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There has been much debate on what the post-pandemic workplace will look like, but now it appears that most businesses have reached a conclusion: need for more flexibility- the work-from-home, work-from-anywhere, hybrid and flexi work hour model is here to stay. This new way of working creates a ‘distributed workforce’ which by no means is easy to manage. Here we will look at a few quick steps for the effective management of employees in a distributed office environment.
First, be process ready
As we have seen earlier, one of the largest hurdles to adopting a distributed workforce is that certain processes are not cohesively woven scattered, manual and not joined – most suitable of office-based work environment and conducive to being run remotely. There is a simple and effective remedy to this. Identify all the processes that are not critical and make them remote-friendly. Many of these non-critical processes can be good candidates for outsourcing. Then review the critical processes and see if you can make them as conducive to remote or hybrid working as possible. Options can include clear documentation of process and work flow and ruthlessly looking at opportunities for automation.
Be Socially Cohesive
While process readiness is important for a future-ready workforce, that by itself is not going to be enough, especially at a time when customers and employees need more hand-holding than ever before. Employees and organizations have to spend that additional time and effort in bringing people together through several frequent in-person social forums and gatherings. Employees have to reciprocate in equal measure with a stronger sense of responsibility, ownership and accountability.
Deploy workforce management tools
And finally, leverage the power of technology to ease into newer ways of working. In today’s mobile and global workplace scenarios, employees seek equity, parity and transparency in their work conditions. And yet management of simple things like which employee worked when and for how long, can be daunting. To facilitate this, consider investing in a comprehensive Workforce Management solution where employees clock their in- and out-timings, track leaves, and overtime and effectively manage shifts. Employees are happy because they can leverage the benefits of flexible working, and are paid timely and accurately. Customers benefit from the increased availability of the teams. And leadership is content that the workforce is working as per expectations.
There is no question that remote, distributed working is here to stay. Ensure your processes are future-ready. People will continue to be your biggest asset and game-changer. Transform the way they work by investing in a powerful Workforce Management tool with Time and Attendance tracking that facilitates accessibility, improved scheduling and work/life balance. And last but not the least, foster a culture of trust and inclusivity, social cohesion and solidarity among your employees. These will steer you and your workforce to business growth and sustainability and no one is left behind.
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