The world as we know it has been brought to a screeching halt by the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 (aka Coronavirus/COVID-19). It’s now causing far-reaching socio-economic impact. Businesses have been forced to shut down for the next foreseeable future translating into potential loss of income for the establishments and employees that rely on it.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for some industries and their employees. With cloud-based communication and collaboration platforms and advanced document automation tools like Windward, firms can remain fully functional, all thanks to the concept of remote working.
You don’t have to panic in these pandemic times as Windward can help your remote employees stay super-productive. They can create the templates all on their own (the DIY approach without the need of any developer/team member) and generate documents in just a few clicks. The best part - Windward can integrate with familiar platforms like MS Office, Salesforce among others and connects with an extensive range of data sources that include SQL, XML, OData, and more.
Unlike most document generation tools that need developers and other team members to collaborate to create documents, Windward is perfect for this current remote work situation. It gives your employees absolute freedom to create documents right on their personal computers while working remotely.
Similar to pandemic situations, natural disasters such as hurricanes, snowstorms, floods (among others) can render the day-to-day functionality of organizations null and void. Remote working has come to the aid of institutions within the public and private sectors during past crises. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, during a snowstorm in 2010, estimated an avoided revenue loss close to $30 million owing to the productivity of remote workers in various industries.
In 2012 when the U.S. suffered one of the most devastating Hurricanes — Hurricane Sandy, many livelihoods were destroyed. Damages arising from this Hurricane were estimate at $70 billion. Amid this doom, companies like Ernst & Young were able to weather the storm and maintain a reasonable amount of productivity, all thanks to remote working and cloud-based data systems in place.
Your company too can withstand the current pandemic crisis by investing in the latest collaboration tools and document automation software to ensure your remote working staff stays productive.
The concept of remote working, while highly applicable to modern society is not a new one. It can be traced back to the pre-industrial medieval times. Various industries relied on the collective efforts of individuals working from the comfort of their homes to thrive.
A paper by IBM indicates that countries like the US have around 10% of the employees working remotely at least once a week. More importantly, those who work remotely are over 60% engaged and productive in comparison to those who work at the office (55%).
The concept of remote working is already being embraced the world over for the last decade. Now, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, remote working has transformed overnight from being a perk to prerequisite and paramount for most companies worldwide. And with the explosion of technology in terms of mobile collaboration tools and document generation software like Windward, your remote employees can be efficient and effective right from their homes.
Given the fact only 40% of companies worldwide have virtual office capabilities (currently) it leaves most businesses adrift in uncharted territory. The switch from a physical workforce to a virtual one requires planning like how the big companies did (Apple, Google, and Amazon). Assuming you’ve made the decision as an organization to allow your employees to work from home, it’s important that you make all the necessary technology available to execute their respective tasks and here are some practical tips to consider.
Clear communication of tasks to be carried out and expected outcomes coupled with autonomy when it comes to decision-making is important. It helps to improve the productivity of your remote workforce. Once everyone knows what they’re doing and by when it is required, it makes it easier for them to plan their time accordingly.
Autonomy in decision-making allows line managers or team leaders to make on the spot decisions that directly affect the rest of their team members as the circumstances surrounding the crisis evolve. This saves on the time-consuming process due to the usual back-and-forth decision-making system.
Secondly, it pays to settle on the preferred mode of communication for your teams. While emails are a great tool to communicate to multiple individuals at the same time, they can be rather passive and lack a sense of urgency (and no, labeling an email as urgent doesn’t make it urgent). Take advantage of tools like Slack, Skype, and other tools that are more likely to guarantee you real-time responses. Also, engage Windward to let your remote working staff create documents and share them (all on their own) unlike other software in the market that is way more costly, requires team effort, and consumes time due to dependency on others. In short, you can save time and money considerably when you choose Windward.
Flexible work hours that come with working remotely are not synonymous with working round the clock. It’s important to establish a routine within your team and let the individuals decide their work hours as it increases the morale of over 90% of employees. In this period, it is only natural that some of your employees may be distracted by other aspects of their lives. So, schedule meetings beforehand to allow individual team members to adjust their modus operandi accordingly.
Maintaining regular communication is key when embracing this work model. The fear of redundancy, diminished creativity as well as erosion of company culture can be effectively curtailed by constant and effective communication. Regular video calls, for instance, will help the management and the rest of the team understand where each team member is with regards to their work. They also act as brainstorming sessions among colleagues and thus not only improve creativity but boost morale and encourage a positive company culture.
Over 70% of teams globally will have remote workers by the year 2028 according to a research report. So, now is the right time to nurture it by helping your staff stay productive right from their homes. In fact, remote work culture can ensure your business thrives not just during the Coronavirus crisis, but even after it. So, stick to it to face any future disruptions as well.
And as discussed above, Windward can help make this remote-work transition possible and highly productive for your business as it empowers your employees to avoid any delays in the document generation process.