Businesses were forced to embrace remote working during lockdown and some have adopted this strategy as a long-term model for a proportion of their staff, if not all.
However, adopting a remote working strategy is not without its challenges. As swcomms moves towards a hybrid working model and we continue to deploy the solutions required for successful remote working, I feel we are well placed to offer some advice. I have collated some of the challenges below but have also recommended some solutions too.
Remote working challenges:
- Lower job satisfaction - remote workers often feel they are not able to be productive because they don’t have access to the right information, contacts and tools when they are away from the office.
- Feelings of exclusion - because they miss out on important communications or they don’t have the same level of interaction with their other colleagues as office-based workers.
- Frustration at inability to perform - they commonly complain of feeling frustrated because they have to carry separate business and personal devices and use multiple tools for work communications, many of which aren’t designed for use in a mobile environment.
- Interruptions and distractions – these can seriously damage productivity. After a distraction, it can take a while to get back into the deep focus that leads to quality work.
- Important decisions delayed – this occurs when key people are away from the office or poor decisions are made because people don’t have access to complete information.
- Increased risk of security breaches - commonly caused by employees using non-approved consumer apps to communicate or to store information.
- Loss of valuable information - this becomes an issue when an employee leaves and company data or contacts are stored on the workers personal phone.
Solutions for a successful remote workforce
1) A platform to unify your business communications
Unified communications provide a reliable infrastructure to enable businesses to integrate all of the ways they communicate, including voice, video and data. It’s easy to deploy and roll out to employees wherever they are working, as well as being a cost-effective solution. And, crucially, it can help to facilitate remote working and communication between teams in different places.
2) A business-grade mobile service
Traditionally, businesses have been hamstrung by limited access to good value, reliable mobile data services, often having to rely on products initially created for the consumer market. Your employees will have a wide range of requirements from their mobile service, from using it to make and receive calls, to it becoming a potential source of connectivity should their home broadband fail. There are plenty of business-grade options available.
3) An integrated cloud-based phone system
Hosted phone systems are replacing traditional desk phones and take advantage of today’s high-speed broadband and mobile technology. Combining fixed and mobile telephony into a user-controlled online interface equips employees with powerful and flexible features to ensure they have the full technology they are used to at their office. Many cloud-based phone systems offer CRM integration too. This can be an easy way to ensure your teams can access the right contact details for customers and suppliers.
Remote working strategy challenges can be overcome to create one that not only delivers tangible business benefits but also supports a workforce who in turn will benefit from more flexibility while remaining fully connected to colleagues and customers.
Please contact me if you need help with your remote working strategy and solutions. You may also wish to read our new guide: Enabling a remote workforce.