A new digital-centric era for remote team workplaces

15 November 2021

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It wasn’t that long ago the idea of approving staff requests to work from home would have been met with some pretty amusing reactions by management – especially if those requests were to permanently work from home for three to five days each week!

Fast forward a few months and look how the world has changed since COVID-19 hit the world.

A recent survey conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows that two-thirds of Australian’s are now working from home. That’s 67 per cent who are sometimes or always working from home, compared to 42 per cent pre-COVID.

Although some commentators predict that a post-lockdown society should see businesses bounce-back, the reality is that many companies are downsizing to reduce overheads to match their declining revenues. Additional to headcount cutting and salary reductions, 47 per cent of organisations surveyed advised that they expected to reduce their physical office footprint to align with more staff working from home.

“Remote team tracking provides managers with an intuitive data-driven environment to help them make more informed decisions, such as identifying project bottle-necks, performance issues and opportunities for targeted staff training.”

With these fundamental shifts in the workplace environment, businesses have had to re-think their strategic outlook to prosper in what appears to be a digital-centric era ahead. Suddenly, many have also needed to face the many new challenges that present themselves with a workforce that predominantly works from home.

Pre-COVID, simple but critical tasks that many would have previously taken for granted – such as monitoring attendance, punctuality, productivity, accountability and compliance – have become more challenging to manage with a work-from-home workforce, since physical and visual assurances are no longer available.

Thankfully, there are a number of online solutions that assist, such as remote team collaboration like Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Trello, Asana and many others. Although each are wonderfully powerful for managing remote teams, projects and tasks, they may not be the ideal solution for compliance.

Although at first some may find it a little intrusive, new technology allows management to secure more focused insights about how their remote staff are performing within a real-time environment. Time tracking, app and URL tracking, screenshot activity, keyboard and mouse activity can now be automatically monitored to encourage higher levels of productivity and compliance by remote staff.

Remote team tracking provides managers with an intuitive data-driven environment to help them make more informed decisions, such as identifying project bottle-necks, performance issues and opportunities for targeted staff training.

Another benefit of remote team monitoring technology is that managers can reduce the frequency of staff ‘check ins’ to see how they are performing, while also avoiding the risk of relying on potentially inaccurate information. Instead, managers can now be automatically alerted if staff are found to be deviating from established key performance indicators and address symptoms of unproductive behaviour early.

Now more than ever, it’s time to reflect on and identify which traditional workflows and management practices may no longer be optimal for what appears to be an increasing trend towards a new-era of remote team workplaces.

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