2020.04.13 by BenQ
Coronavirus is the greatest challenge to have impacted the global world in recent history. The number of deaths caused and the magnitude of economic burdens brought by Covid-19 are enormous. Recently, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, declared that the world has entered a global recession.
Amidst the pandemic, the universally accepted prevention measure has been social distancing. Now, this practice of staying at home is being implemented globally to flatten the curve and prevent an exponential rise in Covid-19 cases, as seen in Italy, Iran, and Australia. In the Middle East, some of its offices have partially returned to work. Two interrelated trends have emerged - the increased demand for flexible offices and the growth in remote working and working from home (WFH). The post-pandemic workplace will involve a combination of three distinct office environments: the corporate office, flexible co-working facilities and remote working. Following this, many small, mid-sized, and large companies in the country have quickly switched to remote-working models.
However, this sudden forced transition to a work-from-home set-up has brought its own set of challenges. This article takes a look at what those are, and how to get past them.
Remote work is not a new concept, but it’s not common practice either. Regardless, with our growing dependence on the digital medium and remote work models, all businesses need to be aware of the challenges it can pose. Distractions at home and the conscious effort it takes to get into a work mindset while at home, are some major challenges. Besides this, there are other problems that first-time remote companies should be prepared to deal with:
Lack of Tools & Processes in Place
With the abrupt shift to remote work being mandated by many governments, setting processes, guidelines, tools, and softwares in place to support work from home would have been a challenge for many companies. As a result, collaboration and working in sync from separate locations will pose a huge problem for all members of the company. This can further reduce individual and team output, and negatively impact deadlines and efficiency.
Inefficiencies Caused by Ineffective Technologies
In companies where part of the team is working remotely during the lockdown period, one big hindrance to achieving productivity can be the use of ineffective technologies. Unless technologies in the offices are suited to facilitate communication with remote employees, efficiency, collaboration, and productivity can’t be guaranteed.
The most significant challenge with remote work is the communication gap. Even with several communication channels and methods being made available to employees, for many, face-to-face conversations and in-person meetings are the way to go. Moving to digital conversations and video conferences might be uncomfortable and may lead to huge communication inefficiencies. Here, it is important to have the right tools in hand to make the transition smoother and easier.
In such drastic times, with such enormous challenges being posed, what can your company do to facilitate productivity and collaboration?
There are, of course, some basic tips for how to be more productive while working from home. Small things like having a routine, dedicated workspace etc can definitely be of help to people trying this for the first time. This video has some great pointers.
When it comes to setting up effective processes, things like setting clear expectations and using time tracking applications to establish accountability can be helpful.
The lockdown will cause subtle shifts in work culture and lead to more businesses accepting remote work as a common phenomenon. Increasing number of teams will be split between the office and individual homes, and need ways to ensure productivity. And there are three core values that companies have to adhere to, for a successful remote work set-up:
In order to avoid misunderstandings and the resulting errors and delays, all employees should be encouraged to communicate effectively with each other. For this, in addition to using intra-networks and other communication platforms, companies should focus on adopting technology solutions that facilitate effective communication between employees present in the office and those who are working remotely. This also ensures that the self-quarantined employees still feel like valued members of the team.
Collaboration is also an integral aspect to develop with remote work. There exist several cloud-based collaboration tools to keep group-based deliverables and assignments on track. Companies that adopt such digital tools and software can motivate group participation while maintaining on-time submissions.
Meeting Room technologies like smart projectors and interactive flat panels are great tools to bring collaboration as they offer direct internet access and PC free meeting environments. Built in applications in smart projectors also allow for easy video conferencing to facilitate discussions with remote team members.
In the current scenario and the aftermath of Covid-19, it is important that companies take into account the mental health of the employees and strive to keep team spirits high. A great way of doing this is by holding regular ‘catch-up’ meetings using video-conferencing tools. Here, meeting room technologies can help the remote team members stay connected with the office setting while helping break the monotony and keeping team members focussed on group tasks and objectives.
By adopting new policies and meeting room technologies, companies can position themselves to better handle the new working situation while maintaining a positive bottomline. And a key solution to consider here is the BenQ Smart Projector for Business, that has a wide range of features to drive communication and collaboration within your teams