Moving from shared offices to working from home is a big transition demanding thoughtfulness and attention to the smallest details. From hiring to firing, every HR process needs to be redesigned to fit this new reality.
Redeveloping your onboarding process, rebuilding your performance management, and helping your employees maintain work-life balance is only the beginning. Because once you’ve done it all, you have to take the next step: reviewing the data, drawing insights, and figuring out what your work was worth.
The impact of work from home on your teammates can’t be measured with one metric. As Shrek said, people are onions, and as he would probably say if he worked in HR, their happiness is multifaceted. To understand work-from-home happiness and productivity, let’s look at how we can measure:
- Employee satisfaction
- Work hours
- Customer satisfaction
- Team-specific metrics
1. Employee satisfaction
The easiest and most effective way to measure employee satisfaction is to ask your employees how they’re feeling.
In a Hibob-conducted survey of 2000 workers in the US and UK, we saw a clear, measurable impact on employee happiness based on COVID-19 and its effect on employees’ lives—and, tellingly, the lives of those surrounding them. We don’t know what’s happening to our employees’ friends, neighbors, and families, but we do know that it matters—making regular check-ins critical to ensuring their wellbeing and satisfaction.
To understand how your people are doing, we recommend regularly checking in with surveys, asking employees to both rate their wellbeing on number scales, and write about how they’re feeling and what could help increase their productivity and wellness.
While this may sound like an eNPS survey, there’s a critical difference: while eNPS surveys are structured with a specific goal, employee satisfaction surveys can be customized to your organization’s (and peoples’) needs.
2. Work hours
Work-life balance, or the lack thereof, is a well-known problem with remote workers. We can come up with as many solutions as we want—The HR Director has 50, for example—but until we know what we’re dealing with, we can’t fix the problem.
Without coming into the office, we don’t know who’s working when—who’s coming in early or leaving late, who’s eating lunch at their desks (or not taking time to eat at all). To understand whether our employees are working too many hours, we have to ask them how many hours they’re working.
Asking employees to log their hours may be off-putting to those who aren’t used to doing so, so make sure employees understand why they’re being asked: not because you don’t think they’re working enough, but because you want to make sure they’re not working too much.
3. Customer satisfaction
The connection between customer and employee satisfaction is well-documented, and it makes sense: smooth work behind the scenes makes for a better product, and a better experience for customers.
To understand how your people are doing, then, trust your customers to give some insight. An increase or decrease in NPS after an organization change, for example, can show you how that change impacted your employees in ways they might not even have processed.
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Happy employees stay; unhappy employees leave. To understand the short- and long-term impact of a shift to work-from-home, check out your employee retention rate. If you see an increase or decrease in retention year-over-year or quarter-over-quarter after your move, you can get a picture of how your employees are handling your move.
If you see sinking retention, that doesn’t mean you should run back to the office—something few of us can safely do right now. Instead, you can focus on building a more work-from-home-friendly tech stack, planning work-from-home cultural activities, or beginning manager training focused on best practices for remote work.
5. Team-specific metrics
Everyone expresses their needs differently, and every team feels the impact of working from home differently. To understand the impact of work-from-home on your teams on a molecular level, ask your managers to check in with their teams using metrics that are a good fit for their work.
- R&D: lines of code submitted; code accuracy
- Design: projects completed; stakeholder satisfaction
- Marketing: number of qualified leads; SEO
- Sales: closed sales; inbound and outbound leads
- Customer success: Completed tickets; customer satisfaction