It’s fair to say 2020 has been a strange and extremely difficult year for everyone. Business certainly hasn’t been immune to the challenges of this year, but there have also been some silver linings. Remote work, or working from home, has exploded into the business landscape out of necessity. But that necessity has actually started throwing up some great benefits for business.
Having said that, if you want people working from home, there’s adjustments to be made. You need to change the way you operate, and you’ll also need new tools to support your staff.
Remote work is here to stay
Whether we like it or not, remote work is here to stay. In fact, business will never be the same again in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. From changing business models to remote work, the future of business looks a lot different than it did 12 months ago.
However, it’s not really a bad thing. Many companies have reported increased productivity. Certainly, many employees have relished the chance to spend more time with family while working. Less commuting, less office politics – a lot of people love working from home.
So much so, that we can safely say remote work is here to stay.
The huge benefit for businesses
In most offices around the world, a lot of focus is put on employee engagement and building a great culture. There are plenty of benefits to this, such as improving productivity, providing better service, and generally having a better place to work.
But talent acquisition and retention is the other key element. In recent years, flexibility and work/life balance have become major factors in where people want to work. So, in order to attract and keep the best talent in your industry, offering flexible work conditions is crucial.
Tools for working from home
Needless to say, to effectively cope with a switch to remote working, businesses need the right tools and software. With the rise of cloud technology, it’s easier than ever before to set yourself staff up well. Some of the following tools can ensure your staff are well equipped to succeed while working from home.
- Sales automation tools
- Collaboration tools
- Communication tools (messaging, chat, video call)
- Cloud storage
- Document sharing programs
This list isn’t exhaustive, and it may look very different from company to company. Some of the tools are practical, in terms of making communication and collaboration easy. However, many are about automating tasks, removing manual and repetitive tasks, and practically removing all paper in favour of digital options.
Overall, the key to doing remote work well is communication. Not only do you need the right communication tools, such as video conferencing and chat channels. But you’ll also need to make sure staff still feel included as part of the team. The reality is, many businesses may need hybrid remote work arrangements, whether it be staff working in an office part time and at home for the rest of the week. Some may be permanently at home, some may be permanently in the office. So, however you manage working from home, make sure you’re in regular contact with your remote workers and make sure they still feel involved.