Businesses are facing a lot of challenging workforce questions right now. Many leaders are wondering if, when, and how to re-open their offices. Others are evaluating if some positions can remain remote permanently, and, if so, which positions are a good fit.
For many industries, remote work may be here to stay. In the technology space alone, we’ve witnessed large players such as Facebook, Twitter, Square, Slack, and more release public statements about allowing their employees to work remotely indefinitely. As a result, the challenge of managing remote workers and teams is looking less and less like a temporary one. With that in mind, organizations must shift to long-term remote work strategies and solutions to ensure that offsite teams not only stay productive, but also increase their productivity.
Making Remote Work Permanent
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, attitudes towards remote work have shifted. Back in April, Gartner released a report stating that nearly three out of four CFOs planned to make some positions remote permanently, and 74% of the CFOs and finance leaders surveyed stated that they would move “at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19.”
In July, those numbers rose. A new Gartner report has revealed that 82% of the company leaders surveyed said remote working would continue some of the time, and almost half (47%) stated that some positions would become remote full-time.
New Workforce Analytics for a New Time
With employees working from anywhere, how can business leaders ensure work is completed efficiently and effectively? Remote workforce analytics is the best tool available. Using real data derived from their own employees and teams, managers can optimize productivity levels and ensure operational compliance so that everyone’s data stays safe. With a tool like ActivTrak, you’ll also get insights into how teams are working—not just whether they’re working or not. Workforce analytics makes it easy to identify employee performance gaps, workflow process bottlenecks, unbalanced workloads and times when productivity is at its highest and lowest. You can also see which software programs are used the most and which ones are not being utilized, opening up an opportunity to trim costs by eliminating expensive, unnecessary software licenses.
When you use remote workforce analytics, you can help your teams become more efficient from a distance, increasing your company’s bottom line and ultimately benefiting your customers. As HR Technologist wrote, “In the end, the value of any people analysis comes down to improving efficiency. Just as marketing analytics deployed across customer touchpoints helps improve the buyer’s journey, workforce productivity analytics help employees become more effective at their work and ultimately deliver more value to customers.”
Communicate Openly with Employees about Workforce Analytics
If you already have a workforce analytics system in place, transitioning it to support your employees remotely can be seamless. However, if you want to implement a new system, it’s important to be open and transparent about how remote workforce analytics is going to work. Be clear with your employees about the purpose of the program and what it will – and will not – do. Make sure to stress that remote workforce analytics benefit employees, for example, by preventing unmanageable workloads and burnout; thus improving work-life balance. Additionally, the data derived from workforce analytics software can make performance reviews more objective; in turn facilitating fair promotions.
At a minimum, workforce analytics software can be leveraged by employees to improve their own time management, performance goals, and work boundaries. According to the MIT Sloan Management Review, “Enterprises that want the best from their workers — and for their customers — innovatively invest in digital accountability, but these efforts must acknowledge and respect newly blurred distinctions between work and home life. With transparency and trust, tracking can authentically be branded and experienced as data-driven workforce support.” For a successful implementation, partner with your employees to get the most value out of workforce analytics, all while maintaining trust and transparency.
Now that remote work is moving towards a permanent status in the business world, it’s time to think beyond just surviving a temporary crisis and plan for thriving long-term. Duct-taped solutions will no longer cut it. With remote workforce analytics, your remote employees and teams can be set up for success in reaching their optimal productivity levels, your customers will receive the service and quality they deserve, and you’ll have peace of mind that being out of sight doesn’t mean being out of mind.
Advanced Remote Workforce Management Tactics
For more actionable advice on effectively managing a remote workforce, check out our free eBook: Guide to Remote Workforce Management: Trends, Tips and Tactics. In this comprehensive guide, we unpack the unique challenges facing remote workforces, and help you develop win-win strategies and tactics to overcome these challenges using workforce analytics.