By BJ Dougherty, Chief Operating Officer, accūrō Solutions
The surge of remote workers during the COVID-19 pandemic caused organizations to reimagine strategies for workforce management. The proliferation of new technology that empowered companies to manage their remote teams effectively and efficiently played a pivotal role in this transformation.
Several tools, platforms, and strategies emerged that enhance productivity, communication, and collaboration in remote work settings. Among these are improved collaboration tools, employee productivity monitoring software, and cloud-based resource monitoring tools. Let’s examine the benefits, challenges, and best practices associated with them.
- Collaboration Tools: Collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom have become essential for remote workforce management. These tools facilitate real-time communication, video conferencing, file sharing, and project management, creating a seamless virtual workspace for remote teams.
- Employee Monitoring Software: Cloud-based monitoring programs allow organizations to track remote employees’ activities, ensuring accountability and productivity. Companies can monitor events completed, time gaps in system activity, and updates to each database field at the individual user level for hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly productivity reports.
- Resource Monitoring Tools: In a cloud-technology environment, tools such as Kubernetes and Rabbit MQ enable automated monitoring of resource usage. They also facilitate deployment of additional resources to different components of an application so that automated processes run at peak efficiencies. Resource monitoring tools allow for additional cloud resources to be sent to applications to meet additional volume requirements and when more users are accessing specific components of the application. These help operational teams complete required tasks in a timely manner.
Real-time communication, collaboration and flexibility are key benefits of advanced remote workplace technology. Video conferencing and messaging apps connect team members seamlessly, and cloud-based collaboration tools and project management software facilitate project management. Additionally, when using these platforms, companies can access a large pool of qualified candidates, instead of limiting hiring decisions to a geographic location.
Remote monitoring software measures employees’ ability to meet deadlines and complete projects, rather than their ability to simply stay engaged during a 9-to-5 shift. This can give employees the flexibility they need to balance their professional and personal lives, leading to increased job satisfaction and mental health benefits.
Managing a remote workforce does come with challenges. Security and data privacy along with technology training and adoption are a few. Other considerations involve ethical concerns related to monitoring productivity.
For data security, employers must implement robust security measures and ensure that remote workers adhere to data protection regulations. Not all employees may be tech-savvy, and organizations must invest in training and support to ensure that everyone can effectively and safely use remote work technology.
Balancing productivity and employee privacy is a delicate task. Without having to monitor all aspects of an employee’s activity, innovative technology allows for reporting on targeted tasks. It can also identify the complexity of the tasks completed each day, hour, and minute. Organizations need to monitor employees’ work without overstepping and should adopt transparent monitoring policies and respect the privacy of remote workers.
One rarely discussed con of remote work is that it can lead to feelings of isolation and burnout. Employers should consider the mental health and well-being of their remote workforce and offer support when needed. Some ways to do this are daily stand-ups, impromptu video calls to collaborate on issues, and communication through chats throughout the day.
To maximize the benefits of new technology in remote workforce management, organizations should consider the following best practices:
- Invest in robust security measures and data protection protocols.
- Provide comprehensive training and support for remote work technology.
- Implement clear monitoring policies with respect for employee privacy.
- Prioritize employee well-being and offer resources for mental health support.
- Foster a culture of trust and communication among remote team members.
Technology has significantly transformed the landscape of remote workforce management. Collaboration tools, project management software, and various monitoring solutions have empowered organizations to manage their remote teams more effectively. While there are challenges and considerations, the benefits of remote work technology, including improved communication, collaboration, and work-life balance, make it an essential aspect of the modern workplace. As remote work continues to shape the future of businesses, organizations must adapt and leverage these technologies to remain competitive and support the evolving needs of their workforce.
About BJ Dougherty
BJ Dougherty serves as the Chief Operating officer for accūrō Solutions. With over 30 years of industry experience, Mr. Dougherty has held senior operational positions across several companies. Prior to accūrō Solutions, Mr. Dougherty founded Solutions4, which was acquired by MCMC, LLC and eventually CareWorks. Mr. Dougherty is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.
About accūrō Solutions
Based in Sarasota, Florida, accūrō Solutions is a technology company which provides complete and transparent bill processing services to drive the workflow from the mailroom, through medical bill review, and provider payment for companies in the property and casualty insurance industry. More information can be found at www.accurosolutions.com.