Throughout 2020 and even much of 2021, distributed and remote work seemed like a quick fix. However, after many organizations were pushed to invest in distributed work systems, they’ll likely want to make that a permanent investment – especially if the organization can compensate for the new costs by discharging lease and utility expenses.
Additionally, a distributed workforce is proving to be what many employers and employees prefer:
- BENEFITS FOR THE EMPLOYEE include (but aren’t limited to) eliminating their commute, which has an even more significant impact now with the price of gas skyrocketing. In addition, many employees agree their day-to-day duties are less stressful, with the home being a more relaxed atmosphere, usually without a dress code.
- BENEFITS FOR THE EMPLOYER include reduced operating costs. The ability to hire talent from anywhere and (perhaps) retain them longer. It’s also easier to ensure an inclusive workplace by eliminating barriers that often make office work challenging.
WHAT IS A DISTRIBUTED WORKFORCE?
Comparing it to “remote work” is a good analogy, creating a visual of employees working from home. However, a distributed workforce is more significant than that. Remote work focuses on an individual employee, while distributed work encompasses the entire organization.
In a technical sense, distributed work maintains the necessary context around work without a shared office’s interactive cues and rhythms. There are also systems to manage the distributed workforce, allowing organizations to better supervise and assist their employees, improving efficiency for everyone.
Some distributed teams have embraced the hybrid work model, having some employees in the office on certain days and at a separate location other days. However, currently, “distributed teams” refer to organizations whose employees are scattered around the province, even internationally. As a result, some coworkers will never meet in person, even after a long tenure with the company.
3 TIPS FOR MANAGING A DISTRIBUTED WORKFORCE
- Investing in the right tools.
For a team to work together well from a distance, they’ll need the right tools in place. Often this includes communication tools so employees can connect – literally – at the click of a button. Project management tools and software have also become essential as employers can better track what their team is working on and offer assistance when needed.
- Find a storage solution.
Many employers face a tricky question: where do we keep hard copies of important documents? Whether it’s client files, employee contracts, or tax paperwork, hard copies are still a necessary reality for many organizations. That’s why it’s becoming more common to see B2B vendors offering premium self-storage and document management, just like First Stop Services(FSS). Finding a trustworthy partner like FSS can help ensure you stay organized and still have quick access to important information.
- Clear Communication and Confidentiality.
There are times when team members miss verbal cues and other messages during in-person conversations. Still, there seem to be more misunderstandings when communicating solely through email or other messaging platforms. Emoticons are still deemed inappropriate in some professional situations but are being used more and more in the office to help clarify tone and even bring some much-needed humour.
A significant part of communicating in professional settings includes the ability to do so confidentially. When possible, destroy personal and confidential information. Working with a distributed team means there’s a lot of information travelling online between many parties. Hard copies of this information significantly increase the risk for identity theft, fraud, and other similar crimes. Working with a trusted organization to ensure all documents are properly shredded is necessary for keeping your team and consumers’ information secure.
As you can see, the benefits of a distributed workforce are impressive, but they do come with some concerns. Therefore, one of the best tips we can provide is to continue fostering a relationship with your employees where they feel comfortable and confident enough to bring any concerns or problems to your attention.