What is Remote Work?
Telecommuting is a working style that allows professionals to conduct their daily work activities normally outside the traditional office environment. No public transportation, vehicle or service is allowed and no access to the office. Instead, the process of working in the desired place, in different places, maybe in the open air in summer, is carried out. Telecommuting began in the 1970s, and even the U.S. government allowed remote work almost 30 years ago.
Instead of going to an office to work from a designated desk each day, remote workers can carry out projects from home and achieve their goals wherever they want. People can have the flexibility to design their days so that they can experience their professional and personal lives to their full potential and live together in peace.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Working Remote?
For a completely remote company, road and traffic problems are eliminated.
Companies inevitably shift towards more digital environments. With the digital transformation of all documents and meetings, advantages are provided in terms of recording and corporate memory.
Systems such as documents, meetings, and chat are used more efficiently when working remotely.
There is still a pandemic at the moment, so the biggest advantage of working from home is health. Health risks are minimized by working remotely.
More efficient work emerges as there is no going to the office and there is no transportation problem. Time losses are eliminated.
The start and end times of the meetings become clearer. The time to reach the meeting and the office environment negatively affected the start and end times. Thanks to remote work, problems of being late in online meetings are greatly reduced.
Lack of Relationships Among Colleagues
The biggest disadvantage of working remotely is psychological factors. Working together in an office provides employees with the opportunity to connect and build friendships through shared experiences. While people used to be in more social interaction, they are now interacting in the virtual environment. Being always at home, in the same environment, can also negatively affect motivation. Working remotely, even if teleconferencing, online chat systems, and other communication tools are used, it becomes more difficult to establish relationships between colleagues.
Along with remote work, there is a cultural change for companies. While different management styles were used before, new systems should now be set up for remote work. Arrangements such as video conferencing tools, document systems, and business management systems should be made.
Problems may arise regarding discipline. It is not easy for people to discipline themselves in the home environment. While employees are undoubtedly experiencing daily distractions in an office, there may be even more distractions at home: children, spouses, pets, etc. Everyone's home workspace is different from each other, as do their abilities. Companies should develop a set of tactics to ensure discipline at home. Discipline is a challenging factor for both individuals and companies.
It is easier for employees to feel like they are part of the big picture of the company while brainstorming with colleagues in the office. Telecommuting can make it difficult for employees to feel connected and involved in daily company events, which can ultimately lower morale.
How Can Businesses Adapt to Remote Work?
Telecommuting is a process that needs to be managed well from start to finish. Companies need to get the same efficiency from employees as working in their real offices. In this context, a preparatory process should be passed, or if it is already working remotely, management should be supported with some techniques and tools. In adapting to the remote working culture;
- First of all, we determine the current situation. We determine which processes and departments can adapt more easily to the remote working system. When determining, we reveal the management system. For example; Company X held weekly meetings on Mondays before the pandemic. Now, considering discipline and motivation, we realize participation in a virtual environment and design systems.
- We are thinking about methods of eliminating the psychological effects of remote work and increasing motivation. As Prosoftly, we consider providing motivation without physical contact within our own company. The longer the pandemic process, the more important the psychological effects become. We advocate that activities that increase motivation should be held in the virtual environment, albeit remotely.
- There is talk about how their relationships with customers will be. Some companies cannot work remotely. Some of the customers may want to meet with companies at the office. Intermediate formulas must be found by protecting our own health and without hurting the customer. It is not possible for a blue-collar employee working in production to work remotely. The employee must definitely come to the factory and make production. Feelings of tension and injustice can also arise when blue-collar workers work at the factory. Appropriate policies and actions need to be developed for blue collars.
Remote Working Tools
Along with remote work, digital transformation and digitalization have gained more importance. Digitalization needs to be more in remote work. We can talk about the examples of digital transformation tool used while working remotely as follows;
- Document systems: The working environment, documents, and correspondence should take place on digital platforms as much as possible, and in this context, various document systems come into play. (Google Documents, Dropbox, Documents To Go, Quick Office Pro, Kingston Office, etc.)
- Teleconferencing and Videoconferencing (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Meeting, Microsoft Teams, Cisco systems, Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Teamlink, Lifesize, Twitch, Jitsi, Slack, BigBlueButton, etc.)
- Applications (WhatsApp, creating groups in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, etc.)
It is necessary to provide various training for the employees to get used to the system and this is called change management. Since the way it works has changed, it must be taken seriously.
There are companies abroad that have continuously provided remote work. To give an example from the United States, Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey now validates remote work without a time limit. They will have unlimited remote working opportunities. Apart from these, we can list some of the companies that will work remotely until the end of 2021 or unlimitedly as follows;
- American Express
When US also looked software, services, consulting companies, non-physical products such as web agency companies is advantageous at the transition point to work remotely.
Can Every Company Switch to a Remote Working Model?
