Technology, which has long supported the workforce, seems to have taken on a central position as of this pandemic. Solid like a port in a storm, it stood out as the primary enabler to the remote office approach in most workplaces.
And with an incredible 42 percent of the U.S. workforce now operating remotely full-time (according to a Stanford University poll), it’s about time we braced ourselves for the next normal.
A remote strategy allows an employee to work from the comfort of their home, or pretty much anywhere, eliminating the need to converge in a physical office. In the absence of a one-on-one encounter, teams must be willing to go the extra mile to make the most of this approach. And tech is your best friend!
So what’s the central role of tech in remote office productivity? From seamless communication to work organization and time tracking, discover why tech is vital to a virtual office approach.
The Pros of a Remote Office
According to a poll by Buffer, a significant 40 percent of workers cite “flexible schedules” as the biggest advantage of a remote strategy. Fourteen percent fancy the fact that they get to spend some good time with their families. Remote work encourages a better job-life balance, increasing worker satisfaction.
A significant 37 percent of remote workers also say the ability to “take regular breaks” in remote offices increases productivity.
And for companies, the money-saving benefits are far-reaching, studies hinting to the tune of $11,000/year for each worker that operates remotely.
According to another research by computer maker Dell, allowing employees to operate remotely for nine months led to a 13.5 percent productivity increase. In the same study, almost half (46 percent) of remote workers said they felt less stressed, got more sleep, and enjoyed increased general wellness levels. All these can have far-reaching benefits to a business.
The role of tech in Remote Work Productive
Given its long-distance approach, a team’s tech capability and savviness can determine success in a remote office, just as employee commitment does.
That being said, let’s understand the role of technology in remote workplace productivity.
- Accessible Storage & Easy Retrieval through Cloud-based Networks
Cloud technologies now play a central role in offices. Your remote team needs it to run its day-to-day operations.
The cloud is the new file cabinet giving hassle-free access to all the documents workers may need.
It provides a secure and convenient contact point for all team members while ensuring a paperless office.
- Audio Conferences for Better Communication
Constant communication is the backbone of a remote team. A breakdown in the communication flow may lead to confusion.
Virtual teams rely on audio conferencing tools to engage in interactive talks and maintain an active feedback cycle.
In the end, your company saves on time and travel-related expenses without necessarily losing its market flexibility and agility.
- Time tracking to Encourage Adherence to Deadlines
Tracking time is essential for any workforce, especially if a remote team is involved.
Time-tracking tools make project management easier by creating an environment of mutual responsibility and tracking project productivity.
Use time trackers in your day-to-day routines to provide all employees with a visual of the hours worked and project progress.
- Instant Messages Maintains an Active Feedback Cycle
A remote crew can benefit from the speed and convenience of instant messaging. It beats the old email conversation approach in many ways.
Conducting lengthy and in-depth conversations through email can be stressful; add to the frustration of prolonged waits for a reply, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Instant chat platforms facilitate real-time communication enabling better interaction even during long in-depth discussions
- One-on-One Engagement through Video Conferencing
Sometimes a one-on-one encounter is the best way to update a team. Remote workers leverage the power of video conferencing technologies to achieve this.
Workers can sign in to the meeting and contribute through their webcams. This virtual one-on-one encounter compensates for the long-distance situation offering a near face-to-face experience seen in-office meetings.
These platforms also allow you to discuss specific documents and share screens for enhanced communication.
- Online Employee training and Assessment
Remote teams can also boost skill development through online certifications. A well-organized online training module can help impart the new skill sets a workforce needs to tackle the next level of tasks.
After training, you can issue assessments and provide certifications to encourage employees and help build their job portfolio even while working from home.
All these happen without the need to move to a physical location or a huge budget to plan for traditional training and assessments.
Tech and remote teams go together. But quality remains priority number-one as you turn to the various tools for different office purposes.
When choosing, consider factors like user-friendliness, security, costs, and the specific features that make a tool fit your needs.