Remote work, imposed on us by the pandemic, has raised many questions. Since this a relatively new practice, especially in Latin America, there were no clear protocols so that employees could effectively work outside of the office.
One of the questions initially asked was whether one should necessarily work face-to-face to be productive. Over time, there has been a clear and concise response, indicating that anyone who has the required tools to perform their activities can do so no matter where they are in the world.
After spending more than half a year working from home, I can conclude that distance does not impede solving tasks efficiently and on time. Therefore, the paradigm created by business leaders has been broken. However, this work style has exposed other factors that were not considered, such as the importance of having flexible policies, collaborative work methodologies, and time-management. These factors should be urgently addressed since companies such as Facebook estimate that within the next 5 to 10 years, all employees could work remote permanently.
Decision-makers must know the company’s DNA to be able to solve these new challenges, but, above all, they must bear in mind that they are working with human beings and therefore, implementing actions that benefit the teams are required. Based on this assumption, we must consider the following basic principles: adoption of culture, collaboration, communication, and networking, in addition to safety devices and platforms.
Working from home comprises daily tasks’ performance using the company’s tools and fostering communication, collaboration, planning, and team management skills that can be integrated into different platforms. It will help employees work and perform their activities in the same manner or even better than they would do if they were physically together.
A wave of knowledge management is expected to be one of the trends we will see in the coming years. Companies will strengthen this asset to systematize everything they know to target their efforts better and perform tasks effectively.
Employees must be provided with the required technology so their devices are safe. Under no circumstances should a leakage of information occur, as this is the added and most precious value of companies. Therefore, relying on a well-established technological environment will be essential.
Better cybersecurity software must be implemented, according to Safe at Last data, 69% of companies consider that their online security systems are not solid enough to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. In this situation, a company is more vulnerable to information leakage, mostly when its members work on private networks.
Moreover, by not being close to experts in several office areas, people tend to increase Internet inquiries under the “do it yourself” assumption, which means the demand for audio and video content will also increase. Nevertheless, for this to be effective, workers need to have cognitive engines through machine learning (artificial intelligence) to have more sophisticated and intelligent search engines that speed up searching for information. Therefore, data categorization and typification (metadata) are becoming increasingly relevant.
Remote work is a practice implemented several years ago in many countries, but despite that, in our country, it was still perceived as a foreign scenario. Yet, this initiative is here to stay, which forces us to promote new labor policies, technological skills, and additional benefits that keep employees motivated and productive.