- What is the meaning of remote working?
- Is working remotely a good idea?
- What is needed to work remotely?
- Does remote working improve productivity?
- Cost savings to be had by both employees and employers.
- What is the future of remote working?
The global Covid-19 pandemic will dramatically change the policies and processes that are used for working remotely. The technologies and practices that people and businesses were forced to embrace during the coronavirus pandemic will soon be integrated into the standard operating procedures of many businesses; evidently, they have started refining their use and are already enjoying their benefits. This is destined to create a new ‘normal’ for working remotely once the pandemic is under control; when businesses can continue to provide the products and services their customers need.
1. Familiarity With New Communication Technologies
Effective remote working during the coronavirus pandemic requires embracing new communication technologies. Virtual tech bars, code check-ins, productivity monitoring dashboards and many other cutting-edge technologies will become common place. Cloud-based technology like SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service and Cloud Technologies) as well as other internet-based technologies that make doing more virtual tasks possible will be introduced to provide remote workers with the support they need. These technologies will include flexible, secure, virtual desktops that facilitate a faster and improved user experience.
An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage. Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric
2. New Tech Tools
To increase the effectivity and profitability of remote working, management teams will invest in the new tools that remote workers need. These tools will be cloud based, robust and provide zero-trust remote access. Technologies like Google’s suite of communication tools and Microsoft’s suite of tools that allow cloud-enabled remote workers to collaborate are a good starting point. However, these tools will need to be selected carefully to optimise remote workers’ communication and processes. If not, organisations will get stuck trying to optimise new technology with old, inefficient workflows.
The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence-it is to act with yesterday’s logic.Peter Drucker
3. Setup and Technology
Tech-savvy remote workers need an operational and technical foundation to help them optimise their productivity. Businesses will commit to investing in the companywide IT upgrades required to make remote workers more productive. It is vital to understand that the administrative costs of bringing a team of remote workers up to speed on the most effective IT communication tools will quickly pay for itself with the improvement in the quality and volume of work the remote team will be able to produce. Both the employees and businesses will grow with the investment in purchasing and setting up the right technology.
4. Data Security
Remote workers will have built-in security measures that protect communication from their remote devices. Offices and remote worksites will be equipped with the technology that makes remote-team communication fast, safe and secure. That includes telepresence devices, remote meeting software, chat software and seamless, high-tech conference-coordinating software and applications. Dialling into video meetings securely will make virtual workers visually present and far more productive. Business will start to install or upgrade existing IT infrastructure or move to the cloud to support this.
5. A Comprehensive Plan
The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to, on the fly, create piecemeal processes and policies to address the issues and concerns involved in the evolving remote-work demands; however, to be effective and engender the public’s trust, a comprehensive strategy and plans will be essential.
6. Overcoming Remote-Team Management Challenges
In order to avoid common remote-team management challenges and reach company goals faster, businesses will boost process automation, increase business bandwidth, VPN access and other resources and employ work-management technology to optimise service delivery and reduce vulnerabilities and threats through digital transformation. Communication problems with remote workers can lead to a wide range of other management issues. In order for businesses to provide the direction remote workers need, organisations will move to create an efficient, effective communication strategy supported by the right technology.
7. Coordinating Remote Workers
The cornerstone of coordinating any fully functioning group of remote workers is efficient and effective communication. To efficiently coordinate remote team members using communication-based technological tools like chat, instant messaging and other types of two-way communication channels is essential. Keeping these channels open and constantly monitored makes identifying and addressing potential problems quick and easy. These technologies make managers responsive, available and able to coordinate the activities of remote employees as easily and effectively as they would on-site workers.
8. Build Technological Changes Into the Budget
To effectively manage the technological upgrades remote workers need, and to not have breaks in communication due to surprise costs, businesses will need to start including the cost of the needed technological upgrades into the budget. This will lead to a more streamlined process for onboarding remote-employee operations. This will also include the cost of training remote workers in the effective use of the new communication technologies. This will enable them to quickly become adept at using the new tools safely, securely and productively. This will benefit both the employees and the wider business.
9. Project Management Software
Having one central tool that managers and workers can use to organise the tasks associated with any project ensures remote workers will remain in the loop and get the direction they need. Project management software can be used to assign tasks to remote team members, outline the steps and create a checklist for completing projects and allow both managers and remote teams to add comments. This will help to make project goals, expectations and obligations explicit and clear. This is of great importance for dealing with remote workers who rely on calls, chats and emails for guidance and support.
Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. John F. Kennedy
Remote working has the potential to enable businesses to increase their productivity and reduce costs; however, businesses will need to ensure they overcome virtual communication-related inefficiencies. They can gain access to qualitative and quantitative data from remote workers and better coordinate remote employees’ activities through teleconferencing, video conferencing and feedback via e-mail. This ensures remote workers are aware of important company directives, project goals, deadlines and process changes. These changes will make the post coronavirus remote-work environment dramatically different.