The exodus of tech employees that recently populated Silicon Valley isn’t the only case when people move to more comfortable and affordable housing because of remote work opportunities. Work from home models and trends have taken hold with the global pandemic situation that made lots of people quit their offices to observe COVID-related restrictions and social distance. Businesses all over the world keep investing in work from home technology to ensure an effective working environment for their employees, strengthen data security measures, and increase productivity even in the post-pandemic times as lots of tech people prefer keeping to work from home to visiting offices.
What are the key challenges businesses face while allowing their employees to work remotely? Here are some of the most pressing issues:
- Lack of knowledge on how to monitor the work done and help people be more productive
- Decreased engagement of employees with the company’s business, culture, and fellow employees
- Doubts about what “work from home tech” to choose and how to efficiently manage devices
- Inadequate data security measures and increased number of breaches because of compromised credentials
- Increased employee turnover
Let’s dig deeper to learn how to overcome the challenges mentioned with no stress and hassle.
Solutions to 5 most pressing problems caused by distributed teams
DICEUS, like any other software development company, faced the problem of what to do with remote work organization in the first months of the pandemic. And although we managed to cope with initial difficulties, there are still some nuances we have to pay attention to as most of our employees keep working from home. Below you will see some tips to arrange remote work for tech teams.
So, let’s start with the first problem mentioned above — how to monitor what was done and ensure appropriate productivity. The simplest way to track the jobs done and time spent is to implement some time-tracking tools like Tome Doctor or Toggle, for instance. However, such software must be chosen with exceptional care as it should meet your needs. For example, in the case of a large company, Toggle won’t fit while small startups and businesses can easily use it for their purposes.
A more serious approach is to introduce project management software like Jira. We use it ourselves as thousands of tech companies do globally. Jira is a perfect solution to plan, track, release, report, and create any workflow comfortable for your team. It can be integrated with any other tools to make project development as seamless and smooth as possible. Besides, Jira invested much in setting up the proper compliance with GDPR, ISO, SOC, and more privacy regulations.
While solid project management software is a must, there’s one more important thing to consider — trust. Siemens’s CEO says, “We trust our employees and empower them to shape their work themselves so that they can achieve the best possible results.” Sometimes, trust is instrumental in increasing productivity among employees, and no software can replace it.
The second challenge concerning decreased employee engagement often leads to declining quality of work, worse collaboration, and pessimism across teams. So, pay due attention to harmonizing relationships among fellow workers, timely identifying their needs and problems, getting feedback. Informal online meetups, corporate events, voting, surveys in social media can help you motivate your employees to participate in the company’s life.
Another way to involve employees is to regularly hold one-to-one meetings, think out talking points to assess how a person feels about working in your company, with his/her teammates, etc. For these meetings to be more effective, do what you promised to help solve the issues articulated by the employee.
What technology to choose and how to manage devices are probably the toughest challenges when a business is about to change its operational processes. It is a well-known fact that lockdowns facilitated a digital transformation in many industries. For example, brick-and-mortar shops that used to sell offline only had to rethink their opportunities and move online to drive sales. To set up the proper process, they had to develop websites, integrate them with payment gateways, hire staff, and set up operations. All these actions and activities required the right choice of software and technology solutions.
The choice of the right technology will usually depend on the industry you work in, the size of your company, the objectives you pursue, and many more. The cost of technology will also be affected by a number of factors like how many users will use the software, the number of functionalities you need, the type of software (off-the-shelf or custom-built), etc.
Along with new technology implementation, consider optimizing existing applications and systems. If you don’t have tech specialists onboard that are able to conduct software audits, search for professional audit services. After such analysis, you will be recommended on how to better optimize existing software, what functionalities you lack, what technology gaps you have, and how to bridge those with the right solutions.
Increased breaches because of compromised credentials make businesses think of cybersecurity as the number one priority. Cisco stated that there were growing concerns about how information was accessed remotely in their report on secure remote work. They also admitted that it was expected to see great investments in data security measures taken with the help of improved IT infrastructure and new software.
Along with setting up a robust IT infrastructure, make sure you have regular learning sessions teaching employees best practices and technology tips for working from home. Besides, you must provide strict guidance on cybersecurity measures for existing employees and newcomers.
Although many companies admit that their employee retention rate has become higher, there’s still high employee turnover caused by various factors. Some people who used to work in offices feel that they are losing control over their work-life balance, answering calls after business hours, having unplanned meetings, or replying to urgent requests. To avoid employee burnout, empower your workers with clear guidance and technology to add blockers for non-work time.
Working from home technology to increase productivity
Companies all over the world keep investing in the best technology for working remotely and automate processes. The leading technologies are robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI and ML), cloud computing.
RPA, having been already popular before the coronavirus outbreak, allows for automating repetitive jobs, which drastically saves the time and efforts of many employees. Besides, it is a perfect solution to automate and easily manage various HR policies like sick leaves, for instance. It’s easier to use an RPA bot than make changes in the human resources management software. Here’s how else RPA can improve the working conditions. UiPath, a leading RPA provider, created the following solutions to support remote work:
- Call scheduling that can search for conflicts in your calendar and ask to reschedule a meeting
- Call notes realized by a bot that sends notes to participants of the call
- Slack updates that automatically show your status according to your calendar
If you think about how your company may benefit from RPA, consider our free consulting. Check out DICEUS’s RPA expertise.
Here are some other work from home tech tips from UiPath collected:
- Automate your email reminders to your co-workers to send their weekly/monthly updates
- Share meeting notes with everyone on the invite calendar
- Manage your task load with robots for Jira
- Order lunch from local meal delivery using a bot
Artificial intelligence helps increase employee engagement by tracking workers’ feedback. AI-powered platforms work as early warning systems to timely report managers on employee risks. Timely notices allow for soon actions to solve any internal problems.
Need professional services to implement AI? Check out what we offer.
AI-based technology for working from home provides the following capabilities:
- Provide customer support instantly in real time
- Analyze large volumes of data, classify, and categorize it
- Predict sales, churn, and other vital data to build effective business strategies
- Verify customer documents for faster onboarding
Cloud computing is as demanded work from home technology as never before as lots of businesses are rethinking their work-from-home capabilities, and thousands of them have already made their choice to move to the cloud. The others who already had been using cloud solutions, invest in optimizing them to get maximum use.
Cloud is considered one of the best work from home tech that allows people to work from anywhere. For lots of your employees, home may be the most comfortable working environment, facilitating productivity and high motivation. Cloud technology also adds value to better collaboration among distributed team members as everyone can work from the place they like, be it an office, a café, or home.
Cloud technology for working remotely can help you do the following things:
- Work on the same document simultaneously
- Access your working portals from anywhere
- Sync up on work progress with your teammates
- Communicate via video conferencing
Consider moving to the cloud? Explore our expertise.
To implement any technology within your organization, you should start with in-depth business analysis, thorough planning of stages, timeline schedule. Our team has ten years of experience providing professional guidance and assistance to businesses in implementing AI, ML, RPA, cloud solutions, and many more. We’ll gladly help you identify the gaps that prevent you from ensuring the effective support of your employees. Let’s discuss how to better implement remote working technology for your business.
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