In the summer of 2020, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, shared that in the next decade he fully expects half of Facebook’s 50,000 employees would be remote workers by 2030.
At the same time, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that employees would be allowed to work ‘wherever they feel most creative and productive… even once offices begin to re-open.’
The message is clear. After spending two decades building amenity-packed campuses that entice employees to stay on business premises for as long as possible, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the biggest companies in the world to prepare for the era of remote working.
So, from video conferencing to having more accurate timesheets, what are the actions that companies should take to prepare for the era of remote working? Let’s examine.
Invest in a Robust Video Communications Strategy
To secure business continuity and, as best as possible, replicate in-person contact, businesses should invest in a video conferencing communications infrastructure. Any lack of communication between colleagues and customers will likely have significant ramifications.
For the most part, businesses in Australia have managed to seamlessly transition from in-person contact to video to cope with Covid-19 measures. However, whereas this reactionary success is to be lauded, without a long-term strategy to optimise business communications.
Curiously, many businesses have relied on multiple video chat platforms, including Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and Apple Chat to communicate. The problem is that many businesses have yet to settle on a long-term strategy. Questions like who has a paid account, are there any security standards in place, or does the platform run on all supported devices are still hot topics in virtual boardrooms the world over. Optimising video communications will save businesses a lot of headaches as corporate operations continue to adjust to a Covid-19 world.
Streamline the Platforms Used by All Departments
At the onset of enforced global remote working, businesses scrambled to convert their office-centric operations into fully remote setup. Some companies permitted multiple cloud storage services, like Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox for teams to use to share documents.
This may have been confusing before the pandemic, but in lockdown, colleagues can’t just turn over their shoulder or pick up the phone and ask where the documents they need access to are stored. This has caused more confusion – something that some companies have unwillingly exacerbated by allowing different departments to use different cloud storage platforms.
Over the course of a single day, colleagues might attend a Skype meeting, share documents on a Microsoft Teams call, use Dropbox to access other documents, before chatting on Slack, attaching documents to the conversation. This is unnecessarily confusing and complicated.
Streamline the platforms used by all departments and you’ll improve communications.
Evolve Working from Home (WFH) Contracts
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the rigid corporate lifestyle that compelled people to spend long hours at the office, often at the expense of family and personal well-being, was beginning to be old-fashioned. Covid-19 has accelerated many sectors’ commitment to flexible, long-term working from home.
This fundamental paradigm shift means that companies will now have to evolve their working from home contracts as part of a long-term plan to safeguard employee health and well-being and their own commercial interests. WFH contracts should clarify the company’s position and outline how responsible they are for employee’s health, well-being, and safety.
Moreover, WFH contracts should expand into other areas, including who is responsible for paying for any business broadband service and who is liable for laptop repairs. Any flexible working arrangements should also be explained to employees.
The contract itself should be comprehensive enough to clearly explain employees’ responsibilities when working from home, their working hours, how leave is processed, the importance of keeping more accurate timesheets, and everything else that’s in a standard work contract.
Provide Accurate Time Management Platforms
Despite the largest workforce upheaval in generations, Australian businesses have reported that workers have remained as productive as ever. Our digital infrastructure has proven integral in helping businesses to operate seamlessly throughout the pandemic.
Without platform’s like Deputy, it would be very difficult for businesses of all sizes to manage, motivate and track colleague’s output throughout the day and inform different departments of correct wage calculations.
Real-time insights, including when employee shifts start and finish, who’s on a break, and live updates all contribute to more accurate timesheets that foster employer trust and employee morale and will continue to help businesses operate as seamlessly as possible during the pandemic.
How Can Companies Prepare for the Era of Remote Working?
We have officially entered the era of remote working. The good news for businesses is that they have access to digital infrastructure, complete with automated processes which make any transition seamless and long-term remote working fully accessible.
From video communications to more accurate time timesheets and management platforms which streamline processes, it can be argued that a remote working infrastructure was already in place. All businesses need to do is make sure that they optimise their operations.