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Home / Insights / Blog / Enabling Work-from-Anywhere: What Organizations Need to Do
May 24, 2021 - by Synoptek
The sudden and abrupt transition to remote work during the COVID-19 crisis has changed how businesses operate. Pre-pandemic, remote work was only associated with sales or field service teams, with all other teams working via a desk-based job from office. Fast-forward to today, and remote work has become a core business priority for survival; while many organizations are working on a long-term remote work strategy, most employees today want to be able to work remotely – even after the pandemic.
A recent Forrester discussion titled “Embrace the Right Technology for Anywhere Work” talked about some very interesting changes that are happening in the business world post-COVID and the steps organizations need to take to enable the future of work-from-anywhere! Here’s our take on the points discussed!
As the pandemic seeped through every corner of the world, remote work became a hot trend. For many, the shift was just a means to continue driving profits and revenue, but for many others, it was a mere attempt at survival. Since decisions had to be made quickly and policies had to be implemented globally, the operating models of businesses went through a complete transformation.
In fact, two themes emerged from the pandemic: 1) remote work that allows the workforce to work from their homes or any other place they feel most comfortable and safe at and, 2) hybrid work where a part of the workforce works remotely and another part works from office. Today, the global workforce is increasingly outside of office – either due to work conditions necessitated by COVID-19 or due to their desire for greater work flexibility
Irrespective of what reason or what model organizations chose or continue to choose, the workforce today needs to be provided with the tools and resources they need to effectively do their jobs – irrespective of whether they are working from their homes, from office, or from any other location of their choice.
As more and more organization move towards the work-from-anywhere model, they are thinking about the infrastructure they need to put together to enable a successful post-COVID work environment. Although technology is a major building block for developing the strategy, organizations also need to consider culture and process-related changes that the work-from-anywhere concept will bring about. Here are some steps you need to take:
Shifting to work-from-anywhere is not just about implementing a handful of collaboration tools; it is about having clarity on what you are trying to enable: the vision you are trying to achieve, the capabilities you are trying to unlock, and the employee experiences you’re trying to offer. Make sure your focus is entirely on enabling quick and easy access to information and allowing employees to work and collaborate effectively – from multiple locations – without being too intrusive or without impacting productivity and security.
When it comes to enabling work-from-anywhere, technology plays a huge rule in overall engagement. According to the Forrester discussion, around 30% of employee experiences are driven by tech-related factors, which means organizations must make sure the hardware, software, and connectivity solutions they implement offer an employee experience that is just as good as in office.
As business operating models evolve, just building a remote work policy can be extremely limiting. If you want to achieve long-term success with your work-from-anywhere business model, you need to put employees at the center of the strategy you build. This will ensure you take a holistic approach to drive employee engagement, productivity, and retention via implementation of the right tools, the right policies, and the right practices.
Work-from-anywhere is a lot more than just a series of technology or process changes. For long-term success, you need to think holistically around building this strategy: rope in your business leaders, HR managers, and tech executives to set the foundation for an adaptive mobility strategy, work on enabling technology innovation, and drive a sustained cultural and business model transformation.
When you shift from one operating model to another, changes are a given. While moving to work-from-anywhere, be cognizant of the process changes that are happening with the technology changes that you are bringing. Have a robust change management strategy in place to ensure your employees and your business can cope with embracing new mobility model in a seamless manner.
Although work-from-anywhere enables organizations to maintain their status-quo, in the absence of the right governance, it can lead to severe employee fatigue. Because the lines between work life and personal life get increasingly blurred, you need to invest in governance tools to ensure the new operating model is not causing frustration or resentment.
COVID-19 has completely transformed remote work from being a good-to-have to a must-have policy. With employees today expecting to be able to work securely from any location – irrespective of the device configuration, location, or connectivity option – organizations have a lot of work to do! They need to drive efforts in building a robust work-from-anywhere strategy that helps improve employee productivity, maintain business continuity, and deepens customer engagement.
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