How can businesses succeed with employees working completely remotely?
One of the major implications of the COVID-19 lockdowns is the shift from an office-based work environment to the remote work mode. Even sectors that had previously taken a cold approach to let their employees work from home have suddenly become flag bearers of the work from anywhere culture. Dynata’s Global Consumer Trends: COVID-19 survey series reveal that the lines between work and home life are getting significantly blurred. The report also says that most people prefer the work from home culture to stay around, at least for some more time.
In the US alone, nearly half of the working population has transitioned into a completely remote work mode since the outbreak began in early 2020. However, as the pandemic is showing mild signs of receding and vaccine developments are moving into promising trials, the question of whether the remote work culture will prevail for the long term has risen in the corporate boardrooms.
Changing Work Lives in the New Normal
When employees started to work continuously from home, some of the key challenges that concerned senior leadership were productivity, security, and client timeline commitments. However, the trends witnessed across the globe were largely positive in these 3 areas with several organizations reporting that their staff productivity levels were in fact much higher when they worked from home rather than in the office. In Dynata’s survey, 75% of respondents report that their productivity levels are high while at home than they were in office, with considerable travel time saved.
So the question that should really concern the senior leadership is how to succeed in this new normal of working remotely if it is the future of work?
To remain successful while adapting to a long term remote working culture, companies need to make strategic changes in their policies, technology infrastructure, and their cultural approach to ensure that all employees stay united in their objectives while working apart.
Here are 4 tips that we suggest to accelerate successful operations with a remote workforce:
1. Set up a transparent communication policy
One of the major elements of unifying diverse team members working remotely is through regular communication. Employees need to have a source to continuously engage with their peers, seniors, managers, or even the leadership in the company to address the challenges they face daily as well as gain insights into their work objectives.
Companies need to break down their legacy hierarchy of communication and create an open environment where even the top leadership executives are available at the touch of a button on an employee’s phone. Leaders need to take their employees into confidence by regularly communicating updates about the company’s growth, business and service performance metrics, initiatives to keep employees motivated, and much more.
2. Create a specialized procurement team
The challenges in enabling a remote working environment can be solved to a great extent when setting up an effective procurement team to assess, identify and procure relevant technical, managerial, and operational assets required for specific work contexts. When this team gets things done faster, employees gain quicker access to their work assets irrespective of their location.
For empowering your procurement team, you need to provide them with the right tools for strategic sourcing, managing contracts with vendors for various assets, intelligent reporting, and purchase management.
3. Create a collaboration platform
Enabling a transparent communication policy is only one side of the coin. Investing in a powerful digital platform to enable this communication is the other side. Employees who work remotely need to collaborate with their peers on different work tasks daily. They also need a place to get insights, reviews, and feedback on their work, company objectives, business, and other relevant aspects related to their career.
This is where a powerful and collaborative intranet portal like InfinCE makes sense for your business. Remote work collaboration platforms like InfinCE enable better collaboration, reduce friction on dependent tasks, and support unified goal fulfilment for distributed team members. The platform will also serve as a place where employees can feel reminiscent of their office virtually.
4. Seamless Project Management
When remote teams are involved in client projects, there should be a smooth mechanism for managers to oversee projects, give instructions and guidelines, set expectations, and track progress. Only then will the organization as a whole be able to meet commitments made to clients and improve trust in the process.
For distributed teams, there should be a seamless project management capability via a digital platform that can be used to assign, monitor and track progress of tasks at different levels ranging from individual to teams working on modular components of a project to the entire organization or service delivery unit as a whole. When project management is streamlined, it will facilitate transparent client reporting and improved credibility for your brand.
COVID-19 was a catalyst for a change that is well poised to remain a stronghold of tomorrow’s workforce. The future of work may be changed forever as we know it and to remain successful, companies must rethink their strategies of work from a cultural and practical perspective.
It has been proven beyond doubt that with the right culture, adequate digital infrastructure, and transparent communication, you can run your business remotely with unified management. The main asset you need is a digital backbone that will connect various units within your business to enable seamless workforce operations and support sustainable growth. This is where InfinCE can make a difference. Get in touch with us to learn how InfinCE can help you accomplish success in the new normal of “work from anywhere!”