Work from home has become a new normal for companies in the UK and across the world, and some companies even made working a permanent option for employees remotely. Here, the big question arises that whether companies are ready for Permanent work from home and agencies, marketing teams and media companies can also work remotely like other companies and can be considered as a “Work from home” option. It’s good to go option as per some of the company employees whereas some are also not liking it due to environmental change, loneliness etc.
Technology plays a significant role as a hero here – widespread decent broadband makes it possible for employees to work efficiently from a remote location by removing communication barriers. But still, it doesn’t mean that everything is perfect and going well on company charts. The Decline in productivity, difficulty in arranging face to face meetings with clients, and the bad network is the most common problems workforce is facing under the lockdown situation.
There are many changes and preparations companies have done in the past, and some ought to be done to manage this situation appropriately. There are many tasks which are planned to be done on-site are now to be done remotely.
- Analyze the most critical tasks and competencies for current and future business needs
- Assess the costs and benefits
- Restructure jobs and shift them to remote locations for long-term
- Reduce unnecessary coordination among remote workers
Process of managing permanent work from home
There is a 4 step process which a company should follow if they are planning to shift some or all employees remotely into long term positions –
Analyze the most critical tasks and competencies for current and future business needs- Instead of focusing on existing roles, concentrate on key tasks and responsibilities. While creating your to-do list, you must not limit yourself to the current tasks but also focus on the future needs of your business. For example - If marketing is the first task on your mind, it’s a job of marketing analyst who might collect, analyze data, design market surveys, evaluate the targeted demographics and examine the efficiency of marketing channels.
Try to analyze what capabilities you are having right now and where you are lacking. Consider the following things to analyze the performance of a particular task or an employee –
- Client’s feedback
- Data concerning performance appraisal
- Objective performance Metrics
Don’t just limit yourself to mediocrity but set an ideal standard for each task to be performed by the employees. Once you will analyze what capabilities you need, you can easily differentiate between - which roles can be sourced locally and from a remote location.
Assess the costs and benefits- You must analyze and compare the costs and benefits of working onsite and on a remote location. This will provide you with an accurate picture of what you going to gain or lose in terms of work and cost. Remote working also attracts some expenditure but whether is it more than the cost of working onsite that you must calculate before shifting a particular role to a remote location. You must access the benefits of every role to understand whether this role will more be suited to working onsite or remotely.
Restructure jobs and shift them to remote locations for long-term- Most of the roles are still not optimized for the remote location. In a remote location, you need to mainly depend on delayed, asynchronous communication rather than face to face meetings where the decision is taken in just a few minutes or stoppings by your colleague’s desks.
To overcome such barriers, you must focus on building a clear hierarchy, more detailed job descriptions and reporting structure along with guidelines to perform every task efficiently. Structure your teams and tasks in such a way that it should be performed quickly, easily and efficiently. Encourage employees to communicate more frequently through phone, audio or video calls to attend meetings efficiently and improve the remote collaboration. You can also invest in various tools and software’s such as project management software, microphones, high-quality webcams, virtual whiteboards etc. to meet the challenges of working from a remote location efficiently.
Reduce unnecessary coordination among remote workers- Every company, whether big or small, has numerous interdependencies among units or teams, where one employee depends upon another employee for completion of tasks or evaluation of outcomes. You must structure the tasks of your team in such a way that would help you in decreasing the interdependency among the team members. However, some interdependencies are very crucial for the company and cannot be avoided at all. For example – Marketing and engineering teams are interdependent as they have to engage with each other for the creation of products that are technically sound and preferred by the customers. But you can eliminate the other unnecessary interdependencies to make the work of the remote teams easier than before.
However, still, some roles are difficult to transform into remote locations for which the planning still needs to be done. As the UK is currently facing another lockdown situation, every company must do a detailed analysis of every task so that this new way of work should be adopted effectively and efficiently during the pandemic and beyond.
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