Work-from-Home’s (WFH) Future for CIOs & CTOs: What Appears to Work and What Appears to Not Work

There are just as many methods to implement work from home (WFH) as there are benefits to adopting remote work. With such a variety of organizations shifting toward remote work, countless examples of what to do and what not to do exist. Here, we will explore a few real-life examples of WFH strategies and platforms to help put CIOs and CTOs on the right path. 

Perhaps your business or organization has already shifted to remote or WFH strategies with no other options thanks to COVID-19. You can still use these examples to fine-tune your approach, fixing the areas that appear to not work as well. WFH can be a flexible approach, so if you feel inspired by any of these case studies, it’s a good time to invest in tech and refine your strategy.

What to Do With In-Office Workers

A case study from Harvard Business Review explores how one work from home rollout impacted morale, and not always in a good way. One person at the company was concerned about the effect of WFH policies on those left behind at the office. The company had a system that extended WFH capabilities to those employees who reached the tier of top performers. 

While productivity was at an all-time high with WFH staff, those left behind were dissatisfied. Managers worried about retention. But, if the company slowed down their WFH approach, they would likely not be able to meet business targets.

In this scenario, experts suggested paying attention to a few key things. First, not everyone will want to work from home, so both planning and tech should accommodate that. Second, expansion of WFH can happen, but should be done carefully and address flaws. Finally, any WFH that is merit-based should come with very clear performance objectives, with leaders fully trained in best practices to promote camaraderie and collaboration. Those best practices include team leaders knowing how and when to bring WFH staff together, even via videoconferencing. 

Consider Different Ways to Implement WFH

As a TED article explains, real data shows that WFH improves productivity and lowers attrition. But, as the above example also notes, companies and organizations should recognize that there is not one clear path to WFH success. Economics professor Nicholas Bloom suggests examining different ways to implement this shift.

His suggestions include contingency-based WFH, individual and probationary WFH, WFH as a promotional reward, or something offered in lieu of a raise or bonus. Of course, many companies had no choice but to switch to complete or nearly-complete WFH with COVID-19. If your organization is now able to bring some people back into the office, it’s a good time to look at what worked and what did not. Tailor your WFH plan and platforms to the strengths of your organization and its people. 

Encouraging Innovation and Collaboration 

A Microsoft study and one of its researchers, Michael Parke, notes that some WFH employees lose a sense of purpose without the in-person relationships. Microsoft says businesses will struggle to innovate without the bond between staff, as brainstorming becomes more challenging.   To battle this, the tech giant suggests employers empower WFH employees to work on tasks without consequences and make decisions without micromanagement. 

Tech itself plays a critical role in avoiding this WFH issue. If the WFH systems you use are well suited to collaboration, that same innovation can happen remotely. People need to have access to the same information and connect, whether it’s with chatting, calls, or videoconferencing. Cloud-based project management tools ensure data is accurate and easily accessible across all employees so when a great idea hits, it can be acted upon.

Managing Security Concerns

Security is a concern with any work, but when employees are accessing data from home with their own devices and networks, it is critical. In this case study, a regional HR director at UAE-based company OLX explains that their systems are set up securely. Any employee can work in any location across the globe, with remote access to the system. 

Simply allowing workers to sign in using any device and their unsecured home networks is a recipe for disaster. Be sure to choose a WFH tech stack that emulates in-office security for all employees, no matter where they are. 

GroupLink everything HelpDesk, GroupLink Workflow Process & Incident Tracking, and GroupLink for SafestSchools are secure, robust platforms for WFH and workflow. If you want to learn more about our tech, or have questions, get in touch today.  Contact us online, call us at 801-335-0700, or email us at info@grouplink.net to hear from one of our team members.

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