Importance of Technology in Work from Home (WFH)
As per the current COVID-19 situation, Work From Home (WFH) or Remote Work is the need of the hour. But, every employer is worried about the efficiency, dedication, and productivity of their employees. They also feel that the business should not be affected by the adoption of such policies.
This is where technology comes into the picture to meet the demands of the employees as well as the employers. With the advancement in technology and automation, everything has become easily approachable and well-oriented. If used properly, it can prove to be a boon for the economy of the business and the whole country.
Concerning WFH, the incorporation of technology proves to be an excellent asset to the development of various businesses. Multiple technologies prove to be highly useful in initiating and operating remote work. Some of the important ones are:
1. Cloud Communication: Employees can easily interact with their team members and reporting managers using emails as per the company rules. Other internal communication can be done using VoIP solutions. With the internet being so widespread, video calls and conferences can be organized without any hassle, and the employees can easily stay connected with their team. Moreover, employers and employees can use remote access tools for troubleshooting IT issues (if required).
Each employee can be given an official contact number, and the calls can be recorded to keep track of the relevant calls made for official purposes. There’s no need to worry about the security as with the development of apps offering chats with end to end encryption; calls can also be encrypted now.
2. Employee Tracking Software: Various employee tracking software applications are available in the market to monitor the employees. Such applications can be installed on the systems used by the employees for better monitoring during working hours. Major features provided are –
a) Activity Monitoring: Employees’ activities like browsing history, email monitoring, idle time monitoring, screen activity recording, total working hours, etc. can be tracked in real-time.
b) Time Tracking: Various features like automatic time capture, leave tracking, timesheet management, etc. can be used to keep track of the time the employees spend during working hours.
c) GPS Tracking: Location tracking can also be done by employee tracking software to monitor their location.
3. Security: With WFH, the issue of data security may also arise, but employers can overcome it by installing anti-virus and firewall software on the systems used by their employees. Login to various emails or chats, other software, or sites pertinent to the organization can be done using multi-factor authentication to avoid any unauthorized access.
The type of work to be done also determines the success of having the policy of WFH, as mentioned by Phil Cicora, Business & Law Editor from the University of Illinois. Following are the general benefits of WFH that can be availed by the use of technology:
a) Recruitment of the Best Employees: Any company can get the best of the employees from all over the world, irrespective of their geographical location by adopting this policy. Ultimately, job seekers can also search for jobs across the globe as per their interest and can get the chance to work with companies of their choice.
b) Increased Productivity: Traffic jams are frequent in major cities all over the world. WFH helps the employees reduce their stress as they’ll not have to drive for hours on a daily basis. Hence, highly motivated and relaxed employees can work efficiently during office hours. The overall efficiency and productivity of an employee are increased, which ultimately benefits the employers.
The employee feels satisfied with his role and the company by being able to manage his time better and maintain a balance in his professional and personal lives.
c) Time Management: Time spent beyond office hours in travelling is too tiring and frustrating, especially in metro cities. With WFH, employees can save that time and utilize it in some other activities. The employers also are benefitted as the employees are not tired and frustrated due to traveling and traffic jams and hence, take less time to settle down and channel their energy towards their work.
d) Cost Saving: As WFH allows employees to operate from their preferred location, the cost of the office infrastructure to be borne by the employer is reduced largely. Hence, the overall expenditure of the company goes down.
As per SYKES, “with 45% of the American workforce now spending much, or all, of their time, working from home, c-suite executives are beginning to recognize the benefits of a home-based workforce.”
The key to success during work from home is combining the right technologies with the right people. This combination will create a remote workforce that increases productivity and deliver brand-building customer experiences.