Many are currently debating the ‘new normal’ and what it might look like. Our lives have been transformed by the COVID crisis and remote working has become standard practice for most of us. In a society crying out for stability it is up to us to shape the future of our businesses and working practices.
So, what will future working procedures look like?
According to new research by Gartner many employees will have the opportunity to work from home permanently. In fact, nearly three quarters of CFOs plan to shift at least 5% of on-site employees to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19. This may be due to employee reports of higher job satisfaction and productivity, which in turn means greater profitability for employers. This more flexible future in working practices will be a welcome change for many, with the world’s tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon leading the way forward, shaping and defining flexible working arrangements.
What is apparent, though, is that many businesses are continuing to rely on the emergency measures put in place because of the pandemic. And that they have not rigorously ‘stress tested’ their departments to ensure that everything truly runs as smoothly out of the office as it does within.
Did you know: 84% of people say it’s either very or quite important for employers to offer staff the option of working from home?
As workplaces continue to heal from the effects of the pandemic, it’s vital that those planning to continue with any form of remote working review their processes. Ask yourself….
Is your remote workforce able to compete with those that are returning to the office full time?
Here are our top tips to ensure the answer to that question is absolutely, yes!
Remote Working for employers
Clear communication with your colleagues is the single most important thing to ensure a business and its employees stay productive. It is essential to ensure employees know exactly what is expected of them. Remember to provide employees with regular updates on what is happening within the company itself. And, with a lack of face to face interaction encourage activities like virtual pubs, coffee breaks and quiz nights to keep colleagues in touch on a personal level.
Incorporate old office policies
It may be impossible to incorporate all the company office policies in a remote working environment as well as we would like, but some are in need of a lot of consideration. Policies such as onboarding a new staff member have to be as well defined and comprehensive as its previous office equivalent. A well-considered mix of great communication, (virtual) face time and extensive training will make sure they have the best possible remote new starter experience.
Find the right tools to help you communicate
It appears that many employees feel they lack the tools required for them to effectively communicate. In fact, 41% of employees work for companies that don’t provide work-approved mobile communication tools.
Technology can play a huge role in supporting remote working communication, and software to improve remote working communication with both customers and colleagues is readily accessible.
Make it easy for productivity to flourish
54% of HR leaders in a snap poll indicated that poor technology and/or infrastructure for remote working is the biggest barrier to effective remote working in their organisation. By utilising cloud-based programmes for remote workers, productivity can thrive.
One of the significant matters that remote working employees face is effectively structuring their day. Combat this with morning catch ups to define the tasks for the day and their prioritisation. Making sure employees also take adequate screen breaks is just as important.
Taking on board employee comments and suggestions is a great way to continually improve remote working practices, and quick surveys can be invaluable for gathering this data. Remote working is new to a significant number of employers so listening to and learning from employees is key. Be open to change and evolve company practices to keep morale up, ensure everything runs smoothly and safeguard employee satisfaction levels.
Remote working for employees
Now, it can be easy to only think about how remote working effects a business, but what about how it can affect employees?
If you’re settling into a more permanent remote working role, here are a few recommendations…
Use the tools available to you
There are many tools available to help you keep in contact with colleagues and customers alike. Software like CloudCall can help you with this.
Regular contact with your colleagues will not only help with productivity and the risk of misunderstandings, but also help to reduce the negative affects of working in isolation.
Structure your day
Stick to a schedule to help you focus on the work at hand. Make sure you take a lunch break and some time away from the screen. Prioritising your tasks will also help!
Have a workspace
Having a space to work will not only help you keep work separate from your home life but will also aid in productivity in the long run as it minimizes distractions.
Start your day at the same time as you would normally arrive in your office or workplace, and finish your day at the same time, too. When the workday is over, shut down and unwind!
Take regular breaks
Research had found that short breaks during the day are more beneficial than less frequent, longer breaks. This helps to increase focus and productivity.
Keep yourself healthy
This means body and mind! Maybe schedule time for a workout and have regular interaction with others to keep loneliness at bay. Eat healthy and stay hydrated!
The essentials for everyone
Everting you need to be productive and motivated while working at home!
Your computer should be considered the most important tool in your work from home setup. If you are used to having monitors or a mouse, see if you are allowed to take anything from the office. If not, it might be worth investing so you can work in a way that you’re familiar with.
Maintain professional, high-quality calls with your colleagues, clients and customers with a headset and microphone. As you won’t be meeting face-to-face, food communication is essential to keeping up relationships
Just as important as any physical item, a good routine will enable you to be productive while working remotely
You will need all the necessary software installed to get on with your work. This could mean virtual meeting apps, a call and instant messaging platform or CRM access
Desk and chair
Comfort is often overlooked, but if you are spending 8 hours a day in a kitchen chair, you will quickly develop an achy back! A large desk and comfortable office chair will keep your motivated and off the couch.
With cloud-based software, internet phone calls and endless emails, make sure your home internet is up to the job. The last thing you want is to drop out of an important conversation with a client. If you home WiFi is struggling, try connection to your mobile phones hotspot.
Go green, and stay green!
We have been given a Green Economy Mark by London Stock Exchange. Companies receive the mark when 50% of their total revenue is from environmentally positive goods, products and services.
You don’t need a huge company or lots of stocks to be able to make an impact. With so many people working from home at the moment, there are plenty of ways for you to go green. Most of which don’t even involve moving from your chair – which makes us happy.
When people started working at home this year – one thing made a lot of people, us included, very excited. This was no more commutes! If you have swapped your car journey, train, tube or bus for a short walk to your desk, you’re already helping to go green.
Whilst you have more time at home, it may be easier to save on electricity – therefore reducing your bills. Winner winner! Turn off your lights, shut down your devices and use your central heating wisely whilst at home to reduce your carbon footprint.
We know what a normal day at work looks like. Sandwich wrapper, couple of coffee cups, one or two or seven crisp wrappers (depending on how well the day is going). Whilst at home all your utensils and cutlery should be reusable to save on single use plastics and paper. Swapping for a reusable water bottle is a great starting point!
These are just a couple of easy steps to take to be greener whilst working remotely. From picking a ‘green’ delivery slot to going vegan or even getting yourself a worm farm (we’ll let you Google that one), there are plenty of ways for you to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Remote working made simple with CloudCall
With CloudCall, you’re opening the door for a seamless remote working experience. We offer employee empowerment, fluid team collaboration and enhanced connectivity.
Enabling any device, whether it be your mobile, softphone or click device, you’ll experience a smooth, reliable user experience that promotes flexibility, reliability and ultimately productivity. This is the remote working integration that you don’t want to miss out on.
So, whether your team are at home, the office or off site, keep your workforce engaged whilst under the assurance that every conversation is stored in your CRM.
Learn more about how CloudCall can help you and your team work remotely here.