Office communications were once simple as we all co-existed in the same space.
We would chat around the water cooler, share lunch together, meet together and socialise together to form bonds between office staff.
Those bonds have become harder to form, though, with more and more workers taking the job on the road or to their homes as offices become decentralised.
Almost 70 per cent of all Australian employees will spend some time working out of the office each week while almost half will spend at least half the week working remotely.
The rise of the remote worker offers greater flexibility in the workplace, better work/life balance and enables companies to have boots on the ground where they need to be.
But it can be isolating, with the water cooler conversations becoming a thing of the past. Thanks to technology, though, it is possible to remain close to remote workers and build strong bonds.
Embrace emerging communication technologies
Before sending workers off into the wilderness (or back home), make sure they are armed with the latest technology to ensure they can access office systems, processes and people simply and easily.
The technological benefits are plain to see, but this also helps remote workers feel like they are part of the team.
You want their remote or home office to represent your brand and company and make them feel like they are right next door, instead of a vast distance away.
These technologies will enable remote workers to be able to be involved in meetings, conferences and all manner of face-to-face communications rather than impersonal email contact.
Leverage social media to create a sense of community
You know what they say, all work and no play …
An integral part of working in a team is building relationships, friendships and bonds with co-workers. Working remotely robs employees of the chance to network face-to-face and this isolation can lead to a drop in productivity.
An academic study has proven that loneliness equates to withdrawal from work, weaker productivity, and demotivation.
Social media channels and groups allows workers to communicate on work matters and what is planned for the weekend instantly and easily and should be embraced by managers with a remote workforce.
Keep your office connected within the cloud
Australia spending on cloud services is predicted to rise by over 20 per cent from 2017 to 2019, with $5.6 billion expected to be spent on the technology next year.
Cloud storage solutions have many benefits, like reducing costs and overheads by removing onsite storage and improved security with external parties protecting your data and systems around the clock.
It also makes your data and systems available from almost anywhere on the planet, enabling remote workers to access all the same programs and files as the people housed in your offices.
If your enterprise has not migrated to the cloud yet, but you have remote workers or plan to in the future, then it is strongly advised you consider making the migration.
Make communication seamless
There are a range of programs and apps on the market now that make all forms of communication simple and easy. Programs like Skype allow for easy video chatting and conferencing and Slack is a cloud-based workflow application that can keep workers on the same page. There are plenty of other options out there as well, explore the app store to find solutions that work for you.
Want to better connect your management team with remote and shift-working staff? Our in-house experts can help optimise your workplace with custom tailored solutions on 1300 289 867. Alternatively, connect with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit solutions.emprgroup.com.au to get more information.
– Josh Alston