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Remote Work: Its Impact on Work and How We Can Adapt

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As companies and employees realign themselves to the new normal, much of the now remote workforce has begun to realize the advantages of staying remote.

A recent survey by Vox revealed that over 70% of the employed workforce in the U.S has requested to go completely remote by 2025. Thus, it is safe to say that remote work is here to stay, and businesses need to find creative new ways to navigate through these uncertain times.

However, where do business owners and leadership teams start? We have designed this article to help your workforce be up and ready by 2022. So, let us get started!

9 Ways to Empower Your Remote Workforce by 2022

1. Lead with empathy and trust

Let us face it. No one knows the right way to go about work now. Thus, business leaders must cut employees some slack while navigating through such times. A good start would be by first giving your employees the benefit of the doubt and trusting them to give their best.

Another way is by encouraging senior managers and leads to conduct skip-level 1x1s and regular check-ins with employees. Here they can use this time to connect and understand the current state of the employees ― both operationally and non-operationally.

Additionally, remember to tell employees that it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Encourage trial and error, experimentations, and iterations in processes and workflows until all stakeholders are comfortable and confident.

2. Encourage non-operational learnings

With no rules to abide by, it can be easy for employees to lose track of things. This can lead to mistakes, missed deadlines, a dip in productivity, and more.

Take, for instance, employees who may not have a private office space to go about work. Alternatively, take employees who may not have the necessary power or internet backup as they did at the office. These problems are real, and business owners and leadership teams must account for these issues to hamper growth for a while. However, they also need to consider these problems and see how they can empower their employees to get back into form.

With this in mind, allow employees to make mistakes. Also, work towards how you as a business can make their lives better. This is the only way companies can sustain despite the unknown that lies ahead.

3. Help employees create a healthy work-life balance

Happy and healthy individuals translate into efficient and productive employees.

Thus, it is the responsibility of the business and the employees to redefine the new bounds of work from home. An easy start would be leadership teams encouraging employees to become adept at defining a clear work-life balance and setting log-in and log-out periods.

These measures will ensure that your employees stay productive for the few hours they work, maintain a healthy balance between work and life, and do not go towards potential burnouts and stress.

4. Keep your work culture alive

Simply put, your work culture is what happens when no one is looking. Therefore, it is vital to go beyond the superficial level and really identify and reinstate what your company culture stands by.

Ensure your employees understand that work culture is not location-dependent. It is essentially many individuals working together to build both a product/service for customers and a community for themselves.

Keeping this in mind, an easy start would be to be receptive to employee ideas. They are quite often the best at identifying activities that can boost team morale despite the distance. Whether weekly virtual lunches paid by the company or getting together on Friday evenings for beer, make sure your employees feel a sense of belonging and security.

5. Look for creative new ways to educate and engage your teams

Leadership teams have to ensure employees feel connected and confident enough to produce significant impact even amidst high levels of uncertainty.

An easy way to get the ball rolling is by empowering employees to adapt to change. For example, conduct lunch and learns, webinars, or quick brainstorming sessions to understand and help employees through their challenges.

This becomes particularly important if your business either uses or plans to use cloud technology or automation-driven software. If employees are opposed to introducing or working with new tech, these sessions may help them rationalize their fears and get on the digital bandwagon.

Most businesses today also resort to webinar software to enable online employee training sessions with no hassles. This makes learning fun, educational, and genuinely useful for your employees. Thus, all businesses must prioritize aiding employees with the necessary resources and tools to get the job done.

6. Ensure effective communication and collaboration

Team collaboration during remote work directly corresponds to the productivity and efficiency levels of the company.

Thus, encouraging seamless communication and collaboration across teams and departments would mean finding new ways to streamline, automate, and document all tasks, subtasks, workflows, and processes.

The simplest way to get started on this would be to look into apps like Slack that help employees communicate efficiently and easily document all conversations and findings.

This does not just help remote employees engage but also reinforces that your work culture can exist regardless of the miles between your employees.

7. Equip your employees with the right technologies

The impact and sustainability of remote work directly correlate to the autonomy employees have.

As a result, businesses need to develop an agile culture with an employee-first mindset to move forward. An intelligent start would be to give your employees the independence to buy tools and software to complete tasks quickly and accurately.

Alternatively, if you as an employer are looking to choose the technologies yourself, here is how you can go about it:

  • First, ask critical stakeholders to list all broken processes (big or small) which need fixing.
  • Next, map out which parts of your organization are being affected by the identified challenges.
  • Then, prioritize and list which of these process improvements are long-term or short-term.
  • Now, make a list of all the software that could help you fix these challenges.
  • Finally, conduct multiple software test runs with all the stakeholders involved to understand if it suits your business needs.
  • Once the desired software is chosen, ensure employees receive enough training to make the transition smoothly.

8. Maintain financial control by automating expense management

With distributed teams scattered worldwide, maintaining any level of financial control or visibility for Finance teams can be a daunting task.

Thus, businesses must consider using an expense management software to fix their expense management for their employees and Accounting and Finance teams.

Benefits of Using Automated Expense Management for Business Expenses

  • An expense report software eliminates manual data entry by accurately extracting data automatically from receipts with OCR technology. It then auto-populates a draft expense report that employees can verify and submit in seconds. Employees can also view the real-time status of claims via their dashboard. This makes expense reporting and tracking easy for employees.
  • The software also comes with a real-time policy engine that checks all submitted expenses against company policies at the time of expense submission. Armed with centralized data storage, it ensures no fraudulent or duplicate expenses get by. This automates duplicate and fraudulent expense detection for Finance teams.
  • Lastly, an expense software ensures every reported expense complies with IRS rules and regulations, making audits a breeze. Finance teams and company executives can also use the advanced data analytics feature that comes with the software to gain complete control and visibility into business expenses and costs. This ensures your business finances are always in check.

9. Redefine and measure new process improvements

As a business owner who may apply some of these ways to enable remote teams, one thing is clear: There will be many moving parts in the mix.

With multiple changes happening in parallel across departments and teams, it may get easy to lose track. Thus, it becomes vital for all teams to document and discuss findings with relevant stakeholders at defined periods. This will help business owners work with leads to ensure the implemented process changes positively impact work. This will also help teams access precisely what is working or not.

Conclusion

Establishing a new normal is not going to be easy. It requires both business owners and teams to evaluate how they can upgrade themselves and processes to adapt to the new normal. This requires all stakeholders to work together to navigate through such times.

Additionally, business owners must pay heed to both operational and non-operational aspects of moving remote. In doing so, they can become active contributors to making the lives of their employees better. This will only result in happy and loyal employees ready to do their bit.

Businesses must develop a robust culture that ensures the same levels of office efficiency even while remote. That is the only way they can stay rest assured that their business stands the tests of time. With these nine easy steps, we hope you lead your business to the path of success and scale.

The post Remote Work: Its Impact on Work and How We Can Adapt appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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