There Is More to Remote Work Efficiency Than Just Technology
It is probably safe to say that the era of remote work is now upon us. Thanks to the fallout of the COVID crisis, employers who never previously thought about remote work are giving their workers the option to stay home. The trick for management and team members alike is to find ways to maintain efficiency and productivity regardless of work location.
Companies are gradually finding out just how important technology is to efficient remote work. But they are also discovering that there is more to it than just technology. There is also the human aspect. People approach their work differently in remote environments. They embrace different work habits when they have to rely so much on digital technology to do what they do. In some cases, the transition to remote work involves quite a steep learning curve.
Making Remote Work Normal
Remote work throughout 2020 seemed more like an anxious response to an unfolding emergency. Companies were forced into the remote work scenario against their wills. In many cases, they were just trying to keep their financial heads above water. Yet as we approach the third quarter of 2021, we are no longer in emergency mode. We have pretty much settled into a new routine.
For remote workers and their employers, this new routine involves finding ways to make permanent remote work just a normal part of getting business done. Technology underscores just about every effort in this regard. But it is important to not neglect how humans interact with technology. That could make a bigger difference to remote work outcomes than the technology itself.
Technologies to Enhance Productivity
BenefitMall is a Dallas general agency through which benefits brokers access more than a hundred carriers and the insurance products they offer. In a recent blog post discussing remote work efficiency, they mentioned digital sales and service platforms for brokers. The point was to say that such platforms are a key component in facilitating remote work among brokers.
A key take-away from the BenefitMall post was the understanding that brokers would have to learn to interact with new software platforms in order to maintain efficiency. That same principle can be applied across the remote work universe. Companies are looking to embrace technologies that boost productivity. Likewise, employees are tasked with embracing and implementing that technology.
Where many will struggle is in deciding how much of the past to keep while simultaneously embracing the future. They will struggle when they attempt to mix the old ways of doing things with the new ways of technology. And until the right balance is found, efficiency will suffer.
Patience Is Definitely a Virtue
Injecting humanity into the remote work paradigm leads to the inevitable reality that many companies will experience a bumpy road for the next year or so. Patience will definitely be a virtue as companies try to lay out a roadmap of future work location models. Those with the most patience are likely to be rewarded more handsomely.
In some cases, workers are going to remain in remote locations permanently. In other cases, they will return to the office five days per week. In still other cases, a mixed model will be utilized. The common thread among all three is how well workers adapt to their new technology from an efficiency and productivity standpoint.
It is great to point to technology as the one thing making permanent remote work possible. But humans still have to use that technology. In order to maximize efficiency and productivity, companies are going to have to account for the human factor.