Starting early in 2020, most employees who were capable of working remotely transitioned to the home office. For workers, there are pros and cons to this new normal. No commuting! No business casual! No wasting hours each week in meetings that could have been an e-mail!
Then again, working remotely all the time can be isolating. There are real psychological and emotional difficulties to overcome. Teamwork can also be difficult, especially for anyone in a creative role accustomed to brainstorming and workshopping in person.
This is all just the tip of the iceberg. As the whole world is now finding out, there are a lot of challenges that pop up when a company moves to a majority remote workforce — and it is the employer’s responsibility to solve them.
To help minimize the downsides and make the most of this model, the following tips can help any enterprise optimize business processes while working remotely.
1. Developing Good Processes
In most modern companies, processes are very important. They ensure that work is repeatable no matter who is carrying it out. This has long been beneficial for day-to-day operations to make sure things go smoothly even when Steve from accounting is out sick, Sarah is on vacation or your superstar salesperson leaves the company.
If it was important before — as most organizations are now learning — it is absolutely essential now in a remote working environment. Things will always come up. You can still check in over Zoom, e-mail or other remote communication channels, but productivity can suffer greatly when teams are separated unless you have consistent, well-designed and clear ways of doing things. Developing and improving processes will greatly improve remote work outcomes across the board.
2. Using the Right Tech
In today’s workplace, so many processes and so many of our tasks involve technology in some way. Platforms, systems and software solutions help save time, promote efficiency and maximize productivity.
It should come as no surprise that tech can greatly help all companies improve their mobile workforce optimization. Many successful firms that have been managing remote employees for years have been using cloud software to improve training, track productivity, balance workflow and maintain customer satisfaction. No matter what stage of maturity a company is at with remote working, these tools can be a game-changer.
3. Maintaining the Human Connection
If everything goes right, your company will be able to transition well into a remote-working model. For some, this new reality — or at least components of it — will become permanent because it works so well and employees love the flexibility.
You can’t forget about the human side of things though. Workers aren’t robots. While they may be productive and happy today, the longer they work from home without that personal connection, things could start to deteriorate.
This doesn’t mean you have to abandon what’s working, but you do need to make efforts to ensure that company culture and interpersonal bonds can still be built. Whether it is encouraging video conferencing, coordinating remote team-building sessions or hosting other non-work “digital events,” even small steps can make a big difference.
The Keys to Mobile Workforce Optimization
Nobody was ready for 2020. It has been an unprecedented year that, for most of us, feels like it has been years. Along with all the chaos, suffering and challenges, however, there have been some silver linings. For many, remote work is a great benefit and companies are realizing that there are a lot of upsides.
You just need to make sure you do everything you can to optimize business processes, leverage the right technology and software solutions, and always be mindful of the human side of things. None of these will be easy, and you can be forgiven if you haven’t nailed them all yet.
Still, even though widespread work from home arrived more abruptly and quicker than most expected, it may stick with us for a long time. So now is the time to make the upgrades and get everything running as smoothly as possible.