Productivity In The Age Of Remote Work: Everything You Need To Know
For more than a year now, life has been unusual due to the obvious. A lot has changed, and it looks like some of those changes are here to stay. Remote work is one of them.
Last year, businesses around the world faced one of the most intense challenges of moving most, if not all, of their operations online. Many struggled. But now business owners who previously didn’t even consider remote work as an option for their employees have to rethink the idea of productivity within the workplace, which, today, in some instances, is entirely virtual.
It’s time we talked about what productivity means in the age of remote work and discussed the ways it can be fostered.
The changing view of remote work
Before the global COVID-19 pandemic forced a rapid transition to remote work, many business leaders were highly skeptical about the output produced by such practice. Many traditionally assumed that the best results are achieved when staff works in the office under close supervision. But remote work has caused them to re-evaluate this long-standing assumption.
In fact, a recent ISG research challenged the deep-rooted presupposition by noting that the past year has increased worker productivity and satisfaction. While measuring productivity objectively can be a subjective endeavour it is important to understand that remote work will remain a staple of any modern-day business. Now, businesses are faced with the challenge of determining their optimal hybrid work model and putting in place the technology and capabilities to deliver it successfully.
The challenges of remote work
While the findings of the ISG research and other studies suggest that remote work can be a productive way to approach business operations, the rapid shift has presented employers and employees alike with more than a few challenges.
Businesses had to quickly strategize how to transfer all of their operations online while countering the various cybersecurity risks that come with operating on the internet. Because most companies were unprepared for such a shift, they also had to understand what IT tools should be used to maintain connectivity and productivity at the same time.
For employees, the changes were no less drastic. Many had to reimagine their work-related routines, establish workspaces within their home environment, and ways to stay productive during the time of an extreme unknown.
In large part, we can thank technology for making all of these issues manageable. However, If your business still struggles to find a way to make remote work a productive endeavour, here are a few tools and ideas to help you with that.
Choosing the right tools for remote teams
The market for IT tools that promise productivity for the remote workforce can be overwhelming. But the most important thing to consider when choosing any of them is your company’s specific needs. Say you are a small business that provides marketing services. The tools you would need for making remote work successful would wildly differ from those of a large automotive company. So, before going all in for a certain piece of software or hardware, make sure that it will be an actually valuable addition to the company.
Some types tools, of course, are suited for most, if not all, businesses that operate online. Let’s call them the foundation for a productive remote work arrangement. Here’s a list of the essentials we think every company should incorporate.
Finding the right communication tools for your remote team is essential to the success of your company in a remote work situation. Some teams choose to communicate via email exclusively, yet it could prove to be rather dangerous. Adopt tools that facilitate team collaboration, productivity, and security. Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Chatty are all great choices for a business of any size. These tools comprise all the essential features for a productive and secure remote work environment.
Project management tools
Project management and task management tools are designed to facilitate productive cooperation so your team could manage deadlines, resources, and deliverables. Like communications tools, project management tools are a must-have for any business. To keep your remote team on track, look for project management tools that provide time tracking features, communication tools, and an intuitive user interface. Trello, Miro, and ClickUp are well known tools that offer all the mentioned functionalities, but your choice should be made based on your team’s needs.
To ensure quick and secure access to a variety of resources, cloud-computing services are essential in a remote work environment. By eliminating the need for hardware equipment and in-house infrastructure, cloud computing is a cost-effective, scalable, and convenient solution. When choosing a cloud-computing service provider, make security your top priority. This is your data that we’re talking about. Reputable providers include such giant companies as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. You won’t be in the wrong by going with any of these.
With the majority of businesses migrating online last year, cybersecurity has been at the forefront for most of them. Remote teams can be extremely vulnerable to cyber threats, especially if the organization isn’t equipped properly.
For any business operating online, everything should start with network security. The most effective and efficient way to ensure that your network is properly protected is by deploying a VPN. A VPN can provide you with online privacy and safety by creating an encrypted network from a public internet connection.
Another must-have tool for any team operating online should be a password manager for business such as NordPass. If you leave password management up to the individual, you’re making the entire organization vulnerable. People tend to reuse, forget, and poorly protect their passwords. A password manager, on the other hand, not only securely stores passwords and boosts your organization’s security but also takes a huge load off your employees. Besides, a password manager allows remote teams to safely and effectively share passwords.
If you are interested in NordPass Business, do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a demo call to preview the product. NordPass Business is specifically designed to meet the needs of any size business.
Get more security tips on how you can make remote work arrangements in your company more secure here.