Today’s post is from my friends at SocialMonster.org.
Remote working is on the rise. In fact, large enterprises like IBM are now expanding their remote-work program, even as more startups embrace a remote-first foundation, Quartz reports. The shift is no surprise — not only are companies looking to boost productivity by reducing the need for long commutes, but also save money with lowered in-office overhead. Employees also benefit. Recent survey data found that 98 percent of collaborative technologies now make it easier to cultivate staff relationships, while 70 percent of employees said telecommuting gives them more control over their work/life balance, Quartz adds.
So what’s the challenge for businesses looking to embrace a remote-work model? Finding tools that empower out-of-office users without driving up in-house budgets or HR complexity. Here’s a look at three top contenders that might be the right fit for your company.
Are your staff members meeting deadlines and accomplishing key goals while working remotely? Presumably, you wouldn’t have agreed to an out-of-office arrangement unless you were confident that employees were trustworthy and focused. But as Forbes states, it’s still critical to accurately and regularly monitor performance: Are staff hitting their deadlines with room to spare or finishing at the last minute? Are they happy with the remote work arrangement or stressed out by their home environment?
To address these concerns, start with a remote monitoring solution that lets you view and track open projects in addition to tracking any sales calls or corporate level discussions. The right monitoring tool can also boost employee productivity. Stay away from “over-the-shoulder” offerings, which make staff feel as though they’re being watched, and instead opt for more generalized performance monitoring to give employees the sense that their work is noted and appreciated, even as expectations remain consistent.
Bring the Office Home
Working from home demands the ability to prioritize and the skill to adapt as business needs change. And while a reliable, stable internet connection is the basic requirement for any remote staff, providing both value-add communication features and the benefit of enterprise-level professionalism allows employees to make the most of their out-of-office environment.
As a result, it’s critical to provide offsite staff with a virtual office software that combines features such as visual voicemail, instant messaging, video calling, call recording and social media to both empower their work at home and enable easy, anytime connections. This kind of unified communications solution has the double benefit of delivering a consistent, enterprise-brand experience to clients and customers while also allowing HR managers to easily touch base with employees via video chat to discuss their current workload and asses their emotional health.
Share and Share Alike
While it’s critical for HR to manage project deadlines and employees to feel connected, it’s also essential to empower staff-to-staff collaboration. This means finding tools that support both remote-to-office and remote-to-remote connections, giving users the ability to easily share, edit and compare documents. According to Entrepreneur, there are many apps that can help. Glip, for example, lets teams manage tasks, share calendars and have real-time group chats which are then fully searchable. Quip, meanwhile, is designed for document sharing and editing across all Android and iOS phones and tablets for fully mobile users.
The rise of cloud-based tools and the increasing focus on work/life balance have conspired to accelerate remote work adoption among large enterprises and startups alike. For HR pros, delivering on work-from-home potential means embracing the need for arms-length monitoring, empowering the virtual office and ensuring top-tier collaboration tools are available to all employees.