According to a study, while 45 percent of employees had to suddenly go remote due to the pandemic, 46 percent say their organization was already planning to go remote in the coming years. Many of the big tech companies like Twitter, Shopify, and Google made headlines in 2020 by allowing their employees to work remotely for as long as they want.
In fact, the past year has made most companies realize that remote work is the future of work. It can help organizations save up on infrastructure costs, all the while allowing them to hire the best talent without any location limitations. For employees, remote work has led to higher productivity, better work-life balance, and more savings as they didn’t have to commute to the office every day or pay high rents just to live close to the office.
While the decision to embrace remote work has been easy for most, implementing remote work has been rather daunting and overwhelming.
Its important to remember that remote work hinges on technology. Without the right technology in place, it wouldn’t even be possible for people to stay connected through the internet and manage their work remotely.
That is why it is imperative for organizations to choose the best technology for working remotely in order to streamline remote work and get the best results from it. In this article, we’ll discuss the top technologies that can transform remote work and why your organization should consider integrating them.
The evolution of remote working technologies
As more and more organizations started to digitally transform their internal business processes, they began to build their own makeshift digital workplaces with basic tools which mostly included an onsite central storage repository which was only accessible through company desktops in the office and instant messaging tools which were mainly used to ping coworkers to gather in the meeting room or ask quick questions. Later, project management tools were added to the existing digital workplaces in order to keep track of work, but even then, organizations did not heavily rely on them.
Most employees were still working from physical offices and rarely worked remotely, which compelled companies to not make many changes to their existing digital workplaces since nobody wants to fix something that isn’t broken.
It seemed easier to have a discussion in the meeting room or just go up to a colleague to ask the status of a particular task instead of navigating through a complicated and obsolete work tool.
But the advancements in technology in the last decade along with the widespread adoption of remote work has changed the work landscape completely. Employees now have their own preferred devices that they want to use for work in order to reach their peak efficiency. They also no longer want to be changed to their office desktops.
As a result, organizations are now readily adding more and more tech tools to their makeshift digital workplace in order to support their growing remote workforce. In fact, on average, organizations now use close to 16 SaaS apps on average as part of their tech stack. But what most forget to realize is that more tools do not directly lead to better results or productivity.
In fact, more tools can lead to more confusion, siloed data, and consistent context switching — all of which can severely affect work efficiency and employee experience.
As a result, it is imperative for organizations to be very conscious about the kind of technologies they are incorporating in their remote teams.
The top technologies for working remotely:
Digitized project management is necessary for remote employees to streamline projects, track all the tasks assigned to them, stay in the loop with what their team members have been up to and maintain transparency across the team. A robust project management tool also reduces the dependency on emails and ensures everyone is on the same page.
Most remote teams rely on cloud storage to keep all of their work and company-related data in one shared space. Storing everything on the cloud also enables employees to access their work files from multiple devices. By allowing all employees to access the same updated version of every file, cloud storage makes for seamless file sharing and collaborative experiences.
Remote work gives employees unprecedented autonomy when it comes to structuring their schedules and selecting their work environment. But this freedom of self-organization and self-reporting can also introduce a whole new layer of admin in the employees’ lives, eating away too much of their time.
Process automation can improve autonomy without increasing complexity for remote teams. When repetitive and boring parts of the business processes get automated, employees end up saving a big chunk of their time which they can in turn use to focus on more complicated parts of their job responsibilities. From automated timesheets to recurring meeting reminders, process automation can make remote work all the more easier.
Unified communication and collaboration
Effective communication and collaboration are the cornerstones of every successful remote team. With no way to have face-to-face interactions, remote teams need communication tools that can make it easier for them to reach out to their colleagues, both synchronously and asynchronously. Ideally, communication and collaboration tools should have features like instant messaging, support for group chats, and company-wide communication channels.
Video meetings have now become ubiquitous for remote teams as they have become the best way for people to have virtual face-to-face conversations. The video conferencing tools you use for your remote teams should allow you to quickly create, schedule, and manage meetings. It should support even your biggest remote teams, allow employees to record calls, and let you hold web seminars as well.
A digital workplace integrates all remote work technologies
While all of the above technologies are necessary for working remotely, adding separate tools to introduce each of the technologies can end up overwhelming remote employees and making it difficult for them to keep track of all the data. Moreover, constantly switching between different applications can be time-consuming and affect productivity.
A digital workplace is a unified platform that gives remote employees access to the complete set of digital tools that they need to manage their work. It allows employees to manage projects, centralize work data and store it on the cloud for easy access, automate repetitive processes, create shared communication channels, and initiate video/audio calls with team members.
Kissflow is a digital workplace platform that offers task management, project management, case management, instant messaging, custom communication channels, and centralized cloud storage. It streamlines remote work and ensures that remote employees have all the tools that they need to work productively and efficiently.