As technology has trended toward greater mobility, remote or flexible working arrangements have been gaining popularity, especially among employees. While some companies have been offering work from home days as perks to help them attract talented professionals, employers were generally more skeptical, worrying that the distractions present in non-office settings could hamper productivity. Then COVID-19 hit, and many businesses had no option but to give remote working a try.
Remarkably, that shift has not resulted in a broad drop in productivity as some businesses feared. One recent study found that 94% of employers reported no change or even an increase in productivity. Similarly, a survey by PwC shows that a permanent flexible work week has gained broad support with both the employers and employees. Eighty-three percent of employees would want to continue working from home at least one day a week. At the same time, 55% of employers anticipate that most of their workers will do so long after COVID-19.
While it’s clear that workers like the idea of working from home, there are some good reasons for businesses to get on board as well. Not only is there evidence that working from home may actually boost productivity in some cases, but it can also help reduce turnover, attract quality job candidates, and allow businesses to expand into less competitive - and less expensive - geographical talent pools. A decentralized workforce can also translate to lower real estate costs and can even improve business continuity.
Of course, these benefits are only within reach with the right solutions in place. Thanks to ever-evolving technologies and applications, businesses are equipped to streamline their processes and improve output, making it no longer necessary to be in the office to be a productive team member.
Remote Working Tools
When evaluating the state of modern technology, it’s apparent that there are more options to choose from than ever before, particularly for organizations adapting to the changing business environment. Getting the most out of your budget while ensuring high quality service and functionality is paramount. There can be many challenges from remote working, and long-term adoption requires more than just laptops and video conferencing software. Here are three less flashy, but equally important solutions to consider:
Onsite/Offsite Time Clocks
Effectively managing employee time and location information is often critical to ensuring compliance with relevant labor laws and overtime regulations, as well as tracking productivity, travel efficiency (for drivers, service technicians, etc.), and resource management. Just because current evidence suggests remote working doesn’t tend to harm overall productivity doesn’t mean it’s not worth monitoring.
Effectively transitioning to a more remote workforce requires a more flexible time and location data management system. Exela’s Contactless Entry & Exit (CEE) is one such cloud-enabled technology that helps track employee time and location and manage the growing mobile workforce. CEE is enabled by a seamless reporting dashboard with analytics for managers and HR. It helps to improve operational transparency and compliance while supporting social distancing protocols. Easy-to-install, it can function as a standalone system, integrate seamlessly into existing payroll platforms, or operate as a core component of Exela’s broader human capital management platform.
New distractions aren’t the only potential threat to productivity concerning business leaders as the world embraces WFA. Historically, physical distance has had a way of slowing down key processes. Requesting and receiving legally binding signatures is a critical step in many processes. In order to keep things moving as they should be, digital signature solutions like DrySign provide an easy, efficient, and secure way to request and send signatures from anywhere and at any time from both mobile and desktop platforms.
As a cloud-based application, DrySign enables an end-to-end paper-free process for drafting, discussing, executing, and administering contracts and other forms of important documentation. No matter how dispersed teams may be physically, electronic signature platforms ensure that you can get enforceable signatures, even from multiple signatories in an easy and timely manner.
Another important but easily overlooked business function that will undoubtedly be impacted by a greater shift to remote working arrangements is the delivery of physical business mail. While digitization has already transformed many aspects of running a successful business, physical paper mail still plays a crucial role in a number of important processes, especially within certain heavily regulated industries.
Needless to say, the standard delivery model for office mail won’t work with a largely remote workforce. In order to fully empower remote workers and ensure that critical communications reach the intended recipient regardless of where they happen to be working, businesses should invest in a Digital Mailroom solution, like the one offered by Exela. Industry-leading scanners quickly intake mail items and use powerful ICR and OCR technology to transform them into fully digital assets and deliver them to recipients electronically.
There are many more tools that specialize in remote collaboration and assist in productivity measurement that can help organizations overcome the challenges of working from anywhere. Take your time while exploring the various options available that you and your business can utilize to assist you with remote working and team collaborations.
Learn more about how Contactless Entry and Exit, DrySign, and Digital Mailroom can help you support your remote workforce.