Growing Your Business by Modernising the Workplace
“Don’t fix what’s not broken.”
For the longest time, this adage has been a lot of business owners’ answer when it comes to integrating technology in the workplace. But when we were caught off-guard by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020, most businesses were forced to move operations online to keep business afloat, or risk facing heavy losses and closure.
This affected a lot of different industries such as Hospitality, Food, Tourism, Retail, Entertainment, Real Estate, and more. Because of this, work from anywhere, an otherwise underground work setup, has been catapulted into becoming a mainstream business procedure.
“after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, 88% of companies worldwide encouraged their team members to work from anywhere instead“
Working in the new normal
For the sake of keeping up with how fast the pandemic threw the entire world awry, a lot of companies have tried their best to adapt to the new normal. Before the global pandemic started, 4.7 million professionals had already been working remotely. But after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, 88% of companies worldwide encouraged their team members to work from anywhere instead, giving importance to health and safety while still ensuring operations don’t cease. A smart solution to the global dilemma of making sure businesses continue operating even during the time when shaking hands and meeting family members became unsafe.
Slowly, business owners and workers started transitioning from in-office work to working remotely, doing their best to adjust to new tools, while also making sure that they find a way to optimise the current setup to stay, and become even more, productive.
Acknowledging the Disadvantages
Data Trust and Security Management
Data leak and privacy breach are two of the things that can easily ruin a client’s trust. And losing a client’s trust is a sure-fire way to lose their business too. But a lot of companies weren’t prepared for a global health catastrophe and didn’t have a strong enough security system already in place before businesses were forced to allow employees to work remotely.
Therefore, 54% of IT professionals think that remote workers pose a great security risk . And they have all the right to think so. After all, no one would be there to oversee how employees treat company and customer data when no one is looking. On top of your employees’ integrity getting tested, IT teams also worry about the ones who take advantage of weak security systems for a living.
Real-time VS Asynchronous Communication
Effective communication has always been the key to any successful business project. This has been greatly challenged when it comes to modern work setup since team members start to heavily rely on tools such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams to deliver and receive messages.
Miscommunication and delays arise even during real-time, in-person conversations, and the chances of it happening become higher when there’s no way for you to control how and when your team member decides to check their messages. The concept of “time is money” is especially true in this case because every second that’s wasted on not understanding each other is every second lost in terms of productivity. A lot of business owners are also concerned about how this negatively impacts the way communication with customers is done, and on over-all customer service.
Another major worry is the disruption of team spirit and members feeling less part of a community than when they were still working onsite. 19% of remote workers have expressed loneliness as one of the biggest challenges that they encounter during a lockdown.
Exploring the Benefits
Continuous Operation at Lower Expenses
It’s true that companies must work harder to fast-track the implementation of a more secure system to ensure company, employee, and customer data. This may seem like a costly initiative, and something that may even appear impractical given the instability of the current global economy. But if you look at how work from anywhere is revolutionising the workplace, you will start to see significant cost savings it brings your company in the long run.
Allowing team members to work remotely means that you could save thousands of dollars on office space alone. You won’t have to get a larger office to accommodate every employee, which gives you the opportunity to increase headcount even with just a small space. Aside from rent, you also to save on utilities like electricity and internet. In the long run, these reduced expenses will help your business earn, grow, and become more profitable. Given that lack of money is one of the many reason’s businesses fail, being able to save an average of $11,000 annually per employee is something you can’t overlook.
“Imagine missing out on having high performers onboard, who are at least 400% more productive average workers.”
Attracts Excellent Talent
For the longest time, businesses have been geographically limited, and can only tap resources and talents within and around their location. This means you’re missing out on getting to work with brilliant minds who aren’t part of your local pool of candidates. Imagine missing out on having high performers onboard, who are at least 400% more productive than average workers. Remote working addresses this by giving companies the opportunity to reach out to highly skilled professionals no matter where they are in the world.
This allows your business to become more diverse and get better value from recruitment. A 2019 study shows that diverse teams perform better than less diverse ones. This is because you get the chance to bring in experts from different walks of life, which gives your business a better understanding of a wider market, and helps your team come up with more fitting plans and solutions, giving you an edge against your competitors.
Decreased Turnover and Increased Productivity
Work from anywhere almost always means flexible work too. In this case, team members can choose where they work, create a work schedule that works for them, and schedule their day-to-day however they want it . This kind of flexibility makes team members feel more valued and trusted, they become less stressed, and they don’t end up resenting work because of missing out on important personal matters.
Allowing your team members to work from home is one of the things that make them feel empowered. Because when you let them take control of their work schedule, you are telling them that you trust them to do their jobs however and whenever it needs to be done, wherever they may be.
This modern work setup also allows employees to enjoy work-life balance. 80% of workers have said that they experience less work-related stress because they save a lot of time commuting to and from work every day. Working from home also allows them start work early, avoid distractions, and finish more tasks assigned to them. 86% of workers have reported being more productive when they work from anywhere.
Aside from performing better at work, workers can also be present in any family event, and spend more time with their loved ones. They can also pursue hobbies and interests that help them develop their talents and help them have fun. Workers also get to save money on commuting expenses, eating out, and work clothing, which means they get to keep most of their salary, live the quality of life they want, and build a better future for themselves and their families.
“80% of workers have said that they experience less work-related stress”
“86% of workers have reported being more productive when they work from home. “
Making IT Work
Setting up for Success
It is your responsibility as a business owner to equip your team members with the tools and resources they need to adjust to the changing business and industry practices. Work with your members and determine their strengths and weaknesses, so you can create an effective system and choose useful tools that will help your them perform. Look into applications that promote safe and efficient online transactions such as DocuSign, Microsoft Teams, etc.
When implementing new technology, make sure that your team members are properly trained so they can perform better. For example, real estate agents need to be trained in the latest 3D home tours so they can provide quality virtual open houses to clients.
Humans are social creatures. Even the most introverted employee thrives in an environment where there is good communication and community. As a business owner or leader, it is critical that you keep in touch with your remote workers two to three times more than you usually would in an in-office setting.
Having certain core hours that overlap with other team members also help workers feel that they’re not alone, and that there is always someone they can reach out to when they need help. It will also be helpful to set up regular virtual meetings to ensure that team members are well supported despite the distance.
Stay Connected with Us!
“Highly engaged members perform better and always show up with passion and purpose, showing 21% greater profitability for the company.”
Strong Company Culture
In a remote setting, business owners and leaders need to find ways to foster team spirit to make sure that everyone’s values, mission, and vision are aligned. Because of this, virtual team buildings have become a thing, where team members can join and share stories, catch up with one another, enjoy food and drinks, play games, have theme parties, and more, in the safety or their own homes. You can also utilise private Facebook pages where they can share and celebrate each other’s accomplishments and milestones. Highly engaged members perform better and always show up with passion and purpose, showing 21% greater profitability for the company.
The Future of the New Normal
The COVID-19 pandemic has been around for more than a year now, and no one can tell when it will be over, or if it will be over. The global economy took a major blow when businesses of all sizes had to close and stop operations because of the pandemic. And for our businesses to survive this global set back, we can’t keep doing the things we only know and feel comfortable in. We need to get out of our comfort zone, learn, adapt, and modernise our workplaces so we can empower our modern workers and continuously grow our business.