Remote work is here to stay, and employers must adjust to the new environment. The COVID pandemic only accelerated the pace at which remote work was demanded by employees. While certain industries and jobs have been immune to this wave, there’s no denying that most work roles have been transformed by remote work.
Research shows that 80% of Americans turn down a job offer that doesn’t give them remote working options at least some of the time. In such an environment, companies need the right tools to manage their workforce and ensure productivity doesn’t stop.
Here are 5 essential tools for the age of remote work.
Traditional project management always involved a bunch of Gantt charts with some names attached to them. These charts (and the software that produced them) were fine when managers could physically interact with their employees.
However, in a remote situation, communication is more important than ever. This is why dedicated project management platforms are essential. Aside from offering project management templates and in-built workflows, many solutions double as productivity suites as well.
Using these platforms, managers can track the progress of their tasks and goal completion percentages, along with possible areas of improvement. Project management tools also integrate with standalone productivity tools and bring analytics to the frame. Thus, managers can project task completion with a high degree of accuracy.
Best of all, software like these eliminates the need to send emails back and forth thanks to in-built communication channels. The result is less information lost in translation and better productivity.
Every workplace has a different culture when it comes to communication. Some prefer instant messaging, while others prefer internal phone calls or emails. A remote work environment disrupts this and gives employees many options to choose from.
A modern communication tool must incorporate messaging, video, and voice calls in a single package. It must also support secure communication when needed since your messages represent a potential security vulnerability.
Look for tools that allow for the creation of multiple channels easily and don’t constrict employees into one method of communication. Make sure you specify ground rules around communication methods, especially working hours etc, since these tools can make your employees feel as if they’re always on the clock.
With the right policies and tools, you’ll be able to replicate the sort of watercooler conversation at the workplace that builds bonds between your employees.
Remote workforces aren’t just distributed across the country. They’re global too. Despite the revolution in the way employees prefer working, tax laws and regulations haven’t changed. Companies must comply with local regulations, and the fines for non-compliance remain the same.
Companies with a global footprint operating in different geos and territories need a way to pay their employees that is compliant with local laws and helps them stay ahead of the curve regarding future employee and employer contribution changes. An agile remote first company needs to be able to drill into payroll trends, figure out optimal salaries and compensation packages for a particular location, determine cost-effective ways of reducing overheads, and much more.
Flexibility is essential when evaluating a payroll service provider. Whether it’s integrating with your existing HR platform to ensure employee compliance or whether it’s to compensate your workers on time to minimize disruptions, choose a platform that allows you to customize your payroll workflows in multiple currencies.
A successful and flexible global payroll consolidates data from multiple streams, standardizes the data and information allowing for easy automated processing. In contrast older methods of collecting spreadsheets for countries with active employees results in manual and time-consuming clerical work with a propensity for errors.
Automate and consolidate data from the right platform, and your employees will spend more time performing value-added tasks instead of formatting cell-level data all the time.
Remote workers face challenges concerning productivity since there is no limit to the distractions they face. While you want your employees to feel comfortable working from home, you also want them to get their work done on time.
Traditional productivity monitoring software is often seen as intrusive since employees can feel like their every move is being tracked. Use software that isn’t intrusive and helps them recognize how they can work better.
Remember that this isn’t about spying on your employees or trying to figure out what they’re up to. Allow them to define their productivity goals and give them the tools to achieve them. Forcing them to install software and then asking them to clock in and out of an app-only alienates them.
Instead, choose an app that allows them to track their productivity and gives you an overview of how your team is doing.
While communication tools are great, you need a robust video conferencing tool to help you conduct town halls and video meetings with people outside your organization. Tools such as Zoom and Google Meet are typically preferred, as is Skype.
Whatever your choice is, make sure your employees are on board with it and that communication lines are secure. Choose a tool that allows you to record meetings since this forms an important part of your audit trail.
Tools for a Better Workplace
Workplaces have always undergone a redesign, but the remote work movement has redefined how companies look at tools and productivity. Make sure you choose the right tools for the purpose so that your employees remain productive and satisfied with work conditions.