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BW Businessworld

Empowering The Remote Workforce In The New Normal

Here are some steps that managers can implement to create an efficient remote workplace.

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Remote work has redefined the landscape of the modern workplace. While it comes with the promise of increased access to talent and reduced costs, now that workforce is distributed and borderless, the challenges are just as substantial. Employees are finding it tough to determine work-life balance, quickly learn new technology and be in sync with their teams. More importantly, the large-scale shift to remote working is underlined by a cultural change. The new normal demands a new mindset and it is no secret that managers and leaders will play a critical role in championing this change. 

Here are some steps that managers can implement to create an efficient remote workplace.

Establish a remote work policy

Building a strong digital workplace strategy is anchored on establishing a comprehensive remote work policy. Managers should sit down with their teams to chalk out business goals and objectives and determine how they will be achieved. Setting up such a policy can help clarify expectations for employees regarding how previously non-virtual processes will be carried out now, when they are expected to be available, how they must report their work, how productivity will be measured etc. 

Keep employee training up-to-date 

Employees will require guidance and support as they figure out how to work in this new environment, especially with no colleague sitting next to them to tap on the shoulder and seek help from. According to a pre-pandemic study by Forrester, one of the key challenges for organizations in CRM adoption was people-related obstacles, with 49% due to slow user adoption and inadequate attention paid to change management and training being the key threat for 36%. In a remote work environment, this would especially not be sustainable. Here, implementing a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) can help employees learn how to use new technology while working remotely. The personalised, guided walkthroughs and self-help resources offered by DAPs also helps empower employees to be self-reliant in the absence of traditional office resources.

Leverage digital tools for remote collaboration

Remote work is not a new concept. Fortunately, this means that there is a variety of tools available to suit your remote collaboration needs. Platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Zoom and Google Meet are enabling video conferencing with a suite of features that support team collaboration. Socially connectivity is a key advantage of the traditional office setting. The newly remote work environment can be isolating, and scheduling video calls can be an effective way of emulating a similar visual connect which can help understand the tone of the conversation better. 

Acknowledge employee concerns and prioritise communication

It is important for managers to take time to think about the anxieties and struggles that employees are going through. Employees are not just working from home but also juggling other responsibilities that they may not have had earlier (managing children or pets, household chores). Managers must encourage a culture of overcommunication that makes everyone feel heard. Keep a check on how employees are feeling and provide an avenue for team communication that extends to topics beyond work and so employees can have virtual “water cooler” conversations. 

The shift to a completely digital workplace is new for you and your employees. Let them know that you are making this transition and learning together. As remote working becomes the norm, remote team management must eclipse survival mode and focus on powering successful teamwork.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Khadim Batti

The author is CEO and co-founder, whatfix

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