How to bring productivity home
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 3.6% of the U.S. workforce telecommuted on most days. Only 7% of employers offered that option.
As of Spring, 2020, stay-at-home orders have the doors and emptied the parking lots of many businesses. Those businesses and their suppliers seek ways to move forward while ensuring the health and wellness of every stakeholder – whether an employee, customer, supplier, or shareholder. Telework has become an essential and immediate option.
Remote work is not always possible., but an estimated 56% of jobs in the U.S. are at least partially compatible with it. If business operations transform in response, the numbers of offsite workers are likely to be greater long after stay-at-home orders are lifted. Up to 30% of the workforce may continue to telecommute on most days each week.
The value of collaboration IS well established. The intense needs for direct communication in a competitive environment have kept 96.4% of the U.S. workforce from telecommuting. Now, business is no less competitive, but essential physical distancing cannot be maintained at close quarters within offices, factories, retail operations, and warehouses.
The connectivity required for at-distance collaboration is widely – but not universally – available. At-home broadband service is unavailable to nearly 10% of working-age adults. Many of the remaining 90%, including small business owners, now struggle in harsh economic realities. The Federal Communications Commission (FTC) has developed a Keep Americans Connected Pledge to assist where possible. Broadband and telephone service providers who sign the 60-day pledge agree to maintain service and not charge late fees to residential or small business customers. The pledge also opens the Wi-Fi access offered by those providers.
REMOTE TEAM COMMUNICATION
The technologies that have served today’s telecommuters must now support remote desktops, shared calendars, instant messaging and more. An organization’s choice may hinge on required features as well as cost. Here, in alphabetic order, are some popular options. This list could be a starting point for a technology search:
PLANNING AND COLLABORATION
Communication tools deliver messages and appointments that are essential for progress, but they can also be distracting. Effective project management methodologies and worthwhile meetings must avoid those pitfalls. Collaboration tools can help. Many have have been designed around today’s best practices for project management and meetings. Guided by the frameworks within those tools, each remote team member can bring productivity home.
One or more of the links below may lead to collaboration software that aligns with your organization’s business processes:
Beyond these challenging times, organizations may experience efficient, lower-cost ways to deliver timely, high-quality results. Done strategically, digital connectivity can make an organization stronger and more resilient. We may one day claim an environmental benefit. Even half-time remote work reduces commuter travel, reducing carbon footprints while freeing-up the commuter freeways.