As with any new business endeavor, challenges, and obstacles come with work from home (WFH). This, of course, does not mean that CIOs and CTOs should give up on implementing a WFH policy and platform. Instead, we will help you look for solutions to those challenges and paths around those obstacles that commonly present themselves.
Examine how other organizations have transitioned to WFH or included this model in their business operations. By doing so, the path to your WFH success will become more clear.
Work-Life Balance and Switching Off
One of the big challenges of employees working from home is that they can lose the clear delineation between home time and work time. Household tasks and needs might interfere with the workday. Work emails and messages may intrude on home time. This blurring of boundaries can lead to frustration, burnout, and lost productivity.
One study of 1214 individuals across various demographics found four levels of satisfaction with WFH. The majority struggled with job satisfaction, feeling discouraged or trapped. For an employer, it is critical to avoid these situations. Burned out, frustrated, unproductive employees will not thrive and that can jeopardize the entire approach. It is important for organizations to find a way to help their staff set boundaries and ensure they can switch off when the workday is over.
What does that look like practically? Ensure that managers and higher-level staff understand that employees can and should set their schedule. They need to be able to leave when the day is over. Communication tools like email or messaging work well for this, as an employee can quickly tell their team that they are done for the day.
If employees are working remotely from various locations, time zone differences can lead to interruptions and mismatched schedules. Any kind of WFH tool should include the ability to schedule emails, messages, and other information so that they are not interrupting people at inopportune times.
Collaborating in-person is fairly simple. Workers are all at the same location, so it is easy to shuffle a paper to someone’s desk, convene a meeting, or share different parts of a project. When organizations introduce WFH, that collaboration becomes more difficult. It can be an obstacle to effective work and productivity.
One ideal aspect of cloud-based technology is how it helps with collaboration. When various team members access a file or document, it is coming from the cloud, so they are all using the most up-to-date version. Co-authoring, file syncing, and version control features avoid having to send documents and information over email, even with large upload sizes.
Cloud-based WFH platforms also ensure that teams can communicate in real time. With chats, video, phone calls, and other communication features built into the system, it’s easy to talk with colleagues. While it may not be as simple as knocking on their office door, these virtual communication tools help teams collaborate.
Working from home does not mean that employees have to work alone. With a team-based approach and the right technology, this obstacle is not so daunting. The WFH experience can mimic an in-office experience.
One big obstacle to WFH is getting buy-in or approval from stakeholders and other key players. They are typically concerned about aspects like productivity and time management for employees working from home. A large organizational change like switching to remote work will take a lot of planning and policy, so CIOs and CTOs should be prepared for that.
One of the key considerations of WFH is the cost/benefit analysis. CIOs and CTOs should be able to show stakeholders and decision-makers how WFH will benefit the organization as a whole. Showcasing a robust WFH platform that handles issues of collaboration, communication, and productivity will be beneficial. To surmount obstacles for stakeholders, CIOs and CTOs need to understand their issues and plan how to overcome them. For some stakeholders and decision-makers that are reluctant, a trial period can be the way forward.
Our systems, GroupLink everything HelpDesk, GroupLink Workflow Process & Incident Tracking, and GroupLink for SafestSchools, offer the workflow and WFH capabilities you need to thrive. Built for collaboration and project management, these platforms are ideal for any business or organization looking at a work from home setup. Connect with us online, call us at 801-335-0700, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our WFH systems.
In our next article, Work-from-Home’s (WFH) Future – for CIOs & CTOs: Starting Small and Celebrating Successes, we will look at how organizations have taken a measured, steady approach to WFH. We will also examine how organizations have celebrated those successes. Like us, they understand it is vital to highlight the rewards and improve buy-in for WFH.