In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other administrations have strongly recommended a number of measures to slow down the spread of the virus. As a result, countries all over the world have asked people to postpone business as usual. Social distancing and wearing protective masks are just a couple of practices that have effectively reduced close contact between friends and neighbours.
The coronavirus outbreak has also caused an unprecedented amount of employees to work from home in the last few months. Dates for when people can return to office buildings keep getting pushed back, or remain uncertain. And although the future is still unclear, many business experts are saying that this trend is likely to become the new norm. Large organizations are now pivoting their strategies to make remote work a more permanent situation.
During this public health crisis, employers hope to keep operations from slowing down or stopping altogether. C-suite executives and upper-level management may find it challenging to keep teams productive and engaged. However, adopting the right work tools and technology is one of the smartest investments you can make. Learn about the future of remote work, and the possibilities that come with it, here.
Rise of Internal Communications
As technology evolves, the modern workplace evolves with it. We have seen this trend many times throughout the last thirty years. Even though traditional offices were built on the foundation of physical paper and filing cabinets, business changed forever with the introduction of the internet and wi-fi. Email became the new standard for engaging with colleagues and getting things done.
Now that more employees are turning to remote work during the coronavirus pandemic, our needs have changed once again. Because people have the freedom to work from home or inside shared co-working spaces, mobile communication and cloud technology are more prevalent than ever. Organizations need to pay attention and keep up with these emerging trends or risk falling behind their competitors.
Some technology has the power to make or break your business. The shift to remote work has caused us to turn to software applications such as G Suite for business, which provides services far beyond traditional email. Data sharing and video call applications also help improve internal communications and allow employees to complete projects more efficiently, even if teams live across different time zones.
Communication technology integrations
Formerly known as Google Apps, G Suite for business offers a wide range of collaboration and productivity applications. Google Drive, for example, allows multiple individuals to edit and view word processing documents and spreadsheets at the same time. Companies may even limit permissions only to those who need the information, keeping your files safe and secure. And since Google applications all work in the cloud, employees can retrieve data from anywhere as long as they have access to the internet.
G Suite also allows video hangouts from your office space at home. Google Hangouts is a video call application with a host of useful features. Simply share a link to create an instant virtual meeting. Team members can collaborate on tasks, share ideas, and stay updated on projects without any hassle. Google Hangouts also makes it convenient to sit in the comfort of your home and still have face-to-face conversations with clients for customer support.
New life of co-working spaces
Whether employees work remotely on a full-time or part-time basis, it is essential to have a productive environment to get things done. This is where co-working spaces come in. They offer all the amenities of a traditional office, but without the regulations of a strict 9 – 5 job. Remote teams can use co-working spaces to add structure to their week since they have a place to arrive every morning and leave after the work is done.
The number of co-working spaces rose by 16% in the U.S. in 2018, and this number is expected to keep growing. Many people would say the greatest advantage of working in a co-working space is the flexibility that comes with it. Organizations can recommend certain co-working spaces to employees for their many built-in conference rooms and resources such as fast, reliable wi-fi. With the right planning, remote companies can even use these spaces to save money on real estate.
Recently, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told employees that they would be allowed to work remotely indefinitely, even if their offices reopen sooner. Other major companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have also told workers to stay at home in wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Organizations are now looking for ways to make telecommuting work not only to promote the health and safety of their employees, but also to maintain a good work-life balance.
One of the most sought after benefits for employees today is having a flexible schedule. Giving people the freedom to choose their own hours leads to an increase in productivity for many teams. Remote workers can decide when to complete tasks based on what works for them. For instance, some people work better in the morning, while others are night owls. This means that instead of a 9 – 5, you may feel more suited to a 5 – 9.
Focus on employee mental health
The adoption of remote policies has led to an unexpected benefit – a greater focus on mental health and wellness. When people work in a traditional office setting, they waste much of their time commuting or getting distracted by colleagues. Working remotely is a great way for people to achieve better work-life balance and spend their day as they see fit.
Organizations can further promote the mental health of their employees through various online tools and technologies. Managers and team leaders can use video conferencing tools for daily check-ins, for example. Human Resources can also use data sharing software to remind workers about employee benefits and send helpful information like stress management techniques.
How Happeo helps
We understand that Coronavirus concerns have disrupted businesses and workplaces all over the world. Some organizations are still struggling to provide remote workers with the tools they need to be successful. At Happeo, we offer comprehensive intranet solutions with your needs in mind. To learn how Happeo works, give one of our knowledgeable team members a call today. We are proud to see our intranet platform recognized by some of the top experts in the industry.