Businesses worldwide are having to update systems, processes and technologies to ensure their teams can continue to work effectively and securely from home, and it’s very unlikely that we’ll be switching back to the 80/20 split of in-office vs at-home that was once the status quo. In fact, recent Gartner, Inc. surveys* have found that 41% of workers are planning to work remotely more often in the future. What is more, 48% of fully remote employees exhibit high discretionary effort, versus 35% of employees who never work remotely*.
It has also been revealed that the percentage of employees exhibiting high intent to stay with their current employer is 13 percentage points higher among those who never work remotely. There are even studies that show the money that can be saved in office and other expenses, as well as in sick days and vacation time.**
These figures indicate that your remote employees can be more engaged, and more loyal. But how do you keep them happy and effective?
Balance how you connect
Creating a culture of inclusion and trust can be enabled with balanced communication. There are many ways in which to use the technologies available but business leaders need to consider how they use them and how that filters down to their employees.
Ensuring everyone has the same access to information and the means for how they would work day-to-day in the office is step one, and could be the most challenging initially. For businesses that didn’t have the remote set-up to begin with, big adjustments have had to be taken at a faster rate than was previously expected.
Your communication style can be something to consider now that you are all working remotely. Different people will prefer different methods, and including as many possibilities – whether that’s email, phone, or video, and using a mix of these will ensure you are reaching everyone inclusively.
Centralise productivity with processes
The current situation will affect productivity levels for different people at different times. There are new working conditions to adjust to. In many places, schools have been closed which takes an extra toll on parents. Some employees will need to take time off to take care of their family or themselves. And on top of the practical concerns, there are also the psycho-emotional effects of this pandemic to consider.
How can you help them through this? At a time when everyone in the company needs to adjust to a completely different way of working and communicating, a reliable support system is worth its weight in gold. That’s where the service desk comes in. A round-the-clock service desk that backs up your helpdesk and logistics operations, offers a regular audit and improvement of your key functions – including reporting, SLA and call analysis – can lead to a cost reduction of as much as 25% with ongoing year-on-year savings.
Ensuring less downtime caused by IT issues will help your employees focus their priorities whilst accomplishing their tasks quickly and to a high standard. Your IT support partner can help you ensure that your business as a whole is operating effectively and securely from remote environments.
Communicate as humans
Using vulnerability and flexing your communication style isn’t just on you as the business leader. Creating (and using) platforms for your teams to share and connect on will enable a new level of understanding.
From knowing they can discuss matters quickly and easily, to learning new things about one another – a blend of face to face and other communications means such as messaging services can replicate the feeling of togetherness even when you’re apart.
In this time particularly, allowing for good news sharing is vital. Whether that’s a personal touch on a weekly video call, or a message from the CEO sharing personal or work related positives on an update recording.
Don’t be afraid to try something new either – posting happy birthday messages on shared channels, or encouraging online beers and a chat between teams at the end of the week. These are the things that can take you forward and get you through.
Be open to change for the future
See this as a long-term change, not a short-term reaction. Using collaboration tools, new support processes, sharing critical information across the company so everyone is on the same page at the same time, allowing personalities to shine within the community you are creating – all of this and more will continue to benefit all.
Whether facing this change has highlighted the disconnection and allowed you to re-evaluate and reconnect, or if instead it has shown that the distance has had less of an effect than you had feared, now is the time to evaluate together.
The way that remote working can really work for you, your business, and your team, will be discovered in this time and can set-up your future success together.
No matter how you are facing the current changes, Allied Worldwide has over 25 years’ experience of helping customers harness IT infrastructure globally to achieve their goals. For more information please get in touch, we’re always happy to help.