OPERATIONS & HR | Highlights – May 2020

Remote working: How the cloud can help businesses to overcome the challenges of the “new normal”

As the world gets to grips with the new normal of a massive proportion of the population working from home – which may outlast official lockdown – the ongoing impact of COVID-19 is reshaping the workplace landscape for workers of all types. Many in the workforce in the UK and other countries have turned their homes into makeshift offices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but just how long Britons and their colleagues, partners, and suppliers around the globe are required to work remotely remains an open question.

Many organisations have shifted to company-wide remote working for the first time and are facing brand new challenges as they try to provide support and structure to their employees. These include:

  • Lack of communication: One of the main challenges of remote working is lack of communication in the right business context, which should not be limited to giving instructions but should include sharing the organisation’s vision and providing ongoing updates on work and projects;
  • Tracking productivity: This is difficult as some employees do need to be managed closely and prompted to complete tasks and meet deadlines, while others simply need extra guidance when it comes to understanding what needs to be accomplished and which tasks need to be prioritised;
  • Limited access to files, documents, and resources: Working remotely can be challenging if businesses do not provide staff with adequate ways to access all the information and documents they need;
  • Enabling effective collaboration: Lack of face-to-face working can impact people’s ability to coordinate tasks, share ideas, manage workflow, and generally feel like they are working together for the right immediate goals and general business objectives.

Source: HR News


Coronavirus: Twitter allows staff to work from home 'forever'

Twitter has told staff that they can work from home "forever" if they wish as the company looks towards the future after the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision came as the social media giant said its work-from-home measures during the lockdown had been a success.

But it also said it would allow workers to return to the office if they choose when it reopens.

Earlier this month Google and Facebook said their staff can work from home until the end of the year.

Twitter said: "The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen."

The announcement has been described as "an era-defining moment" by one digital innovation expert.

Source: BBC


Embrace remote working

Chat and video calls

Chat is a great way to get quick answers, it is infinitely quicker than email but this instant communication medium is not perfect for everything.

Always remember that at the other end of the chat, there is a human being, not an autoresponder and that person has feelings and is human, as such, they can misinterpret what you are trying to say.

To repeat, chat is easily misinterpreted. Be careful and know when it is time to move from chat to the phone or a video call. If you have doubts about whether to use chat in a particular situation then it is probably better not to.

Video helps people feel more comfortable as they can see a (hopefully) friendly face in the same situation they are in, this breeds empathy and helps team morale (we are all in this together).

Giving someone feedback should always be done with a video call. This helps them see that you are not angry. Perhaps more importantly you can see how they are reacting and adjust your feedback to suit.

Obviously, meetings cannot be held with chat; therefore, a video call is required. So, in some instances video is a really useful tool but like chat it is also not perfect, for one thing it is much more demanding on resources than chat.

Source: Hidden Wires