Exela’s Human Resources SVP Gets Real About Remote Work
Spoiler alert: he KNOWS you can make this work, and wants to share HOW
In the midst of the pandemic, we managed to grab a few minutes of Carlos Mallen’s time to talk about the real issues facing remote workers right now. Carlos is Exela’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, and Exela is a company made up of over 22,000 employees worldwide, so we trust Carlos has his finger on the pulse of this great, ongoing remote work experiment.
Q. How ready was the business world for the sudden shift to remote work?
CM: For many companies, this was completely unforeseen. Fortunately, because facilitating secure remote work was already becoming a priority for many of our customers, Exela was prepared. That means our employees who are not performing essential business activities for our customers can work from home as needed during government-imposed shelter-in-place mandates. It’s what we do and we’re happy to be able to help our customers get up to speed in any way they need.
Q. What are some best practices for battling “remote work fatigue”?
CM: Being honest, for many of us this is a change in our work habits. It can be difficult both to pivot to working remotely and to continue working remotely for an uncertain period of time. Like any other change in life, it’s important to be aware of the changes and adapt to them. For example:
- Working from home means our normal office commute is no longer required. That means we can start calls and emails earlier, maybe end later too. To battle remote work fatigue, or work from home burnout, it’s important to set appropriate boundaries for yourself and to make time for your home and family.
- Working at home in the middle of a pandemic with some of us under shelter in place orders means that if we don’t take action, we may end up with cabin fever. A walk around the block while maintaining a reasonable distance from others could be a good relief.
Q: What are some best practices for managing teams remotely?
CM: Before the pandemic, many of us could walk over and talk to our teams. We may not have realized it, but this was a luxury. And now for managers working from home, we’ve lost that luxury. But one thing that never changes is the importance of communication. The good news is there are so many channels available to us, including Exela’s collaboration solutions, which cover all the bases.
Q: Specific advice for HR professionals
CM: Like everyone else working in these new and challenging times, human resources (HR) professionals have a lot going on. Alongside with legal professionals, we’re often the first place employees and managers go to for immediate answers to of-the-minute questions such as:
- What is the latest on covid-19
- How do we respond to national, state and local regulations
- What does this all mean for employees, their jobs and their livelihood
If you're part of an HR team, it’s vital to stay in touch with your team and your business leaders in real-time as possible. Managers and employees are your customers, and right now your customers need your service! If you're an HR team of one, you're not alone. HR professionals across the country are always available to help you with thoughts and sharing of best practices so that you can support your customers. Here are some of ours:
- 6 Work From Home Best Practices
- How to Make Remote Work Work For Your Business
- Don’t Let COVID-19 Stop You From Getting Your Mail
- How the Cloud is Opening Doors in the Remote Business World
- Human Capital Management Tools Offering Automation and Remote Access
A few closing words of wisdom from Carlos:
For managers: Keep preparing. It's always best to be prepared and not have to execute than to have to execute and not be prepared.
For employees: Keep your chin up. This too shall pass. Families first and keep focused on what you can do to help out - at home, at work and around your community. Here at the Exela Blog, we strive to bring you only the most reliable, accurate, news that is relevant to you. Stay tuned for more COVID-19 content, and in the meantime, be sure to check out, which COVID-19 “offers” are really just scams, and best practices for remaining uninfected.