Statistic Canada reports that 40% of Canadian jobs could be performed through telecommuting. The same study indicates that 80% of people who were asked to telework due to the pandemic look at the arrangement favourably and would like to continue doing so at least half their work time.
What is bad news for Aeroplan status hounds and addicts is good news for Cloud and technology providers. We have known for some time that employees prefer this arrangement. Employers is another matter, of course, and I must confess that I am of two minds about this situation, as well, given the mental and physical health issues – the very important matter of the need for social distancing to prevent the transmission of the virus aside – that arise, but what is the implication of the virtuality of virtual work?
Salespeople need to double their efforts and work almost twice as hard to make up for lack of access to prospects and customers at the latter’s places of work. They have to contend with less group meetings or on-sites at offices. Group e-mails, conference calls and video meetings are the new normal. Everything else is the exception now. Going against this grain makes it difficult to recruit and retain employees to start. On the plus side, employers have access to a larger work pool and can cast a geographically wider net.
People need to ramp their knowledge of digital technology and seek out ones that are easier to use for customers. Many people are not comfortable with the technology and even more people do not wish to contend with difficult applications. Make it easy on yourself and insist on making it easy for your customers. Even if the pandemic is vanquished the outcome is a hybrid work format so choose correctly.
That is, have the right tools, be set up properly, test everything to ensure it is monkey-proof and double down on clarity and explanations because things can get lost in translation when communication is remote. Also, spend a moment to thank technology and the Cloud because without these advances a pandemic would have been a disaster by a multitude. Actually, never mind, the providers are getting paid handsomely for their efforts.
A few telework tools to add to email and the telephone.
- Asana: Workflow management software that helps organizing and keeping on top of the team’s work.
- Flock: Video and audio calling, texting and chat for businesses.
- Monday.com: Project creation and collaboration software
- Slack: Business communication and ‘channels’ dedicated to specific topic that allows voice calling as well.
- Teams: Microsoft’s chat, audio and video call and file storage platform. It has gobbled up Skype as well.
- Zoom: Video calling
*Things That Need To Go Away: The proliferation of difficult-to-use software whose accumulation is itself as much a headache for users as is using it.