New Normal - Working from Anywhere, Always Connected!
Remote working became the new normal during COVID-19. Companies had to rapidly switch to a remote working environment to protect their employees and continue operating. Initial experiences were positive, but management realized that this migration occurred extremely fast, and there are still several challenges with remote working today.
The ability to work from anywhere globally brings new challenges for businesses. The infrastructure must be built to allow employees to access and use the tools they need. Thus, to meet these new challenges, security must become integral to each employee's day-to-day operations. It doesn't have to be complicated and can be reduced using a retail VoIP phone system in a stable and secure environment.
The flexible hours and more freedom allowed companies to adopt this work style as they realized its benefits. But still, the question remains: is remote work a viable long-term strategy for working? Read this blog to know the latest trends and how to overcome challenges.
The Challenges in Implementing Remote Working
Companies in the COVID-19 crisis faced several challenges. One of them is to ensure employee output while they are working remotely. It can be achieved by creating a favourable environment where employees feel supported and engaged with their tasks, thus, reducing the need for constant supervision and ensuring communication between team members.
The three major obstacles in implementing remote working are the following: Lack of communication tools on remote servers (message boards, chat rooms, and video conferences), Lack of telecommunication infrastructure in many companies, and high costs of telecommunication services. BridgeVoice retail VoIP phone system is affordable and easy to implement in the existing infrastructure.
1. Incorporating remote working in a structural way
The COVID-19 crisis is confronting companies with many challenges, such as maintaining productivity and quick adoption of tools. If proper infrastructure and tools are not provided, it may result in a loss of efficiency and create frustration among the employees and stakeholders.
Structurally implementing remote working is a challenge for many organizations, mainly when it involves a substantial workforce. The technology and the knowledge are already available, but leadership, structure, and operations management must be implemented to ensure a fast and efficient transition.
2. Securing the infrastructure for remote working
The outbreak has challenged traditional working methods, where companies used to "close down" during holidays. Nowadays, employees can work from anywhere and anytime, thanks to technology. It requires significant change for every employee, including changes in behaviour and work habits. Moreover, security adjustments must be implemented within each business to secure employees' remote protocols.
It's necessary as cybercrime has increased during the outbreak, meaning it is not just the company's IT department responsible for these decisions. Instead, every employee needs to commit to navigating their work tools securely.
3. Balancing employee's professional and personal lifestyle
In an increasingly globalized and competitive business environment, companies face challenges in finding effective ways to meet the expectations of the workforce. As a result, the boundaries between work and private life have become increasingly blurred. The topic of well-being seems important for organizations, with leaders being challenged about how they will address these demands.
At the same time, it is essential to remember that productivity is not the only measure of success. Working too much can cause harm, so ensure your employees care for their well-being. It can be achieved by actively managing work and private life while encouraging employee well-being at work.
Thereafter, there are many other challenges, such as
- Social isolation in general,
- Being isolated from the team,
- Lack of routine and structure,
- Issues with family, partners, and friends, as well as health issues caused by sitting all the time,
- Not having the time to enjoy new places to travel
How to Overcome the Challenges of Remote Working
Remote working presents several challenges that can make it difficult to implement effectively. These include issues with communication, collaboration, and productivity, as well as difficulties with maintaining work-life balance and addressing feelings of isolation or disconnection from the team.
But it has advantages too, such as flexibility to work from your place of comfort, enhanced savings, better work-life balance, commute-free life, and more. Despite several facilities, the working model is accompanied by challenges that can impede progress if not appropriately addressed. Let's see the three most significant challenges to overcome:
1. Low Bandwidth Communication
Face-to-face communication is considered high bandwidth and is the better way to transmit and receive info. It works well and helps in getting more work done in a short period.
Low bandwidth communication is one of the most significant downsides of remote work. For example, email and chat are great tools, but they lack personal connection, real-time benefits, and high-speed face-to-face interactions. Many companies shifted toward low-bandwidth communication methods, that is, email and chats during remote work, as face-to-face communication was impossible. Although written communication can accomplish a lot, it falls short compared to face-to-face conversations' information exchange and personal connection as it is lost in the delayed replies and other interruptions sprinkled in between.
To compensate, video meetings became the alternative way to communicate. It is beneficial for teams who are working in different time zone. Currently, the foundation of remote work is unified communication, such as UCaaS services that include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. Companies conduct meetings so that the entire staff attends the meetings through video conference call using a web conferencing tool or a cloud-based VoIP phone system.
2. Fewer Meetings
Leaders when trying to increase face-to-face communication among remote team members, one common mistake they make is overcompensating by scheduling more meetings. A study found that remote workers attend more weekly meetings (14% dedicating time to 10+ per week), which can drain productivity and make work more difficult. A parameter for asynchronous communication must be set up to avoid unnecessary meetings. Emails, collaborative documents, text messages, and online forums may help employees give more output. Also, encourage ad hoc conversations such as quick video calls or chats to work through the issues as they come up.
They must limit the number of meetings to make them more valuable and worth conserving so that team members will be more attentive and motivated to use their precious time wisely. Zoom meetings and online conferences help remote teams to collaborate closely.
3. Loss of Passive Knowledge Sharing
Remote work generally decreases the opportunity for informal information sharing, often facilitated by shared physical spaces. Often, sharing experiences in the kitchen during lunch or overhearing conversations with customers reveals a new possible approach or inspires ideas. With remote work, these serendipitous opportunities and connections do not eliminate these benefits, but it does remove some opportunities that arise when employees are face-to-face.
Thus, to overcome these challenges, organizations need to adopt new strategies and approaches to remote working. It may include investing in new communication tools, providing regular opportunities for team collaboration and connection, setting clear expectations and boundaries around work hours and responsibilities, and offering support and resources to help employees maintain their mental health and well-being while working remotely.
The implementation of remote working is broader and deeper than most organizations realize. For long-term success, a structured approach and significant investment are required to change corporate culture. With our Enterprise grade VoIP system, companies can stay ahead in this competitive world, enhance their infrastructure, and increase productivity. This work arrangement has become increasingly popular due to technological advancements and the desire for work-life balance and flexibility. To know more about our Enterprise VoIP solutions. Request a free demo.