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July 2020 | Article

By Quantanite

By Quantanite

Remote working:

Is your organization ready for a post-COVID transition?

When it comes to working from home, COVID-19 has forced our hand. With employees in lockdown, previously resistant organizations have had no choice but to embrace remote working.

This transition was both swift and unavoidable. Many organizations found themselves under-prepared for the transition.

The question is, will home working become the norm once the pandemic is over? It’s too early to say, but there will definitely be far-reaching consequences and organizations should plan ahead for more flexible ways of working.

This post addresses the challenges of a home working model and how to overcome them. But first, let’s take a look at the long-term benefits.

The benefits of remote working

Freed from the constraints of bricks and mortar, organizations have the entire world at their disposal. With no need for office space, you can employ anyone literally anywhere to serve a specific geographic need.

As far as business transformation goes, it works on many levels. Regardless of whether your employees are carrying out front-office voice services or back-office admin, remote working:

• Gives your organizations greater resilience
• Allows immense flexibility
• Is a way of working that suits many employees
• Reduces overheads while increasing workflows

That’s the good news. Now for the bad news.

The benefits of remote working

Freed from the constraints of bricks and mortar, organizations have the entire world at their disposal. With no need for office space, you can employ anyone literally anywhere to serve a specific geographic need.

As far as business transformation goes, it works on many levels. Regardless of whether your employees are carrying out front-office voice services or back-office admin, remote working:

• Gives your organizations greater resilience
• Allows immense flexibility
• Is a way of working that suits many employees
• Reduces overheads while increasing workflows

That’s the good news. Now for the bad news.

Security worries

For companies who are used to managing everything internally, security is a major headache.


In order to reduce risk, they need to get their foundations in place by investing in first-class security technology that is stable, reliable and secure.


Some action steps to take:


Assign defined user logins, equip workstations with encryption algorithms, dedicated antivirus and firewall software.


Install additional authentication measures such as facial recognition software. That way, you can guarantee that it’s the employee entering the system, not someone else.


Protect employee privacy. A defined area around an employee’s workspace can be scanned via camera to ensure no one is looking over their shoulder at sensitive data.


Importantly, your security measures must be easy to use. When baffled and frustrated by difficult or slow security software, especially during busy times, remote workers are likely to ignore security measures in favour of convenience and speed.


The technology should also be scalable. A spike in demand may require an augmented remote workforce, but this should never compromise security.

Monitoring the quality of work

Without daily face-to-face interaction and informal `drive-by’ feedback, quality and performance evaluation will need a re-think.

Setting clear and specific goals and expectations is important for any employee, but especially so for off-site workers. It drastically reduces the need for micromanagement.

You will need to monitor and audit off-site work according to those benchmarks. Are they doing what’s expected?

Again, technology will provide a solution. A system that tracks each task, and allows you to break large tasks into subtasks, will provide a clear view of output quality and productivity. You will also spot any bottlenecks before they derail your project timeline.

After that, it’s about creating an open feedback loop and addressing any behaviours that are causing mis-steps. But of course, changing behaviours involves training.

How do you train employees working at home?

How to train remote workers

Virtual training is an obvious solution, but this won’t work unless it’s accessible to all your employees at all times, and from anywhere. Everyone should enjoy the same learning experience, regardless of location or device.

Don’t forget that your organization’s online training is in fierce competition with the cacophony of Google and myriad online distractions. Live webinars, video, infographics, gamification and discussion forums all serve to capture employees’ attention and keep them engaged.

No matter how well designed, virtual training can never deliver the power of face-to-face learning and personal feedback. As lockdown starts to lift, consider mixing the virtual training medium with regular follow-up sessions in bricks and mortar locations.

Planning ahead

When team members are physically disconnected, and sometimes separated by time zones, projects can quickly fall days behind schedule.

Forecasting, planning and constant communication are all crucial for peak operational efficiency. Managing expectations and being realistic about deliverables will keep customers onside.

Sustainable success means understanding and predicting how and when workflows arrive – the peak times for demand and the remote staffing levels required to meet those demands. When do you need specific employees online? When can you take others offline?

Preventing burn-out

With no distinction between work and home, the risk of employee burn-out is substantial.

Drawing clear boundaries between work and home lives will help protect mental health. But this is tricky at the best of times, and COVID-19 may have ramped up the pressure to be constantly `at work’ and available.

For back-office administrative employees, the ability to deliver accurate work, to meet goals, expectations and deadlines far outweighs the requirement to be present at their home-office desks 9 to 5. Output matters more than hours worked.

With customer service remote staff, this is more difficult. Their presence in front of a computer at set times is obviously crucial, but they still need break periods and, within reason, the ability to take themselves offline.

Again, monitoring quality and output is key. Provided your remote workers are meeting expectations, they should be allowed the liberty to set boundaries that function best for them. If they are not, an open feedback loop and focused training is the answer.

Managing workflows, addressing security issues, monitoring productivity and delivering focused training to remote workers can be cumbersome and difficult. It involves forward thinking.

Luckily, we’ve already done the thinking for you. Find out how Quantanite can help your organization reap the benefits of flexible, scalable teams working from home.

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