The current crisis, caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, has a major impact on economies all around the world. Also, it is forcing companies to adopt and implement the Teleworking Model at top speed. This represents a great challenge as well as a sea of opportunities to generate a change in the organizational culture of companies at the same time.
But, is Teleworking beneficial?
The World Labor Organization reports that in 2020, only 17% of all companies offer their employees the possibility of working remotely. Despite this relatively low percentage, companies that have implemented this work model found a reduction in expenses in regard to resources and a great positive impact on productivity and talent retention. In addition, employees benefit from this condition by reducing their spending on transportation and food and obtaining greater flexibility in terms of the organization of working hours and schedules.
To help this situation, multinationals like Microsoft and Google have launched different applications for free. This way, they are promoting the performance of daily tasks remotely. In the case of Microsoft, they have been offering 6 months free versions of Microsoft Teams worldwide. On the other hand, Google has announced to provide free access to some advanced features of Hangout Meet, which means that companies will be able to hold meetings with 250 participants and broadcast them live for up to 100,000 users.
At Atrivity, we have been successfully applying Telework for years and for this reason we would like to share our experience. We have compiled an article that will give you more insight into the key elements in regard to implementing Teleworking in 7 easy steps. Let's get started!
#1 Who Telecommutes?
Working from home or from somewhere else may not be as easy as it seems at first glance. Not all jobs or tasks are susceptible to remote-work, because many still require the physical presence of employees at this point in time.
The most suitable activities to be carried out remotely are especially those that are focussed on services. Other sectors that have departments that can carry out tasks from other locations, outside the usual work area are:
- Customer Support
- Software Development
- Design and Data Analytics
- Data Entry and Recovery
It is important to analyze which positions within a company with little teleworking flexibility (builders, producers, product distributors, manufacturing ...) have the potential to carry out their work elsewhere outside the workplace. Is it possible that a HR director can carry out his or her tasks from home? If the answer is yes, prepare the second step and offer this possibility.
#2 Mark the guidelines to follow
It is just as important to define which areas are more capable of being carried out remotely as to define a protocol that regulates the work carried out by the employees. For teleworking to exist, it is necessary to establish regulatory guidelines, stating for example the duration, which could be seen as an agreement between company and worker on short and long-term objectives.
For any form of remote work to be successful, objectives must be set periodically. It is very complex for a company to evaluate the way in which workers organize their time to fulfill the job, but it is easy to offer the necessary guidelines to clarify the objectives to be fulfilled within the time frame in which they telecommute. For example, if part of the team teleworks on Tuesdays, a training webinar on new work techniques associated with the specific position can be organized and later evaluated based on the knowledge acquired. In the case of a telephone commercial, the workers could also communicate to the company via chats and at the end of it have a video call or chat to verify performance and address problems that have arisen, giving them relevant support and advice.
Platforms like Slack allow companies to communicate and transfer files individually or through channels with a remote team and get direct feedback on the work done. In this way you can also obtain constant communication and act in the face of any unforeseen event.
#3 Boost Training For Your Staff
Working remotely implies being completely autonomous, not only in the tasks to be carried out, but also in the use of the technologies to be applied. For this reason, it is necessary to train and educate both teleworkers and their managers. Training must be specialized for optimal teleworking performance, job position and the tasks to be carried out by each employee.
Additionally, there are many sectors that will not be able to carry out tasks with the constancy or the usual productivity (sales teams, visitors, ...) and for this reason, it is time to reinforce training policies that the constant work rate does not allow to implement .
It is also time to make intelligent use of LMS or e-learning tools. But beware, if it has previously been complex to promote, manage and evaluate its use, this task most likely becomes even more complicated from remote environments. It is recommended to value the use of gamification to give this extra - hook, dynamism, effectiveness, ... to the training content.
There are mobile applications such as Atrivity that contribute to enhancing access and use of LMS platforms. How?
Select the contents you want to reproduce in the tool in the form of more understandable and dynamic training pills and associate them with games that evaluate the knowledge acquired. The result of this strategy is an improved commitment to training and a greater motivation of the teams thanks to the game.
With good planning, the tool allows managers from different work areas to offer constant training schedules to their teams, so that they can combine the most routine tasks of their job position with necessary training on the product or strategies. Thanks to one of the main features of Atrivity, notifications about industry news, relevant events, business notification, any document and/or link that seems relevant to help reinforce commitment to the position and the company can be included in situations of prolonged teleworking.
Nuevo Feed: comunica una novedad y crea un reto formativo para ayudar a retener la información
#4 Provide the Necessary Technological Equipment
It is not enough to agree on the guidelines and train staff, to be able to work autonomously from home. Companies need to provide the necessary equipment and tools, so that they can carry out their activity as if they were in the office.
What does a teleworker need?
Make sure the worker has an agile Internet service, a good computer equipment and other tools such as a telephone or printer. Some stations require a secure connection to certain applications and will need to have a private network connection (VPN) Remember! All expenses derived from telework must be covered by the company.
#5 Make Sure you Get Effective Communication Channels
One of the most important key factors for remote work to be successful is: communication. Having fluid and constant communication between superiors and colleagues is essential to strengthen ties and maintain group cohesion. It is at this time that promoting an efficient internal communication structure can make the difference between achieving all objectives or failing.
We must insist on the use of tools that help us strengthen personal contact, even if it is remote.
Make video calls, create group chats, use task planners, keep track of meetings and set tasks in them, in short, make an intelligent selection of the technological tools you consider appropriate for a good performance of remote work.
Fuente: fullvector - www.freepik.es
Sometimes there are situations, such as the global coronavirus crisis, that force companies to extend teleworking indefinitely. As we have mentioned, a good organization of tasks and a correct use of technology will allow fluid work, but we need continuity. In these cases it is good to establish a tool as the main news channel, so as not to confuse workers with multiple tools.
Solutions such as Atrivity and its new Feed section allow instant and personalized communication of any information or corporate news. A competitive advantage is that at the same time, the contents can be associated with game dynamics that ensure a successful absorption to later evaluate the learning results and reinforce the knowledge gaps with new news.
#6 Mark The Objectives To Achieve
Before starting any teleworking strategy, it is very important to mark the short and medium term objectives to be achieved. These objectives must be clear, precise and measurable, in order to avoid any misunderstanding that affects the relationship between company and worker.
There are several pointers on monitoring teleworker activity and productivity, but both focus on the time spent during the day to complete tasks. Something important but at the same time relative and subjective, since the most relevant thing is not the time they spend achieving them, but the results obtained!
#7 Implement an Efficient Control System
Finally, it actively monitors compliance with the established guidelines, the proposed objectives and the internal communication structure.
It is important to have tools in place that allow time control of telework adapted to the regulations in force in each sector and work agreement. This allows companies to analyze the behaviour of workers in their days with the sole objective of enhancing their work, commitment and detect where we fail and act accordingly.
Fuente: fullvector - www.freepik.es
Our conclusions in light of the above ...
Despite the difficulties, remote work can be implemented progressively and at the same time adapting to the needs of the workers and the company itself. It is true that current remote working systems are designed for short hours or skipped days, not for long-term continuity. In any case, even if the teleworking climate is forced, we must work to analyze and detect problems or opportunities in time that allow companies to improve their work, so that we can successfully exit this situation.