As the world adjusts to a new normal, employees across the globe find themselves in uncharted–remote, disconnected, and confusing–waters. This global health pandemic comes with its fair share of uncertainties. When will it end, how far will it extend, and what will implications be–these are questions all businesses and individuals face daily. But we know and have faced challenges before.
For instance, 2017 marked the most expensive year in U.S. history in regard to natural disaster costs. The economic loss from 2017’s Hurricane Florence alone is estimated to be upwards of 20 billion dollars. While businesses and communities were able to weather the unprecedented storm, it required strenuous efforts to rebuild and get back to a place of continuity. So, what can businesses do to be better prepared for such unexpected events? Empowering a remote and geographically distributed workforce can help businesses act with agility and minimize disruptions.
Remote workers can be a great long-term strategy for any business, not just during times of uncertainty. With the right tools, employees can remain connected anytime, anywhere, from almost any device. This will dramatically change the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across the world.
Whether it’s improved business continuity, increased flexibility, or reduced operational costs, the benefits of a remote workforce run the gamut. But before organizations tap into these benefits, they must set up a remote workforce the right way, which begs the question–how? Let’s take a look.
Beyond Business Continuity: Be Prepared
The trend of working remotely has gained momentum as businesses shift to digital channels. However, COVID-19 has forced many companies to implement contingency plans that include working remotely for employees who do not generally work from home nor are they adequately prepared to transition to a remote work environment as urgently as the coronavirus mitigation necessitates.
The process of converting your employees to a remote workforce will involve many steps as every department within an organization will have a unique situation with specific needs. Effective communication and interaction as well as the ability to develop skills in a digital space will be key. Here are some steps to follow to unlock the full potential of a remote workforce:
● Define Remote Policies & Procedures: Start by establishing a list of best practices and procedures to follow that outlines key processes and technologies, workflows, and activities.
● ID Your New (SaaS) Tech Stack: SaaS tools will lower on-going IT costs, are easy to integrate and automate, and are highly flexible to meet your needs. Once you’ve selected your choice of technology tools, assess how each tool will get applied, identify key metrics and KPIs, and ensure compatible application installment requirements are in place.
● Establish a Cybersecurity Checklist: Following cybersecurity best practices will help identify vulnerabilities and ensure customer and proprietary data are protected. A checklist will keep teams on track to ensure cybersecurity threats are identified, assets remain protected, and plans are in place when compromises do occur.
● Approach Change Management with Care: Making any change in the workplace is a challenge, so approach it with care and thoughtful planning. Ensure both the technical and people aspects remain the key priority throughout this transition and get properly addressed. Provide onboarding and training opportunities for employees through essential FAQ documents, guides, and tutorial videos.
Tapping into the benefits of a distributed workforce requires you to prepare your people, your culture, and your tools. With the right mindset, processes, and technologies in place, organizations can overcome barriers and build a successful, engaged team that can achieve new heights of productivity.
Sutherland is uniquely positioned to advise clients on how to quickly stand-up best-in-class remote engagement technology and best practices. As a global leader, our customer service and remote expertise across a wide range of verticals stems from working directly with global leaders in almost every major industry. Sutherland’s Remote Engagement capabilities allow employees to virtually connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device. This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across the world.
To learn more about you can build business continuity through a remote workforce, contact us.