Fifty-seven percent of small and midsized business owners who increased remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic said they will likely maintain the option for employees in the long term.
What happens as we move past the COVID-19 pandemic?
It’s a universal question faced by businesses right now. And while the Internet is abuzz with post-pandemic postulation, a vast amount of uncertainties still loom.
However, COVID-19's impact on how people work going forward seems unmistakable. For many organizations, the pandemic moved work from home strategies from policies under consideration to a sudden plunge into the unknown.
Now that the waters have been tested, what’s next?
1. Consider Remote Work More Than Temporary.
The reality is, while Work From Home numbers have spiked in recent months, the trend has been ticking upward for years, as millennial and Gen-Z workforce prefers flexibility and fluidity in their work environment.
- In this Deloitte survey of millennials, more than half of the respondents said that remote work opportunities boosted productivity, and three quarters said they’d prefer to have more opportunities to work remotely. This survey was conducted in 2016.
- 98 percent of GenZers own a smart phone, and 50% are connected online for 10 hours a day. This indicates that mobility is a minimal requirement for accommodating employee needs.
- 41.2% of millennials said the phone is the most effective sales tool at their disposal.
- 40 percent of millennials surveyed (2018 Intermedia report) indicated that it would be helpful to launch video and voice meetings via voice-activated technology.
More recent numbers suggest that pandemic-enforced Work From Home strategies aren’t going anywhere.
In fact, Fifty-seven percent of small and midsized business owners who increased remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic said they will likely maintain the option for employees in the long term, according to a new study by cloud communications provider Intermedia.
2. Formalize Your Polices & Procedures.
If you took the plunge, but are having trouble treading water, it might be time to formalize your approach.
In assessing current setup, consider these 4 questions:
- How do we communicate without the familiar office phone system and company phone directory readily available?
- How do we conduct employee meetings now that we’re no longer together in the office?
- Do all employees have the same understanding of communication availability and responsiveness, work schedule, and work output as the executive team?
- Are home computers and the Internet service from employee homes adequate for remote working? What kind of work can be conducted given these potential limitations?
A Remote Work Assessment and Remote Work Checklist provide a starting point for companies to plan for remote working or, if already engaged, for optimizing and improving productivity. These exercises can help develop protocols for remote meetings set-up, streamlining the routing of phone calls, to outlining management expectations under remote workforce policies.
For more on the Remote Work Assessment and Checklist, click here.
3. Don’t Forget: People Still Relate to People.
My old journalism teacher said it over and over and over again. “People always relate to people.” It’s still the case today.
In the days and weeks after shelter-in-place initiatives were enforced, did you (at least once) rifle through all your personal expenses, and ask yourself "what can we afford to cut?" As we move further past the pandemic, buyers will be more value conscious than before.
Even in a remote work environment, pointed meetings with your clients face-to-face (or online meeting) can create enormous value. A regularly-scheduled partnership review spurs collaboration, reviews current performance, and ensures your solutions are aligning with distinct customer goals.
4. Take the Plunge With a Trusted Partner.
Ask yourself ... has your technology provider smoothly navigated the waters of remote work for you and your organization?
At Datamax, we believe Partnership begins with Discovery. The Datamax Discovery Process is designed to holistically explore your current IT infrastructure, security vulnerabilities, your daily workflows and communication methods, and then recommend necessary resources for working from anywhere, anytime.
Ready to take the plunge? Let's visit!