The concept of “going to work” has changed substantially in 2020. ISVs, software development companies, value-added resellers (VARs) and various other businesses faced the choice of stopping production (and revenue) until stay-at-home orders lifted or enabling their teams to work at home. Not surprisingly, many opted for the latter.
Jeff Harrell, Vice President of Marketing at Adaptiva, sums it up: “COVID-19 has stress-tested IT solutions providers and admins, caused organizations to rethink their remote work policies and prompted the addition of technologies that make working remotely easier. Until it is safe to go back to the office, organizations will endeavor to do this remotely as much as possible — and for some, permanently.”
The Pros and Cons of Remote Teams
Up until 2020, well-established organizations may have resisted employees working remotely, questioning whether productivity would decrease. Harrell points out, however, “The extended remote work environment has shown organizations that employees working remotely are still productive; in fact, I would say more productive in many cases.”
Global Workplace Analytics conducted the Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey from March 30 to April 24, finding that 88 percent of the approximately 3,000 employees surveyed worked from home at least one day per week during that time. The survey found that 68 percent of people say they are successful working from home.
Remote employees also provide advantages to the organization. For example, without a commute, work can begin earlier in the day. Furthermore, a huge plus is the cost-savings for the company, which can reduce or eliminate the costs of a building mortgage, rental, and other overhead expenses.
Gartner reports that 74 percent of CFOs, who are always under pressure to manage costs, plan to shift at least 5 percent of on-site employees to permanently remote positions even after restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic have lifted. Furthermore, about one-fourth of respondents plan to change at least 20 percent of in-house positions to remote long-term.
It appears that these decisions will be well-received. The Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey found that 77 percent of employees want to continue to work from home at least once per week, and 16 percent don’t want to return to working at the office at all.
Still, there is a downside. The survey found that people are more satisfied with in-person collaboration.
Harrell comments, “Even with video conferencing, it’s not the same as being physically co-located, and some things, like body language, are difficult unless you’re in person.”
He adds that people also need the right tools and resources to be successful. “Remote workplaces an enormous strain on corporate VPN infrastructure that could be alleviated with responsive cloud-based solutions,” Harrell says. Fortunately, you have a wide range of solutions — from video conferencing to project management and collaboration tools — to choose from.
Harrell points out, “Many companies view the move to modern management as vital for the future of their business; however, substantial concerns about the scalability and reliability of software delivery have slowed digital transformation. Products, such as Adaptiva’s OneSite Cloud, effectively address these issues, clearing a path for companies to move forward.”
Communication is Key
From the decision to make remote work a permanent part of your organization through to keeping your remote team members in the loop, communication will be key. Harrel reminds solutions providers that even though their team members may often work independently, they may miss the in-person interaction that working in an office provides.
Use your technology expertise — and your familiarity with the personalities on your team — to implement the right solutions and the right mix of office and remote work.