Companies around the world are announcing that they will be remote-first — forever. Remote work has come to stay and companies around the world are changing their plans so that their employees can stay home more often. This brings new challenges for both workers and managers who have to manage people who may not be working in the office.
Companies such as Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, and hundreds more have openly said “office centricity” is over. Working remotely has gone from becoming a company’s perk to becoming a core part of the modern-day workplace within a matter of months. By the time we are completely behind the coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to assume “working from home” would be a norm in the global economy.
But still, there are businesses that don’t have the luxury of being entirely remote who will need to find a mechanism to securely and efficiently get workers back into the physical work environment. Many firms will maintain their physical offices – even though they use them less frequently.
The plan seems to be a “phased approach,” where some departments and some team members are allowed to return to the workplace (in a sanitized and distanced environment), and/or swap days and times with other team members to continue to maintain social distance.
Returning to the workforce will definitely be different.
And technology will play a vital role in helping workers and businesses regain a sense of normalcy in the near term. How can managers use technology to help them overcome the new challenges?
Facilities Management Software
If the physical office, to which employees will turn flexibly or in shifts, is to be maintained, it will be necessary to plan the space availability of the office and ensure that the measures of social distancing are complied with. The offices will acquire a dynamic of “coworking”, so the software of management of the space that controls the entrances and the exits, the shifts, or the bookings of meeting rooms, will be indispensable.
What used to be implemented to keep maintenance activities and room scheduling will now serve to track employees attendance. This will simplify managing people who come back in phases and are only allowed into the building at various times of the day or week.
- Skeeda (www.skedda.com)
- iOffice (www.iofficecorp.com)
- POC System (poc-system.com)
- Cake HR (cake.hr/features/scheduling)
Service Management Tools
Now that the concept of “office centrality” is losing strength, so are non-mobile equipment and materials. For example, desktop computers will be exchanged for laptops, and landlines will disappear. In order not to lose sight of them, to ensure their proper maintenance, protection and encryption software, firewalls, security patches and tracking and tracking systems, including disinfection, can be installed.
Protect your computers and systems will protect your company, more now that cyber attacks have increased.
- Tracking equipment will be more important than ever – computers, monitors, work phones, etc. will be brought back to the office, and then taken again home.
- There must be systems which ensure that these items are not only safely returned but sanitized.
Apps of Internal Communication
Companies will have to create digital spaces to gather company information and connect employees easily. Through tools like G-Suite or by creating an intranet. The goal is to provide employees with the working tools they will need in their day-to-day and two-way communication with their peers and managers. It is important to highlight the importance of communication, which has become more complex or simpler depending on the perspective in which we look at it. In any case, it has become a fundamental component to keep people motivated and “engage” to the project. Tech will play its role in keeping everyone informed and sane.
- Slack (www.slack.com)
- Microsoft Teams (www.microsoft.com/en/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams)
- Facebook Workplace (work.workplace.com)
Talent Management Toos and Digital Recruitment Solutions
Managing people is now even more complex. At the same time as the forms and possibilities of work grow, so do the different problems that can arise. Therefore, in addition to agile communication tools, we need solutions that allow us to provide a simple response to these problems. Information and how we treat that information will be key. And just as we have CRM for customer management, employee software will be needed.
In addition, these changes not only affect the day-to-day lives of current employees, but also the acquisition of future talent and internal growth. Facilitate the application of candidates, allow managers to access pools of candidates, manage recruitment processes remotely and/or ensure interaction with all parties while at home or in the office, ensures that companies make progress in these new virtual and digital scenarios.
What this pandemic has shown us is that in order to thrive in today’s changing workplace, is to share and exploit knowledge, and to simplify tasks by using software and automated workflows.