Category Archives: Remote Working

How the Modern Workplace is Transforming

In the past, the traditional workplace was characterized by the typical nine to five jobs where employees were expected to be in the office every Monday through Friday. Office life was separated from home life, and working from home was unheard of if not unfathomed. Needless to say, work environments were very restrictive and inflexible.

How the Modern Workplace is TransformingAs a result of advancements in technology and changes in workplace demographics, the traditional workplace is undergoing a huge transformation. At the heart of this transformation is the influx of millennials who are desperately trying to reshape the workplace into a flexible, creative work environment. Millennials believe that creativity and productivity is hindered by workspace restrictions, and they are actively pursuing businesses that are open-minded to workplace changes.

So, why should you care? By 2020, millennials will comprise 50% of the global workforce according to Wainhouse Research. For some, working a traditional nine to five job is desirable, but the majority of millennials do not fall into this category. In order for businesses to attract and retain talent, the workplace as they know it has to change.

With all of the resources we have available to us, including smartphones, collaboration technology, wireless Internet, etc., creating a flexible work environment is no longer a fantasy. These tools have changed where, how and when we work, allowing us to virtually work from anywhere, anytime.

The reality is that modern workplace is changing and you need to adapt in order to be competitive. However, many business owners have concerns about moving to an “uncontrolled” environment. Here are some ways you can ensure success while managing a flexible work environment:

1. Base incentives on performance instead of out-of-date metrics like being on time, number of sick days taken, seniority, etc. Focus on metrics that correlate with job competency.

2. Create individualized performance plans that focus on the strengths of the employee. Reassign work where the employee shows weakness based on performance, and have the job suit the individual instead of having the individual change to suit the job.

3. Invest in tools and technology to ensure your employees have the resources they need to be successful. A collaboration technology solution is key to keeping everyone connected whenever and wherever they are.

4. Help your employees design a friendly work environment at home or in the office. Be supportive of remote work environments by providing tips for making them successful.

These tips will help you transition into a flexible work environment as well as successfully maintain it.

To attract and keep quality talent, businesses have to face the reality that they need to be open to changes. The modern workplace is changing, and it’s important to keep up with the changes to remain competitive. To learn more about the workplace transformation, read our article, “Workplace Transformation: Are You Ready?” For more best practices for remote workers, view our infographic, “Tips and Best Practices for Remote Workers”, now.

Why Your Business Should Allow Employees to Telecommute

Working from homeThe advantages and disadvantages of working remotely continue to be debated. Some argue that telecommuting disrupts the traditional nine to five environment. Others argue that it increases productivity and efficiency. Regardless of which side you’re on, I’m sure we can all agree on one thing: waking up, throwing on a robe, drinking a cup of coffee, and getting the work day started without a commute sounds almost irresistible.

Here’s a few reasons why we think telecommuting is the future of collaboration:

1. Remote workers are less stressed.

Studies show that 46 percent of mobile workers feel less stressed. A lengthy commute to the city, that struggle to find parking and money wasted on dozens of Starbucks coffees adds unnecessary stress to what could have been a productive and relaxing morning.

2. Remote workers are saving money.

Having the option to work from home can save commuters hundreds of dollars in gas money and the cost of eating out during lunch breaks. Providing different ways of working is allowing companies to save as much as 40 to 50 percent of their real estate portfolio.

3. Remote workers are as connected as in-office workers.

In the age of the Internet, resources are now in the palm of our hands. You can work around-the-clock and around the g

lobe. We no longer have to be in the same room to communicate effectively. Cloud-based project management, web and video meetings and remote administration are all supporting the mobile work environment, and remote workers typically have the same tools available to them as in-office workers do.

Tip: Business owners, if your work environment is currently lacking in productivity, experiment with a 50/50 work environment. Allow employees to spend half of their time working in the office and the other half when and where they choose. The results might surprise you.

The bottom line is 64 million U.S. employees, or 50 percent of the workforce, have jobs that are remote-compatible, and this number is only continuing to grow. Effective collaboration is possible if you give it a chance and if you provide your employees with the right tools.

Read our infographic, “Tips and Best Practices for Working Remotely,” to learn more.

Workplace Transformation: Are You Ready?

Wainhouse Lunch n Learn (2)Last Wednesday, Andy Nilssen, from Wainhouse Research, discussed how millennials, mobility, BYOD/A, and distributed workforces are transforming the workplace.

By 2020, millennials will comprise 50% of the global workforce and they are changing the way we fundamentally work.  They want to bring their own devices/apps, they are natural collaborators and they value flex time and workspaces.  The new way of working includes technologies such as IM/Presence/UC, team workspaces, social networking and workflow integration enabled by mobility, VoIP/OTT and the Cloud.

Knowledge workers will have the flexibility to no longer be tied to their desk. So how do you enable quality collaboration and drive productivity?  Provide technology that enables them to collaborate in the office as well as out of the office and with coworkers and non-coworkers alike.  Give them tools that will allow them to share data, collaborate on documents and do video, support a mobile first strategy, and look at workflow apps that integrate with collaboration solutions, such as: calendars, UC, file services, marketing automation, sales automation and social media.

How do you engage your employees?  Foster a culture that rewards collaboration, encourage “purpose built”, BYO applications and gather feedback on what’s working and what’s not.

Creating a collaborative environment

Create strategies, policies, and structures to institutionalize values, behaviors and practices that promote cooperation among teams.  Set up some overall policies: minimum number of months employed, employee must be in good standing, and be clear around the days and hours that they need to be available. Have departments create policies that work best for their specific team based on tasks/duties that they need to perform and what is conducive to working remotely vs. working in the office.

Encourage purpose built, BYO devices/applications

Allowing users to work on the devices that they are already comfortable with can boost productivity within your organization.  So what will you need to do to support this?  Ensure your infrastructure is setup to handle the variety of devices and apps that your workers will be using.  Pay particular attention to network utilization and bandwidth consumption.   Make sure you have security in place to handle the third party tools that will be on your network.   Vet the app to see if it stores data, where it stores it and is it encrypted or not.  Set clear guidelines with managers and employees.

Gather feedback

Anytime you launch a new program, application or policy, it’s always good to set up a feedback loop.  Circle back with managers and employees to see what is working, what’s not.  Does the policy need to be changed? Do new guidelines need to be in place?  Is it positively or negatively impacting the business?

Workplaces are transforming, make sure you are ready.   You can read more about how to improve remote work experiences on the ReadyTalk blog.

Out of the Office: Tips and Best Practices for Working Remotely

Out of the Office: Tips and Best Practices for Working Remotely

With globalization on the rise and employers offering telecommuting, remote, and flex-time work options, employees must learn new strategies and best practices for working remotely and working with remote colleagues.

ReadyTalk’s collaborative technology helps thousands of people work together but technology can only do so much.

On Tuesday, February 10 at 1 p.m. EDT, join experts from ReadyTalk and FlexJobs for a 45-minute webinar as they discuss best practices and tips that will improve the way you work from a distance and guarantee remote colleagues stay connected, engaged and part of the team. You'll learn:

  • 10 Must Dos: Ensure your success when working remotely with these tips.
  • In-the-Office Tricks: Make meetings more productive for your colleagues with a few simple tricks.
  • Technology Tips: Ways to use technology to make meetings more successful.
  • Register now to learn more about how you can improve the remote work experience for you and your colleagues.