Just twenty years ago, the idea of large-scale remote working would have seemed silly. Almost like a sci-fi version of the distant future of work. Now, it’s become common practice for many companies. This is true from the smallest firms to multinational conglomerates.
With every change, however, new problems arise. The solutions to some of these are already here, in the form of software like Benefits Administration Software and many others. They can all help streamline the management of remote work. There are some solutions that are a bit less widely known, though.
Remote Management Solutions
Keeping your team productive and focused on the task can be difficult even when you’re in the same building. So, it can be an added hassle when they may not even be in the same country.
Fortunately, there are ways to deal with this. There’s been a boom in software solutions around this area. There are options out there that could be completely perfect for your problem. Others might cover at least some of the difficulty, depending on the industry.
Using an overlapping patchwork of software solutions may not seem to be the ideal answer. Remember that it’s likely very temporary, though. This is a new area for most folks, so the ideas are only now beginning to bear fruit.
Collaboration Over Distances
We evolved to cope with a world that was immediately audible and visible to us. This includes all the ways in which we learned to collaborate. One person could point at something, and another would respond to the gesture.
It’s unsurprising, then, that there are some teething problems with the sudden flurry of jobs that require remote collaboration. It requires a new approach from management to enable folks to adjust to the change.
It is quite an industry-specific concern, but the element that’s basic to all industries is communication. Installing a means of communication that suits your purposes is key. There are many options, from simple messaging platforms to more advanced video monitoring systems.
Keeping track of your team is a big one. In the face-to-face world, there are multiple strands of work-related information that you’re constantly monitoring. It can be true without us even being conscious of it.
With a remote team, this becomes more obvious. You can’t lean back in your chair to see if folks are working, and you can’t walk through the office to see what’s being done. The way around this is to shift to a results model, moving away from start and finish times.
The options here are already plentiful, and there are doubtless others coming down the pipeline right now. It may be that no single existing system will cover all your monitoring needs. In this case, some combination of software options may work really well for now.
Overall productivity is what work is all about, in the end. In the spatial workplace, there were ways to govern this fact, but these are obsolete in the remote workplace. The way to stay on top of your productivity is to reassess these modes of management.
Many companies have begun to focus on parceling productivity into a more unitary form. Instead of monitoring how busy people are, you measure only the number of units within a certain duration of time.
Moving away from a more set and rigid process will allow you to reassess the way you’ve been doing things. You can integrate your systems from the ground up in a totally fresh way. It could mean the start of great things to come.
There are benefits and drawbacks to having staff across many time zones. The obvious trick is to drag from the drawbacks column to the benefits end. If you install a staggered process, for example, you can turn a clunky problem into a fluid solution.
If you have a production process you can stagger your process in such a way that it flows. Let the first stage of production is completed in one part of the world where the sun is setting. Then, it can be transferred to the next stage as the sun rises there.
This way, you visualize your process not simply in departmental terms, but globally instead. In your mind’s eye, you can see the final product being assembled over the entire surface of the earth. Production from one streamlined moment to the next.
New problems require novel solutions, and this has been true forever. What at first blush may seem problematic can be a major strength if you’re clever about it. With a little creative thinking, you can make your weaknesses into your sharpest tools.
A big part of this is down to perspective. Reframing a situation and casting it in a new light can allow you to find innovative means to overcome even serious issues. It’s always a good idea to attempt simpler fixes first because simple can often mean elegant too.