In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses around the world faced a reconfigured workforce landscape. After working from home for many months, a substantial number of workers decided they wanted no part of their employers’ return-to-office plans. That touched off a wave of resignations and standoffs between businesses and their workers.
Now, it’s apparent that fully or partially remote workforces will be a part of the future for many companies, whether they want it that way or not. For major brands, that means the time is now to figure out how to navigate that shift without risking their reputation for quality and top-notch customer service.
Fortunately, adopting the right technology solutions to support their remote workforce can help them do it. Here are four remote-workforce technology essentials every business needs to seamlessly transition into the remote work future.
Employee Monitoring Technology
Although business decision-makers don’t like to acknowledge it, a substantial portion of their resistance to remote work comes down to their fear of losing managerial control over their workers. That’s despite countless studies proving that a remote workforce is as productive — or more productive — than a traditional in-office equivalent. To assuage their fears, though, and to create a measure of visibility and transparency, they can deploy software for employee monitoring. The latest versions of such software can track useful metrics like time-on-task, app usage, website usage, and productivity. In other words — it gives them complete visibility into how their employees use their time.
Digital Communications Technology
Another remote workforce technology essential businesses should adopt is digital communications technology. This includes cloud-based VoIP systems, video conferencing platforms, and employee-to-employee chat systems. And for employees in communication-centric roles, it’s also worth providing software that centralizes all emails in one place. That way they can cover multiple inboxes without any app switching and the confusion it creates. Together, those tools make it possible for employees to communicate with each other and with customers as well as when they worked in a single office.
Digital Productivity Tools
Individual employee productivity is a key factor in maintaining a business’s product quality and customer service capacity. So, it’s essential to arm all remote workers with digital productivity tools to help them make the most of each day. Such tools include collaboration software, project management software, file storage, and file sharing tools. Employees can leverage those tools to get more done each day. It’s one of the most important types of investments that businesses can make for their remote workforces. Without such tools, remote workers often struggle to adapt their in-office workflows to their new all-remote environment.
Remote Onboarding Technologies
Remote onboarding technologies round out the list of must-haves for businesses attempting to embrace larger remote workforces. The reason is simple. Once the transition to an all or part remote workforce happens, the business’s first all-remote hire is certain to follow. It’s critical to help each new remote hire get up to speed and ready to work as fast as possible. It’s also essential to take steps to see that new remote workers will live up to the quality standards that existing employees do. Remote onboarding technologies like learning portals, orientation chatbots, and survey feedback systems are the keys to making all of those things happen.
Prepared for the Remote Work Future
Although businesses would rather have moved toward remote work on their own terms, many no longer have a choice. And for those businesses with positive brand reputations built over the years, the time to act to preserve them during the transition to remote work is now. Those that delay will increasingly find it difficult to hire and retain top talent. Then, they’ll see their reputations tarnished by operational problems they could have avoided.
With the remote work technology essentials detailed here in place, it’s not hard to prevent such outcomes, however. All that remains is for decision-makers within each affected business to summon the will and vision to do what’s necessary. The road to the remote work future will end up being as easy or as difficult as businesses choose it to be — and choosing the former is as simple as acting now.