TMCnet Feature
September 25, 2020

Technology and Tools Enhancing the Remote Work Trend

Remote work is no longer a new concept for many companies. According to statistics, more than half of businesses operating globally offer employees some capacity to work from home or remotely. And with the COVID 19 pandemic, what was once an optional set-up became the new normal for most people. According to Stanford University, there’s an increase of 42% in the US workforce working from home full-time, because of the pandemic.

Why is working from home or remote work an essential innovation?

Without the capacity to work remotely, businesses wouldn’t survive the current circumstances. Although some consider the shift a mere necessity, there are employees that prefer to work in companies that offer remote work. Working from home, according to some, helps increase productivity. Not only that, being able to control the work environment reduces stress. Most importantly, remote work is a natural by-product of the digital age. Companies can reduce operational expenses and at the same time, promote a better work-life balance.

The role of technology in the success of remote work is also highly essential. Instead of companies worrying about how employees can cope with the change, they can simply trust the tools. The tools not only enable the worker but also ensures that the business meets all performance indicators. In this article, we will discuss the technology most beneficial when adopting a remote or work from home set-up for any business.

VoIP for seamless telephony and communication

Voice over internet protocol revolutionized communication for businesses across all industries. Using VoIP helped eliminate the need for outdated phone systems. Not only that, using the internet to communicate made it possible for companies to invest in offshore customer support. It’s the most convenient, efficient, and inexpensive means to integrate CRM with other company processes.

Work from home employees can choose a VoIP service that’s suited to their needs. Most providers now offer cloud-based solutions that help integrate other communication features, such as collaboration, video conferencing, and real-time monitoring. And with a cloud-based tool, the employee can access files and apps using any device or when working at a different location.

An all-in-one video-conferencing app

For jobs that don’t require communicating with clients, a video-conferencing app is one of the most useful tools when shifting to a work from home set-up. One of the most significant challenges with remote work is the inability to check in with employees. Managers use video conferencing for meetings and coaching sessions. Interactions (News - Alert) are still vital, as these meetings and random moments could be the breakthrough for ideas that you otherwise won’t come up with while working alone.

Also, video conferencing fills the void left by not being able to interact with colleagues physically. This tool can also help foster better team dynamics, especially when work hours end. Colleagues can also socialize through the app, despite it being remote.

Managing schedules and time adherence using an app

Depending on the available suite of apps and tools used by the company, schedule adherence may be monitored and integrated already. But, in case the capability isn’t available yet, it would be best to use a separate app to plot schedules and monitor employee adherence. The tool should take regular screenshots of the employee’s activity. This way, both the manager and the employee can keep track of productivity and find ways to improve focus and limit distractions. This tool is also helpful in case the employee has a flexible schedule. This way, the employer will only pay for actual work hours.

Project management software

This tool is especially helpful for managers that need to monitor tasks for a large group of employees. Using a project management software, simplifies task assignment and progress assessment. It also helps ensure that each member of the team stays adherent to the project deadline. Like other remote work apps, there are several project management software available with various features to suit individual business needs.

Looking forward to the future of remote work

If we’re assuming that remote work will be the norm in the coming years, then the future does seem bright for the digitally inclined. Many tech companies already embrace the possibility of hiring employees that work primarily from home or in a different location. For example, Google’s (News - Alert) response to the pandemic is to allow their employees to work from home until next year if their job description permits. Other companies like Facebook also followed suit.

But despite the promising future of allowing employees to work from home, the reality is that not all jobs can adopt to this set-up. Of course, many businesses, especially retail, hospitality, and the healthcare sector, require physical presence. But, the good thing is that the majority of office jobs can employ some type of remote work scenario. And as many companies realize the advantages of implementing remote work, there will be less financial pressure for the enterprise, which is especially helpful in today’s economic uncertainties.

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