most effective way to continually monitor your employee’s progress, give them the support they need, and adjust their plan if necessary.

“I recommend a check-in once or twice a week for 10 to 15 minutes. Shorter, but more frequent meetings [can] keep the employee moving forward and keeps the communication channel open,” King said. “In addition, scheduling structured feedback sessions every 30 or 60 days allows for the leader to monitor progress on the bigger deliverables.”

During each check-in, review any established KPIs or performance metrics and make sure your employees are on track. But also take time to celebrate wins, address any challenges they might be having, and ask them what support they need — from you or the rest of the team — to continue moving forward. In addition, periodically review the growth plan and evaluate whether it’s still a good fit. If it’s not, make changes or adjustments as needed.

Regular check-ins with your employees ensure they’re progressing in their growth plans and that their plans are still an accurate reflection of where they’re trying to go in their careers.

Employee growth plans lay the groundwork for your team members to grow and evolve in their careers. And by carefully measuring and monitoring their progress, you can empower them to hit their goals, reach their full potential, and build a thriving career — and organization — in the process.

Being “out of the office” doesn’t mean what it used to. Last year, nearly a quarter of U.S. employees worked from home. In some industries, remote work isn’t so much a perk as a perceived right. That appears to be the case even among leadership: Over half of VP and C-level employees work remotely.

In a cutthroat job market, companies now have access to talent from around the world. But despite remote work’s many benefits, it poses challenges for HR professionals trying to maintain cohesive cultures. Getting everyone on the same page is hard enough when they share an office — bridging thousands of miles and multiple time zones is another story.

At Lattice’s first Resources for Humans Live event, leaders shared how to overcome remote work’s challenges and make even the most distributed teams feel like a tight-knit unit.

1. Start with your interview process.

Hiring decisions have a lasting impact on culture. So should interviewers adapt their approach when evaluating remote hires? For Meena Narayanan, the VP of People at Livongo, that’s a no-brainer.

“When we’re hiring remote roles, we prioritize a couple of attributes,” she said. Specifically, her recruiters hone in on collaboration and listening, valuable skills for remote employees who need to work across time zones. If an otherwise promising candidate falls short on either of these, it could have an outsized impact on their odds of success at the company.

Jocelyn Rombancho, Head of People at Lambda School, also looks for those qualities in remote hires. But for her team, written communication might be the most important skill. “I actually think that the written word is really important because you can transfer more information that way,” she said. When the tone isn’t right, an innocuous Slack message or email can come off as mean-spirited or cold.

Rombancho’s interviewers also hone in on process and time management. “We tend to look for things like autonomy, communication skills, and how you stay on top of your work,” she said. Her company uses productivity tools like Asana and Notion to track personal to-dos and cross-functional projects. While proficiency with these tools is always valuable, for remote positions it may be essential given managers don’t have full visibility into day-to-day work.

Some teams prefer to evaluate job seekers for these qualities in a person. But flying in candidates for face time might be a more contentious topic than recruiters realize. Heather Doshay, the VP of People at Webflow, questions the authenticity of those conversations. “Whenever I see a company fly in a would-be remote employee, it feels really fake,” she said. Instead, her team assigns projects to candidates and even gives them guest access to the company’s Slack. The experience simulates what it would be like to work at Webflow. It’s even paid.

“You, as a candidate, get to see what it’s like to actually work here,” Doshay said. She believes the exercise is a more accurate representation of a remote worker’s day-to-day, without the theatrics of an in-person interview.

2. Build flexibility into your benefits package.

Every year, companies and HR teams spend weeks laboring over the ideal benefits package. While core offerings like health insurance are universally popular, other benefits don’t necessarily translate elsewhere.

“Let’s say you’re at a San Francisco-only company and you’ve just given everyone 50% off of Equinox. Then you hire people that are based in Portland, like me, where there is no Equinox,” Doshay said. Rather than go specific, broaden your offerings. Tools like Compt allow companies to issue monthly stipends for things like gym memberships without committing to a specific vendor. If you’re worried about administering the program, consider making an employee rewards solution part of your HR tech stack. “Find the products and tools that really help you scale the stuff you’re doing,” she said.

