As per a survey of CIOs by Enterprise Technology Research (ETR), 72% of companies are currently working remotely.
This means close to three-fourths of the working population are presently running helter-skelter, looking for the new normal. As a result, while some business functions have survived the remote setup, others have succumbed.
This brings us to the question of whether businesses need to create a hybrid work culture and ecosystem to thrive during these times. The simple answer is yes.
But where does one start, you ask? This article covers five easy steps for business owners and leadership teams to build a sustainable remote workforce by 2022. So, let’s dive in!
5 ways to build a sustainable remote workforce
Things changed quickly with the pandemic for businesses. Unfortunately, this left little to no room for companies to plan out the transition. As a result, most financial and operational processes never had the time or the opportunity to adapt. This needs to change if businesses are looking to create a sustainable and scalable remote workforce.
To start with, here are five quick things employers and management can change or improve to help teams transition smoothly.
1. Help employees set up home work-offices
Your employees never thought that one day their homes would turn into their 24×7 workstation. So it’s only fair to assume that they lack the resources to carry out day-to-day business operations successfully.
If businesses are keen to help their employees transition, they can’t just stop at empowering them at work. It goes beyond that.
A decent start is to encourage employees to speak about the challenges they face with remote working. Some of the most common challenges that may show up are:
- Bad power backup.
- Not-so-good internet connectivity.
- No “office space,” desk, and other such things.
Once business owners and leadership teams have a list of problems beyond work, they can start looking into whether they can help employees fix those issues. Most companies that have addressed this challenge have given their employees a set lump sum amount to help employees set up a home office.
This gesture from management reestablishes that you genuinely care about your employees. It also sets your employees to succeed at work, despite being remote.
2. Improve cross-team communications and collaborations
The one thing that is bound to change with remote work is the requirement of in-person processes and workflows. This means business owners need to consider this challenge as a priority to fix to ensure sustainability.
While this may seem trivial, incomplete and haphazard communication coupled with undocumented conversations and meeting notes may cost your teams. But this isn’t something businesses need to stress about.
Many softwares like Slack and Zoom help teams talk to each other, share files, and more, just like they would with a personal app like WhatsApp. This makes the process easy for everyone and helps document all information with zero extra effort. It also plays a vital role in boosting employee and overall productivity.
3. Encourage (remote) non-operational meetups and gatherings
There’s no denying that your employees were much more connected when working from a single office space. However, with remote work and teams running from pillar to post to get around changing processes, it hardly leaves them any time to connect on a personal level.
While operational and business-related meetings may happen as is, business owners and HRs need to encourage non-operational virtual gatherings. This would open doors for earnest conversations and help create a sense of bonding and connection, irrespective of the miles that separate.
These bonds and relationships that they build would help them navigate through such times and get work done in the best way possible.
4. Inspire your teams to jump onto the digital bandwagon of change
Digital transformation is critical for business survival today. And why is that, you ask?
The pandemic has almost reset all business processes, workflows, and even basic communication amongst teams. Additionally, we already know that manual and in-person processes just won’t cut anymore.
To fix this problem for good, businesses must work towards tomorrow’s normal and walk hand-in-hand with technology to help address business problems.
A digital shift will fix most remote work challenges and add a layer of security, accuracy, and control over all business processes. It will also simplify operations for your employees, freeing up time for high-impact tasks to help your business grow.
List of software to start with:
- Trello: To virtually manage all projects, tasks, and subtasks.
- Notion: To document all company-wide communications.
- Fyle: To ensure seamless business expense management.
- Google Drive: To centralize and securely store files and docs.
- CultureAmp: To measure the current pulse of employees.
5. Automate remote expense management to ensure solid financials
Healthy financials is the crux of any successful business. Unfortunately, as a result, Finance teams often are left with the burden are working with multiple teams across departments to get a clearer picture of the current state of expenses within the company.
Sadly, given the remote context, manual expense management seems to break and open your business to financial leaks via accounting and manual data entry errors, expense fraud, and more. Thus, companies must consider using an automated expense software to address these issues.
An expense report software streamlines and automates all processes for all stakeholders and takes up all the time and case-sensitive tasks like manual verifications and fraud detection. This gives Finance teams 100% control and visibility into all expenses across the board. In addition, this arms Finance teams with vital information to ensure your company finances are always in safe hands.
Remote or not, businesses need to keep up with the change to stand the tests of time.
A recent study by McKinsey stated 31% of businesses have fully automated at least one business function. So there’s no denying that change is right around the corner. The only question is when will your company embrace it for business success and scale.