Not every company is as lucky as companies that do not have physical production. Employees of companies operating in the service category such as the tourism and food and beverage sector should be physically present at the workplace. Remote working is not possible in cafes and restaurants, and therefore employees must be physically present as well. Home service, cargo, moto-courier is used. On the digitalization side, the onlineization of businesses and the inclusion of companies in their own systems take place. There are not many options on the tourism side. Necessary precautions are taken, rules such as cleaning and masks are followed and thus visitors come again, but still, a loss occurs.
Some countries have good management in the Covid-19 process. The number of countries that test very well in Europe and America is not a very high number. Germany leads the countries with the best management. Unfortunately, countries such as Italy, Spain, and America cannot achieve the same success.
In short, when we look at the sector, not every company can switch to a 100% remote working model, but all of them have the chance to work remotely at a certain point. White-collar may switch to a more partial remote working model. For example; Let's think of a manufacturing company and have a marketing department in the company. Since the marketing department works as a "desk", employees can work from home. In the sales department, contacts in the field have decreased during the pandemic process. The sales department can make appointments and talk remotely via telephone or video conferences. Those who have a design job on the engineering side can have the opportunity to work remotely. Even if it is a production company, it can be partially digitalized. Although it is necessary to provide physical service in hotels, the marketing and sales department can still work remotely. We can say this company succeeds in digital transformation in manufacturing.
How Does Company Management and Operations Work in the Telecommuting Process? What Are Technical Issues To Be Considered?
Different operations may be in question depending on the management style of the companies. A company can be overly coercive management and have systems, including various time management, where entries and exits are kept. There are also companies that are more liberal. There is no time management and progress is focused on output. Our advice as Prosoftly is to find the middle. Finding the middle;
- It is also not right to fully realize micromanagement or release the management in full. Companies and employees need to be disciplined. Companies must also have an office in virtual. If a company uses online systems, they can stay online in the systems from 9:00 am to 18:00 pm, and thus they can log in and out of the online system as if going to the office. The office environment is also created in a digital environment. Seeing what comes and goes online provides motivation and shows the presence of the business. When there is no system, everyone can stay away from each other and things can be more difficult. Tracking becomes difficult.
- Routine activities in the office need to be digitalized. For example; One-on-one meetings can be held by video-conference. Issues such as the start and end time of the meetings and the evaluation of the outputs must be managed entirely in digital environments.
- Vehicles that have not been used before and are newly being used may arise. For example; Let's think of a company that did not use CRM in sales processes in the past. It may have started to use CRM during the pandemic process or Google Documents, Microsoft 360, etc. can use document systems such as. Adaptation problems may arise at the point of technology. Training needs may arise in order to prevent adaptation problems and to learn new systems.
How to Manage Performance and Configure KPIs?
Performance management and KPIs made in the real office must also be valid in the digital environment. Some management tools and software can be used as an extra. The importance of computers, home internet, and phones among the vehicles used on the way to digital access is emerging. Systems can be measured remotely, including KPIs.
What is the Remote Work Regulation?
Remote Work is defined in the Labor Law. Some rules have been put in place to ensure that teleworking business operations can be carried out with digital tools and technologies without coming to the office. If the employees carry out their work with the specified vehicles before coming to the office, they are included in the Remote Working section of the Labor Law. Telecommuting regulations are at the company's own initiative. Rules that already exist in the real office, such as the beginning of work, the end of work, and meal break times, are transferred to the digital environment and can be linked to the regulation if desired. Policies in which rules are written and frameworks are determined are called Remote Work Regulations. Human Resources has already communicated the rules to employees. The Remote Work Regulation can be considered as a guide that determines how to make regulations that were manual or physical in the digital environment. When the employee reads the regulation, he / she understands the method of working remotely.
How is System / Information Security Provided?
The tools used by companies put them in a certain structure against their customers or employees. Companies have a certain style with vehicles. The vehicle used turns into the face of your company and the new office appears as this tool. Video conferencing tools, tools used in the document system and software system tools used in company management become the new offices and faces that our employees and customers see us. As Prosoftly, we also provide consultancy in choosing the tools in order not to damage the corporate identity and to ensure integrity.
When choosing tools, the ones with the least cyber risk should be emphasized. Every digital product and platform has vulnerabilities. The important thing is to choose tools that protect user data and have the least vulnerabilities.
Remote working involves cyber and information security risks. When the tools used are digital, it may also be possible for them to be hacked and documents to be captured by others. Working from home, cyber risk is more on our agenda. Training in terms of security is very important. Employees need to learn how to protect themselves against cyber risks. Education should be taught how to share documents. Employees should be aware of the difference between public sharing and internal sharing. It is necessary to prevent public sharing mistakes and prevent confidential information or customers' own information from falling into the hands of others. Telecommuting activities should be carried out by considering the risks first.