Companies spend hundreds of dollars every month stocking their kitchens and supply cabinets. Another way to share the love with remote workers is by investing in their personal workspaces. Doshay’s company gives remote workers a $380 per month stipend just for their remote offices. “That sounds like a lot, but it’s the same as our commuter benefit in San Francisco…It’s just equalizing the benefit,” she said. If someone needs to buy an ergonomic chair or work-related hardware, they don’t have to dip into their own funds. Doshay’s remote workers even show off their purchases in a Slack channel designated just for them. “We saw somebody buy an air purifier, one of those fancy ones for their home office,” she said.

3. Lean on goals to build trust.

There’s no question that remote work has its skeptics. “When we say remote, I think the first impression people get is, ‘Oh, maybe this person is dialing in from a beachfront with an umbrella drink,’” said Narayanan. It’s a saltiness rooted in superficiality. The onsite equivalent is judging a colleague for being the first to arrive and last to leave or vice versa.

Goals can help steer the conversation from optics to results. Narayanan doesn’t lose sleep over what her remote workers are doing at home. The company’s OKRs and weekly one-on-ones give managers enough visibility to make it a non-issue. That accountability is important considering that nearly half of Livongo’s workforce is remote — including the company’s CEO. But Narayanan and other onsite employees can benefit from that culture of trust as well.

“If I need focus time, I’m going to work from home. Again, it comes back to trust. If I can trust everyone to take ownership of what they have to deliver, it becomes easy,” she said. If Narayanan needs time away from office chatter to work on a board deck, no one bats an eye. Given that studies show two-thirds of employees are more productive when they work remotely, that attitude isn’t just agreeable, it’s good for business.

That sentiment was echoed by Rombancho. “What do you value? Do you value face time or the work? That’s what we try to focus on as a company,” she said. Lambda School’s workforce is about 90% remote. Last year, the business quadrupled its headcount and opened up two new offices. At the core of that success were trust and adherence to company values, “Act as an Owner” being one. When team and personal goals take priority, superficial things take a back seat.

4. Overcommunicate on all channels.

A recent survey found that nearly 20% of remote workers cited loneliness as one of their top challenges. Some publications have gone as far as to call it workplace epidemic

Slack has become a kind of town square for companies. But it can’t be there for every happy hour, inside joke, or water cooler conversation. Sometimes the best ideas come from casual chit chat. Be sure to broadcast those ideas to the broader team. “Even if there’s an in-person conversation that sparks a great brainstorm session, cultivate a culture where those people take it back to the appropriate Slack channel so that everyone can be part of it,” Rombancho said. Operate under the assumption that if it wasn’t said on Slack, it wasn’t said at all.

Software like Slack and Zoom equip teams to stay connected. But if you want these tools to make a difference, you need to use them — a lot. “To foster a connection, you need to overcommunicate. We do it through our newsletters, all hands, and webcasts,” Narayan said. Being part of the conversation doesn’t necessarily mean just talking shop. “What are their interests? What are their career aspirations? What do they want to do? That is all very valuable,” she said. Take interest in those topics, and not just as an ice breaker.

While sometimes you can get a point across in a message or email, video often comes across as less transactional and more personal. Adopting a “cameras-on” meeting culture might literally help employees put faces to names. Those are the kinds of interactions Doshay enjoys the most. “A dog might run by, a kid might join the call and wave. You see so much more of a person’s authentic self. It’s a deeper connection,” she said. Her company helps facilitate many of these interactions with Donut, an app that randomly assigns peers to meet each other. 

Broader hiring pools, greater engagement, higher productivity — on paper, the benefits of remote work are pretty compelling. But there are a number of challenges that can dissuade companies from embracing it. The biggest challenge might be self-inflicted.

“The number one reason why distributed companies break is when remote work is seen as a perk and a cost-savings as opposed to a way of working,” Doshay said. In other words, remote work’s biggest deal-breaker doesn’t involve remote work at all — it’s leadership’s attitude toward flexibility. Companies aren’t doing their workers a favor by letting them work remotely. According to Doshay, it’s the opposite.

“Remote work is about finding the best person for the job, no matter where they’re based, and letting it infuse more diversity and perspectives into our team so we can drive better business outcomes,” she said. That’s a business perk, not an employee one. Companies and their HR teams depend on people to succeed, regardless of where they are in the world.