Covid-19 — often dubbed as the biggest game-changer in our mundane and ordinary lives have indeed created a dent in our usual methods of communication especially in the workforce. Who would have thought that we’d still be stuck in an endless loop of vaccinations, self-test kits and most importantly, Zoom calls even after 2 years since the onset of the virus? Overnight, our lives took a drastic turn due to the fact that we were forced to shift to online means of communication, and this has definitely revealed the flaws within each system. The consequences of these unfixed flaws could be obviously seen through the mismanagement of the pandemic by governments worldwide, the widening education gap because of the inequality between children in rural and urban areas, as well as businesses being forced to shut down.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve witnessed and still continue to observe, businesses and popular outlets shutting their doors. These were outlets that would be frequented by a huge number of people per year hence, their closures were saddening, to say the very least. Oftentimes, there would be news reports and articles splashed across local and international media blaming the onset of Covid-19 for these unexpected closures. However, what if the root cause was deeper than that? Looking at the bigger picture, there could be a probability that these businesses had a hard time transitioning into a digitalised work landscape.
In simpler terms, they were not successful in future-proofing their workforce and this had eventually led them to their eventual shutdown. Now, the companies that have somewhat managed to persevere throughout these trying times have to work not just harder, but smarter. With most companies adopting a fully remote workforce, this could be a tricky business but if you’re a business owner who’s hoping to ace the test of setting up an excellent remote workforce, here are 4 easy steps to future-proof it like a pro!
1) Keep Tabs on the Latest Updates
Technological advancements are indeed moving at a rapid rate these days. Despite this, as an employer who’s aiming for a future-proof remote workforce with employees that are working from home, you should definitely make an effort to know the latest updates. This includes the latest software, communication services and trends that would boost your company’s outreach to the public as well as enable your workers to execute their tasks with ease.
The basics of future-proofing your workforce would include figuring out an application that would aid in work-based communications, another application that would facilitate virtual meetings and of course, an integrated platform that keeps yourself and your employees updated on the progress of the current projects. An example of a powerful combination would be using Slack for work-based communications, Zoom for conducting virtual meetings and Notion as the integrated platform. Now, in a remote workforce, the aim is to reach a win-win situation with your employees. These useful tools would be beneficial for both parties especially, amidst these stressful times of managing your health and a remote workforce.
2) Ensure a Proper Work-Life Balance is Practiced Within the Workforce
The hustle culture is a worrying issue these days, on par with the issue of the endless rat race. However, most individuals don’t choose to engage in these harmful practices which would eventually lead to the onset of mental health issues. In most cases, they were forced to do so by their employers. The practice of requesting employees to execute tasks after working hours, unless it’s extremely urgent, should stop, even if they’re working from home.
With the implementation of a remote workforce, the endless number of hours of an employee staring at the computer screen could lead to a popular condition known as, Zoom fatigue and as a direct consequence, your employees would eventually neglect their health. Hence, their productivity at work decreases.
Notice that during the era of the Covid-19 pandemic, your employees might have a huge role to play in their personal lives. Be it attending to their sick parents or ensuring their children get the best out of their remote classes, your employees’ lives are difficult too. By implementing an adequate amount of off-screen time as they execute their work remotely, the idea of ensuring your employees obtain a good work-life balance is not far-fetched, after all.
If your company is a small start up, it is best to organize weekly ice-breaking and check-in sessions to understand your employees and their concerns further. This could be a great way to prevent your establishment from being too mundane and boring.
3) It’s Time to Outsource Your Talents for a More Diverse Workforce
Now, if you’re depending on full-time workers to execute minor tasks such as copywriting, content creation, video editing, content marketing and digital marketing, you should start setting your priorities straight. Full-time workers should be used for major tasks that are beneficial for your company and it’s long term goals. Hiring full time workers solely for the purpose of executing those menial tasks could be counterproductive for your business, not to forget, the heavy cash outflow to pay the salary of these workers.
Taking into account the advantages of a remote workforce, it’s highly recommended to outsource your talents by hiring freelance workers. One striking feature of hiring freelancers would be the high quality of work. Freelance workers have an expertise and a diverse amount of experience that could be of no match to a full-time worker who has probably spent a huge amount of his or her time working for a specific company for several years without gaining any new skill sets that are relevant to today’s digital revolution.
4) Focus on Investing in Work-From-Home Appliances for Your Employees
Your decision to future-proof your remote workforce is a wise one, indeed! However, it is also important that your employees are ready for this. If your idea of having a remote workforce is by pushing the burden of getting the necessary appliances and equipment to your employees, you could be at risk of losing your employees who would eventually find greener pastures in companies that are highly accommodating.
Here’s what you should do! Start small by providing each employee with a fully-functioning work laptop that’s equipped with the latest software. Gradually, to maximize the productivity of your employees, get them ergonomic chairs. Several studies have proven that ergonomic chairs could have a good and long-lasting impact on your employees’ general well-being and their productivity.
If you’re expecting a future-proof remote workforce, it’s definitely vital to ensure that your employees have a set-up similarly to that of an office. After all, you wouldn’t want them working from their beds while dozing off mid-meeting, would you?
Albeit the fact that shifting to a remote workforce might seem like a daunting task to cope with, it is indeed fruitful and rewarding if you ensure the well-being and welfare of your employees are taken care of. The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely taken a toll on all of us, physically, mentally and emotionally so utmost care should be taken in setting up a comfortable yet productive workforce for your remote employees. Remember, the key to the success of a great company would be its flexibility in keeping up with the times!