There are plenty of benefits to using a remote workforce, including the potential boosting of productivity and employee satisfaction through increased freedom and autonomy. Any organization that wants to use a remote workforce needs to break down conventional barriers that get in the way of collaboration between employees. This breaking down of walls can be quickly done by investing in a digital transformation as a aervice strategy that encourages collaboration between your team members and improves the remote working experience.
What are the barriers to collaboration?
Working remotely from a physical location itself can be a barrier to collaboration. Without the right tools, employees can end up working in their silos without consulting their colleagues until the final stages of a project. Disjointed cloud-based systems can lead to miscommunication and wasted time on projects that would have otherwise stayed on track. The tools you choose must allow instant communication to ensure your employees are correctly linked instead of working in silos.
A lack of management oversight is also a barrier since managers rely on emails, texts, and phone calls to stay in the loop on what their workforce is doing. Some companies schedule regular phone updates, sometimes daily – time that can be used for everyone to do more important things when the right tools are implemented. Once those tools are switched on, management only has to contact employees if they have questions or if there is an evident problem, rather than holding regular update meetings.
The rapidly growing remote workforce
Businesses of all sizes and sectors around the world quickly realize the benefits of hosting a remote workforce – it’s estimated that nearly 38 percent of full-time employees will be working remotely within the next decade and that over 40 percent of employees in the US work remotely on occasion. The freedom offered by the ability to work from home (or on-the-go) can be empowering for employees, eliminating daily stressors caused by long commutes and time spent away from family, leading to a happier and healthier workforce. Working remotely has also been found to allow employees to work in flexible and distraction-free environments, enabling team members to be more efficient and productive as a result.
Encouraging collaboration among employees
For your remote workforce to be as effective as possible, it’s essential for your organization to foster a collaborative working environment for all team members. Encouraging collaboration between your team members will ensure that they work more productively, communicating and collaborating with each other throughout projects to create more refined work.
One of the most effective ways to break the collaboration barriers that exist in remote workforces is to invest in cloud-based collaborative workplace productivity solutions like G Suite by Google Cloud that encourage your team members to work together through secure real-time collaboration, creation, editing, data storage, and sharing from any device located anywhere in the world. G Suite allows your entire team to operate as a cohesive unit through a variety of integrated platforms, including text, audio, and video-based communication in Gmail and Hangouts Meet, project collaboration in Docs, Slides, and Sheets, and secure storage and organization through Calendar and Drive.
Another great way to encourage collaboration between employees is through a customer relationship management solution such as SugarCRM or Salesforce, which allows team members to access detailed customer information which will help employees tailor each experience to client preferences. This information and other insights are available in easy to understand dashboards and reports that can be easily shared so that your entire team is on the same page in regards to customer preferences and expectations. CRM solutions can be integrated and connected with Gmail, Google Calendar, and other G Suite platforms to sync meetings, appointments, and contact information and make this information accessible to relevant team members.
VoIP Telephony solutions allow all calls to be captured and recorded
VoIP solutions for business telephony such as Vonage Business or RingCentral allow all call data to be logged in your CRM solution and can also be launched right from an employee’s email. With call data logged and captured in the CRM, management no longer has to ask if a sales rep has contacted a particular client – the data will be there. The ability to launch a call from email saves employees from having to log into the CRM to look up a number, and then starting an app from their computer or mobile phone app to make the call; they need to click the number from their email or CRM to call instantly.
Most telephony solutions, including Vonage Business, are available as mobile apps so you can log call data from any location, whether your employees are on the road or in the office
Peace of mind for management
For those managers who are hesitant to reap the benefits of a remote workplace or who are skeptical about the benefits of encouraging collaboration through workplace solutions, business intelligence tools like Prodoscore exist to ease your worries. Prodoscore helps managers to gain a better idea of how productive their employees are being without being intrusive – this is done by measuring and assessing each employee and assigning unique “productivity scores” to team members. These insights can help managers better understand how effectively their team members are performing, how engaged and productive they are being, and allows managers to address issues before they arise.
Digital transformation as a service makes the transition to a remote workforce more accessible than ever before, and brings with it a wealth of benefits including increased effectiveness, productivity, and adoption of cloud business applications – but digital transformation as a service will not succeed unless your organization is serious about breaking down existing barriers to collaboration. Building, deploying and managing a remote workforce can be done right by implementing the right type of cloud-based workplace solutions like G Suite, SugarCRM, Vonage Hosted VOIP and Prodoscore that allow you and your employees to work together efficiently and to work from anywhere in the world.