Should remote work be a permanent strategy for your business?

March 16th, 2021
Should remote work be a permanent strategy for your business?

In our previous blog post, we talked about how Florida businesses such as yours should secure hybrid workforces. However, this assumes that you’ve decided to incorporate remote work as a permanent part of your operations. But how do you arrive at that decision in the first place? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

As with any work setup, you want remote work to be set up for success

If you haven’t done so already, use your standard key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of your remote staff. Assuming teams’ targets remain the same, then KPIs will remain the same, too, so see if there is an improvement or decline in productivity.

From there, you’ll need to perform a deep dive into what works and what doesn’t work for your teams.

Remote work is about workers
Are your staff members happy with the remote work setups that you and your managers have arranged for them? An important question you need to have answered is “What do workers want?”

  • Are staff members asking for more flexibility with their work schedules and deadlines because they have children attending online classes at home whom they need to cook for and tend to?
  • Are people bogged down by too many video calls?
  • Are they exhausted from feeling they’re on call 24/7?
  • Would employees prefer to work at any hour of the day if they don’t need to be reached by their teammates and all they have to do is meet their deadlines?
  • Are team members happy with their managers and how they’re being led in a remote work setup?

Of course, you’ll also have to look into how your managers are doing. Remote work setups have a greater chance of success if managers embrace it and are able to shift their methods to better suit managing distributing teams. If their performance takes a dive, you’ll have to see if it’s because they’re stuck in their management-while-walking-around methodology or they’re not just not vigilant enough when it comes to the productivity of their subordinates.

Remote work is about work tools and processes
Probably a gripe you’ll hear most often from staff members is “My internet service provider is awful!” If people are having connectivity issues, you might want to look into providing them with pocket Wi-Fis or other networking solutions to help them out. However, if such solutions are not feasible, then remote work is not for those employees.

The same is true if workers’ devices are too slow or can’t use company apps and you can't supply them with work computers. Additionally, you’ll also have to consider what your IT team needs to make your remote work setup secure (again, read more about this in our previous post).

However, even when IT infrastructure is impeccable, people may not be too keen on making remote work a permanent option because of how burnt out they became because of it. Managers may be expecting their subordinates to be available all the time, or perhaps targets were raised because people purportedly had more time to work anyway. Work from home setups do tend to blur the line between work and home, and sometimes managers who are overly focused on productivity forget the “home” part of the equation.

Another pain point is strained communication. People may feel like they’re drowning in emails or losing track of who’s doing what. Or perhaps they don’t know how to use newly installed project management software, or are suffering from Zoom fatigue.

If burnout or other process-related problems arise, it may be worth taking a look into root causes and coming up with ways to address these. This is because remote work may still be a win-win situation for both your staff and your company, especially if you consider your bottom line.

It’s worth repeating: Remote work is supposed to be a win-win solution

When remote work setups are well-managed and people are provided with what they need to accomplish their tasks happily and successfully, productivity shoots up naturally — which is something all businesses want. Furthermore, staff members save themselves from stressful commutes and find it easier to carve out time for running errands, being with family and friends, or doing other things that they love.

On the other hand, businesses save on power and connectivity costs by having fewer people in the office. In fact, you may find yourself able to reduce your office space requirements, or hire more people without needing to rent more office space.

However, if remote work makes your company incur operating expenses that don’t help increase revenue, or if this type of setup proves to be detrimental to productivity, then you’re better off going back to having everyone at the office once that is permitted.

Whatever work setup you’re looking to implement, our IT experts at HERO Managed Services LLC can help you strategize. Schedule a consultation today.

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