Prior to the current working situation, very few companies had active remote work policies in place. However, working from home has now become a routine practice used by all types of businesses and industries. A survey conducted by Buffer even found that 99% of current remote workers would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers. This new type of working condition has led to advancements in technology used by businesses for enhancing remote work.
Technologies like Zoom and Slack have already had a large impact on business’s ability to communicate and monitor their employees, but there are still more on the way. As companies switch to permanent or longer periods of remote work, managers are looking for ways to continue to connect with their employees and alleviate certain problems associated with working from home. But there is hope on the horizon as new technologies come into play.
Although some businesses have had to cut jobs, others have had to bring in new talent. Onboarding new employees remotely is a challenge for both the trainee and manager. However, tools like video conferencing, instant messaging and webinar are making this process easier to execute. Screen sharing abilities and prerecorded training materials are also features that more businesses have turned to for onboarding procedures.
All these technologies help engage new employees. In addition, specialized tools like employee engagement software focus solely on team members, which helps reduce new-hire frustrations. HR managers can track individuals through this type of automated technology, and can upload all information to a data cloud for other team members to review.
“I can’t say this enough: Without HR Cloud, we could not have communicated important project information or demonstrated that we could take on an increased workload. We now provide real-time workforce statistics and productivity reports that have helped us win more projects.”
Once individuals have been onboarded, businesses need to know that they are working. The same goes for current employees too. Companies need to be able to facilitate feedback and check in on their team members. This is critical for maintaining engaged and motivated individuals, and helps acknowledge an individual’s hard work which in turn boosts working motivation and productivity. Checking in with team members frequently can identify any challenges they are facing, how they’re feeling and refocusing on goals. Tools like the Employee Experience Platform can make executing employee recognition easier for leadership.
An issue some organizations have with remote work is relying on employees to report their daily activities. Luckily, automation technology has stepped in to assist managers and individuals with monitoring remote work. Time tracking platforms can generate accurate timesheets for employees, scheduling applications can book meetings around each person’s calendar, and expense apps can scan receipts into a database via a mobile device.
In addition to reporting daily activities, there are tools to help people stay on task during the day. These platforms are meant to not only make employees focus on their jobs, but optimize their workflow, too. Certain tools review a person’s work patterns to provide insights on where improvements can be made. Anti-distraction tools can also turn off notifications when employees need to buckle down on a task.
Some companies are able to run all of their operations seamlessly thanks to the Internet of Things. Being connected to all of their machines and computers means workflow is not interrupted, and adjustments can happen in real time. Other types of businesses are using IoT to connect all of their owned mobile devices in order to rollout software updates to the whole system.
IoT also allows employees to work from home in comfort. Devices like smart refrigerators can keep lists of food to order, and in some cases order the food as well. Google Home and Amazon Echo act as a centralized hub in certain homes for controlling other smart devices
such as thermostats and plugs which can reduce energy usage. Having IoT connected technology in a home can also be a selling point in certain cases for remote employees buying a new house. Since the outbreak of COVID, many employees have started the process of buying a new home. There are numerous factors behind this home buying drive, including remote work, but as employees relocate, they still need technology to do their jobs.
The rollout of 5G is still happening, but it promises to make cell networks better. With speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, and made to handle more devices on a network, 5G will help people work from anywhere they can get a signal. That’s where remote work comes into play, people will not be limited by their connection to Wi-Fi or ethernet, but can work wherever they get a signal opening up more opportunities for distributed working. 5G will assist businesses with adding new talent to their teams no matter where they are located.
Remote work has been going on for some time now, but COVID has added all types of industries to the work from home category. Technology has been a driving factor in helping companies make this switch. From monitoring and onboarding employees to helping order groceries, technology is here to make working from home an easy task.
About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.