New Episode on MHI Cast: Remote Work Strategies

The material handling industry has gone through numerous changes over the past year, one of them being the implementation of remote work strategies. In this past episode on MHI Cast Remote Work Strategies, we spoke to MHI members Larry Strayhorn, Co-CEO and President of Pulse Integration and Bryan Jensen, Chairman and Executive Vice President of St. Onge Company on their approaches to working remotely.

Strayhorn has been working to build a remote work strategy around the needs of both companies and thier employees for years. Starting in the late 90s, the company he worked for was experiencing problems in turnover due to their office location in Maine. While Maine had great appeal for visiting, it was not a desirable destination for their employees to live. To solve this problem, Strayhorn helped to build a remote workforce around the country implementing monthly in-person workshops, meetings, and team building sessions once a month. Fast forward to today, Strayhorn — having bought into Pulse Integration 6 years ago — still manages a remote workforce environment. COVID-19 forced them to power up communication via the internet with routine virtual meetings (with cameras on) and a rotating schedule for people who have to come into the office.

Jensen also expressed the positives of remote work predicting a “kink in recruiting if you are not remote because people do not always want to move to where the company is located.” As technology has improved, this has allowed for increased capability of remote work and number of jobs that can be remote. COVID -19 has led St. Onge to upgrade their technology to increase bandwidth and focus on maintaining the server. Jensen emphasized how important it has been to help their employees properly transition to working remotely during COVID-19. “You can’t expect people to work from home and be perfect”, says Jensen. St. Onge helped to set up office phones for their employees and made sure they had access to the proper equipment such as monitors from the office. They also helped employees with a strategy for working at home by creating internal peer to peer counseling sessions, understanding that for some people it’s going to be an adjustment.

Listen to the full episode on MHI Cast to learn more helpful tips on developing a remote work strategy.