Remote work has been around for a while now, with Global Workplace Analytics reporting that 4.3 million employees work remotely in the US at least half of the time. Given the current situation, these numbers will surely increase at a rapid rate. We’ve grappled with the question ‘Can Working from Home Boost Productivity?’ and have found that this flexibility results in a more productive and satisfied workforce. Remote work entails, of course, clear-cut digital strategies to make it successful.
Due to the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), it has become easier to stay connected with everyone on the team regardless of geographic constraints. However, it does require strategy and planning – with many companies who have had to make the transition at a moment’s notice scrambling to get this done.
Survival and continuity
While the timing poses an additional challenge, companies who are able to digitalize have a greater chance of staying afloat. A long-standing meme passed around on social media is, “This meeting could have been an email.” Now, practically all meetings are conducted through email or more advanced cloud-based communications platforms for more direct contact.
Investing in the right software and digital solutions best fit for your company is, in fact, a reminder that some meetings can actually just be conducted online to save everyone’s time and resources. A HP post on business telecommuting includes some of the best apps for ensuring continuity despite the changing workplace dynamics, with tools like Zoom and Cisco Webex Meetings topping the list. Face-to-face interaction is still a must in reminding everyone of the human aspect behind the work and ensuring that morale and productivity remains high.
Security and engagement
Aside from investing in the right platforms, digitalization also presupposes the need for tighter cybersecurity measures. Setting up VPNs will become extremely important to ensure the safety of transmitted data. The devices themselves will also have to be secured through antivirus software and firewall applications, but also through less-secured endpoints for your peace of mind. Transmuting business practices to the digital sphere means that you have to be much more responsive and attuned to everyone’s needs.
Some may be slower to catch onto the transition than others, and so it’s wise to set up frequent check-ins and communicate with teams throughout the day. According to the publication Brand Quarterly, employee engagement is a less-visible but equally important facet of digitalization that should not be forsaken. Screens should mediate contact, not act as barriers.
Trust and adaptation
Securing these digital strategies will likewise help streamline your activities and processes. The SMB Group and Vistage found that 9 out of 10 CEOs from small- to medium-sized companies have expressed the importance of digitalization in reshaping industries, innovating practices, restructuring workplace dynamics and culture, and securing their growth and survival. Trust is another important element for digitalization’s success, so you need to remind everyone to orient themselves toward the company’s goals and objectives. Everyone is on the same boat – regardless if you have had sufficient time to prepare or not. Companies need to band together and get everyone on the same page to power through whatever current comes their way.
This is also an indicator of how well companies are able to adapt and withstand challenges. The unprecedented global situation has further tested the tenacity companies have in withstanding challenges – especially one as extreme as this. While there is no way to fully determine how the future will unfold, you will at least be equipped to tackle the modern workforce when you go digital.