With the world reeling from the COVID-19 Pandemic, many businesses and individuals are left struggling to find a new sense of normalcy. Regulations and mandates from local and national government have thrust many businesses into having all non-essential employees work from home, with little to no warning or time for planning. So, how do we cope? How do we survive? Better yet, how do we thrive?
There is great comfort in knowing that before this disaster hit, remote work, and even working from home had become a norm. Latest statistics from a 2019 study from Owl Labs entitled State of Remote Work 2019, show that millions of people across the United States work remotely. According to the study, 54% of people work remotely at least once a month, 48% work remotely at least once a week, and 30% of people work remotely full-time. This study also showed that employees that have the ability to work remotely are happier, feel more trusted, and are better able to achieve work-life balance.
Companies and businesses across all industries need remote productivity software that will connect their employees to essential data, office files, and software. Remote access applications and cloud-based software such as Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) ERP gives your employees access to company networks in addition to all of the programs and applications they use regularly, supporting smooth collaboration among team members working from home.
Following are just a few tips and recommendations that will encourage success for the remote/work from home situations we are now facing.
Communication is Key!
Communication can be tough even when employees are all gathered in one location. So how can we effectively communicate when the entire staff is spread out and confined to their own homes? You must have communication tools that all of your employees can use. Email, phones, video conferencing, phone conferencing, and instant messaging are all tools that are readily available and easily accessible for all. A few of our favorite platforms for communication are:
· Google Hangouts
· Microsoft Teams
· Microsoft Outlook
Set your Employees up for Success by Enabling Team Collaboration
Collaboration software and apps are designed to help teams manage and complete projects. Technology has enabled companies to allow their employees to work remotely while communicating effectively and working with the same materials. One of the biggest issues with working remotely in a virtual environment is holding employees accountable for their tasks. Transparency and productivity are boosted when collaboration software and apps feature components such as:
· Task responsibility breakdown
· Change logging
· Time Tracking
A few of our favorite team collaboration apps and software are:
· Google Docs
· Microsoft Teams
· Microsoft SharePoint
There is a very good chance that your company already uses apps and software to track projects, support productive remote work, and monitor remote employees. The rise of cloud computing and mobility solutions across the entire IT landscape created the ability to access work materials from virtually anywhere, whenever the need exists. This includes industry-specific apps that cover micro verticals such as Infor’s CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) ERP. With software and apps that support working remotely, companies can ensure that staff working from home perform all of their normal activities and remain productive, fulfilling projects objectives and job responsibilities just as they would if they were physically on site or in the office.
Employee Time Management and Tracking
For time tracking to be effective, greater depth than simply keeping track of the hours and minutes that employees spend logged into their workspace is required. Setting targets for required work hours, learning about time spent per project, and discovering how employees spend their time will provide a deeper look into remote employee work. Fortunately, there are multiple apps that can assist with just that! A good time tracking software and management app can provide extensive detail on performance and provide insight for future improvements.
A few of our favorite time tracking and time management apps are:
· Habit Tracker
With the wide array of software and apps available, supporting your employees while they work remotely has never been easier. If done right, you will be able to ensure that your employees working from home perform all of their normal work activities and remain productive. And, as the Owl Labs study showed, you may even discover that employees working from home are happier, more focused, and more productive as they realize true work-life balance. Employee satisfaction goes a long way to ensuring the overall success and well-being of your business as a whole. So, while this world-wide pandemic may have initially caused chaos and panic, it has also caused us to reevaluate how we operate on a day to day basis, and we are discovering, together, that we can and will succeed and the manufacturing industry will come out stronger than ever before.