In 2020, why aren’t companies yet prepared for a remote workforce?
For decades, American businesses have debated the best way to maximize their employee output while simultaneously keeping them happy enough to stay for the long term. At the forefront of these debates has long been the option to work from home. Technological advancements now make remote work much more viable and therefore much more appealing. So, why do many companies STILL not offer this perk, and in some cases, a necessity? Having worked with many technical digital freelancers, as well as business leaders, we found that they are actually on the same page. Everyone wants to be able to offer the option to work from home in some form or fashion. “A recent survey of 2,000 working professionals and 1,000 hiring managers by LinkedIn found that 82% of workers want to work from home at least one day per week, and 57% want to work from home at least three days per week.” Of course, some major customer-facing industries are just not viable for a remote workforce. Although that is changing and there are more and more creative and industry disruptive possibilities popping up everyday!
It is not a priority.
If it’s not broken, why fix it? There is so much to do in a day – fires to put out and other much more urgent projects. The work-from-home plan gets put on the backburner. The truth is that until something becomes uncomfortable, it is often not a priority. Employees bring up the issue as a “nice to have” instead of a need. Business leaders must understand that when their great talent leaves, they may not be telling you what you need to hear. Commonly, employees feel they can do their jobs in less than the standard 40 hours/week and they feel their time at work and commuting is a waste. So when the team member is given the option to finally work from home, studies show they are even willing to take a pay cut.
They do not know how to make it happen.
With today’s challenges, primarily COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, many companies across countless industries are forced to make this a priority. Ready or not! Luckily, the benefits of creating this work-from-home model, no matter to what degree, will drastically outweigh all of the downsides. It can seem overwhelming to take on a task of this magnitude when your business might have outdated systems and a low level of technological experience. But now is the time! With help, you can come out on the other side of this with a much more agile organization, happier employees and a stronger competitive edge therefore future-proofing your organization through this digital transition. First priority is to begin with your technical digital workforce. Their work is easily transferable to the home and can help set the model for others.
Logistics of Working Remotely
Of course, there are hurdles to having a remote workforce. How does the employee stay engaged and not fall prey to the distractions of home? How do you stay in good communication? How do you track progress? The good news is that there are plentiful best practices and excellent technologies to help facilitate this transition. Education and implementation are key.
Set yourself up for success!
Get dressed. Do not stay in your pajamas all day and do not work from the bed or couch. It is not beneficial for your work, your back, or your good night’s sleep. Getting dressed and going to a work-station (desk, dining table, kitchen bar, porch) is important for countless reasons. It may require some ingenuity to find the ideal setting to work from home. These small steps change your mindset and help you to use your time much more efficiently. Keep your purpose front of mind and be sure to motivate your team. Together, from your living rooms, you can achieve your goals.
Take your breaks.
If you took your coffee break at the office at 10AM, do it at home. Do not work through your lunch breaks. Your mind and body needs the time to recharge. Take the time you would have been commuting to do something good for you and your family. Use that time to tidy up around the house, cook something healthy, take a walk with your dogs, or even get in a full-exercise class. Remember though, everything in moderation. Just because you get to skip your 45 minute commute in the morning, doesn’t mean you should begin your work 90 minutes later. Your hours may not change at all or they may become more flexible. Your job may require that you be responsive during business hours or you may be able to work odd hours. Either way find a new-normal schedule and stick to it. Clearly define what the beginning and end of a work day looks like to you.
Good communication has always been essential to good working relationships. Now, more than ever, it is important to ensure your team is always on the same page. In fact, you might not have thought that your business ever needed project management or online collaboration tools in the past. There are tools now to facilitate good communication and clear project management for all industries. After your team tries these tools, they will wonder how they ever worked without them!
Tech Tips: When working from home, test your technologies long before an important call to make sure you do not need to do updates and always have plenty of chargers readily available.
If you are a technical professional and looking for new digital opportunities available to work from home, become a TECKpert today! Download our app in iOS or Android and fill out your profile to get started.
If you are looking for ways to transform your current team into a technical digital remote workforce, fill the talent gaps, augment your staff, and find the technologies and best practices to implement to make it possible, let TECKpert assess your needs and guide you through the process now. Contact us today.