Remote work has become the norm in the current scenario. It has completely transformed the way employees work and communicates.
While most people associate remote work with ‘work from home,’ it’s more about getting the job done from anywhere.
If anything, the COVID-19 outbreak has established that it is indeed possible to get work done without actually going to a common workplace. People can now work from anywhere (WFA), be it a cafe, co-working space, their home, or a hotel.
One of the biggest contributors to this relatively new work culture is technology. Increased internet bandwidth, VPN, and laptops are some of the components that make work from anywhere possible.
This blog post offers insights on how you can enable employees to work from anywhere:
1. Ensure that Employees Have the Required Devices
What kind of devices do your employees need to implement WFA?
The answer to this question depends on the nature of your business. While laptops and smartphones are handy for sales presentations and emails, they may not be sufficient.
For instance, if your employees frequently attend conference calls, they will require headsets with built-in microphones.
The most viable approach is to make a list of devices needed for WFA and the budget allocated for each.
Apart from devices, you need to make sure that there is enough bandwidth for data-intensive applications to run smoothly.
2. Allow Access to Mobile Apps
Enterprises use web applications for a variety of purposes. Some of them include, but are not limited to:
- Company news feed
- Automated salary workflows
- Time off tracking
- Employee onboarding
- Compliance management
- Employee feedback
However, with the talks of work from anywhere getting louder, you need to make these features accessible across all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
3. Encourage Virtual Collaboration
The reason why many companies are still apprehensive about WFA is that they wonder about its implications on communication, mentoring, knowledge sharing, problem-solving, brainstorming, and socialization.
These concerns are valid, which is why you must encourage virtual collaboration within your organization. With the right tools, employees can be productive, just like in an office environment.
These days, there are plenty of collaboration tools available at your disposal, such as:
- Google Meet
Use these productivity tools to schedule regular catch-ups, and results will follow.
4. Implement Cyber Security Protocols
Work from anywhere culture brings certain dangers with it. What’s stopping an employee from sharing a client’s details with a competitor? Another concern is the use of less-protected, personal devices by employees. For any enterprise, the security of customer, corporate, and employee data is of utmost importance.
Major IT firms such as TCS are using machine learning algorithms to detect any unusual activities.
You will have to employ computer vision, data visualization, and predictive analytics to ensure bullet-proof data security.
5. Overcome Regulatory Roadblocks
The barriers to WFA aren’t limited to organizations. There are various regulatory hurdles that you might face along the way.
Referring to the example of TCS again, the IT giant had to work with the Indian authorities to make certain legislative amendments that would allow their call center employees to work remotely.
Besides, you will have to comply with the local labor laws concerning sick leaves, vacation, pensions, compensation, and hiring.
6. Improve Network Quality
This is one of the most crucial areas of improvement when it comes to WFA. Poor network quality leads to loss of productivity, and this has been no secret during the viral outbreak.
You should verify that your employee always logs-in through the company’s internal network. If not, they should have a secure Wi-Fi connection or a valid internet plan.
For security reasons, they must be made aware to never access public Wi-Fi while working in a cafe, for instance.
7. Conduct Periodic Surveys
How do you determine your employees’ motivation level in a remote working environment?
The answer is – by conducting periodic surveys. Their responses will tell you a lot about what they feel and think about your work from anywhere policy.
You can ask questions like:
- What motivates you?
- What virtual ways do you prefer for communication?
- How have you been adjusting to the changes?
- What changes were particularly difficult for you?
- How do you think we can improve the remote-working scenario in the future?
Besides, you can then ponder upon ways to enhance their engagement and motivation level.
8. Gamify the Experience
Gamification has become a powerful tool to increase revenues, retention, and engagement. According to Forbes, a lack of engagement is why 70% of enterprises fail during the business transformation phase.
Change is not easy, but it is inevitable. As a business, you have to focus on your core product or service. HurixDigital can help you deliver interesting, engaging, and exciting gamified content right to your employees irrespective of their location. The biggest advantage of gamification is obtaining real-time feedback.
9. Set Realistic Goals
Every employee has unique abilities. While research suggests that productivity boost is indeed possible in the work-from-anywhere scenario, results may vary with individuals. Some staffers may struggle with meeting deadlines while working remotely. In that case, you need to take a one-on-one approach.
Schedule virtual meetings with them on a regular basis and pinpoint the problematic areas. Being empathetic during these tough times is extremely important. Try to understand their limitations and set realistic goals that they can comfortably achieve during a given time period.
With the right planning and approach, the ‘work from anywhere’ model can be continued even after the pandemic abates. The transition to WFA will help build an environment where employees can be comfortable and work at ease, thereby improving their work satisfaction and resulting in increased productivity.
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