As we’ve all been hit by COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve realized that in order to be able to work, we’d need to change some things. One of the methods that has become very popular out of necessity is remote working. While it was present before the pandemic, it was in the first half of 2020 that it really proved essential and, in most cases, effective. Needless to say, there were and there still are many challenges, especially in industries that didn’t rely heavily on remote working before, but people are somehow finding different ways to overcome such obstacles.
In those efforts, technology is the key element. It allows people to stay at home safe, while performing their work-related duties. Fewer people are commuting, there is less pollution and employees are generally happier with working from home or some isolated place. All these reasons, and many more, are the reason why remote working will continue to thrive. However, it’s important to know how to make the most of it. To help you with that, we’ve prepared the following list of tools your business might benefit from, especially if you’re new to the concept of remote working.
Task management software
Regardless of the location where employees work, they need to know exactly what they’re doing, what is expected of them and what deadlines they have to meet. It’s quite a challenge to keep up with all that, especially when people don’t work together in an office. Luckily, project and task management software is here to help you. There are a lot of tools that allow employees and their managers to set priorities, assign tasks and establish deadlines. What’s more, such pieces of software foster accountability by allowing everyone involved to track progress toward tasks together. They also facilitate effective communication and clear expectations, which are two vital drivers of success in remote work environment.
While many managers believe that tracking employees’ time is more harmful than helpful, there are some situations where it’s quite useful. For example, for organizations just getting started with remote work for the first time, time-tracking software can help smooth the transition by assuring managers that work is being done. There are even some tools that take periodic screenshots of employees’ screens, so that managers can see what they’re actually doing. As you can see, it’s easy to see why such a tool might be very unpopular with employees, who usually see it as a sign that their management doesn’t trust them enough. Still, in some cases, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, which is why such tools are widely used.
Communication is probably the crucial element of remote working and it might be difficult to establish reliable communication channels when employees are scattered all over the region, country or even the world. However, technology has made it possible to have various options available, such as e-mails, video and phone calls, as well as various other communication platforms. There is even state-of-the-art virtual event software which allows HR teams to recruit people online and have interviews with them without anybody needing to travel. Your task is simply to find the software that is best suited to your needs and have everyone trained to use it. Some people might feel frustrated at first, but if they manage to see the advantages, they are likely to embrace the challenges.
File sharing and cloud storage
Since remote team members are distributed all over the place, you need to have a central cloud-based storage solution where employees can save and share important files with one another. Most of those solutions are simple to use and fully functional, allowing multiple employees to work on one document simultaneously. File sharing used to be a major issue, since a lot of confusion could arise when many different versions of the same file were flying around. Cloud storage allows everything saved and securely stored on the cloud to be accessed from anywhere in the world, without the risk of important information being compromised by tech problems on the employee’s end.
Performance management software
Another great challenge related to remote working is performance management. It’s quite difficult for managers to maintain regular communication, provide feedback and check in with employees to make sure they are getting all the support they need. The performance of a large virtual team is hard to track if you’re meeting with your employees on a weekly or monthly basis. Again, technology has provided a solution to this problem. There are packages that facilitate remote check-ins, help track objectives and key results, as well as monitor individual employee development, whilst simultaneously tracking team goals. Investing in such a package can help you solve many problems and boost the performance and efficiency of everyone.
As you can see, there are many challenges posed by remote working, but technology can really help you overcome almost every single issue. What remains to be dealt with is the feeling of isolation that some employees may get when working remotely, but with technology that too can be alleviated. If used properly, such software packages can not only eliminate all the obvious problems, but also help your company boost its productivity, which will result in a higher profit.
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