Offering remote work to employees is a great way to future-proof your organization and attract the increasing number of candidates who now prefer jobs that allow them to work remotely. While 83 percent of employees say that remote work opportunities make them feel happier at work, 81 percent of them are more likely to recommend their organization to other people if they had the option to work remotely.
However remote work comes with its own set of challenges, while some of these challenges require robust remote work strategies to be resolved, others can be easily handled with the help of automation.
The main challenges faced by remote teams
Collaboration: With no way to see each other face to face, remote teams can often struggle with collaboration, especially without the right tools by their side.
But at the same time, too many collaboration tools with no seamless integration or automation can easily make remote employees fall into the trap of silos and in turn, make remote collaboration even more difficult.
Tracking: Keeping track of how remote employees are performing within the team and if they are submitting all of their work on time can get harder when you are remote. Moreover, tracking project progress and ensuring transparency across the team is also a big challenge.
Team management: Managing a remote team is very different from managing an in-office team. You cannot just work around the office to check up on employees and see how they are handling work. With a remote team, you need to make more of a conscious effort to schedule meetings and organize 1:1 discussions, in order to bring everyone together as a team.
Employee morale: It’s very easy for remote employees to start feeling isolated from their team when working from home, which can invariably lead to decreased employee morale and engagement. A remote team requires different strategies to build transparency, rapport, and trust among team members.
One of the best ways to get over these main challenges and to provide a more streamlined work experience to your employees is by introducing automation.
By automating parts of your workflows and business processes, you can improve productivity, efficiency, and employee experience. When your remote team is no longer bogged down by time-consuming manual processes, they are able to use their limited time for more complicated parts of their work responsibilities.
How automation can help better manage a remote team
Streamline remote work for your organization
Standardizing all the processes, converting them into streamlined workflows, and making them accessible through a centralized dashboard can ensure that employees are able to track everything happening within the team. You can also create templates for different processes and duplicate them automatically every time you want to create a new process in order to save time. Seamless tracking also makes reviews and approvals within the remote team pretty quick with lesser check-ins with team members.
Increased productivity in remote work
According to a study, the productivity of remote teams is directly related to the nature of tasks that they handle. Dull and boring tasks can have a rather negative effect on productivity, whereas creative and brain-storming tasks can have a positive effect on overall productivity.
When you use automation to manage all the boring and repetitive tasks that follow a predictable pattern, your remote team gets the opportunity to work on more challenging and creative tasks. In fact, 69 percent of employees say that automation can decrease the wastage of time during work hours, and 59 percent claim that they have six more hours to spare every week when the repetitive parts of their jobs are automated.
Better remote team collaboration
Automation can not only free up the employees’ time to collaborate with their team members, but it can also further streamline communication and collaboration in remote teams.
After all, you cannot collaborate effectively if you are not able to communicate effectively with your team members. While some important matters of communication are best left to us humans, like offering feedback or providing context for a decision, automation can easily take care of other tasks like updating your team members about what tasks you have accomplished.
For this, you can turn any of the team communication channels into a command center to receive notifications for all the project-related activities or completed tasks. You can also centralize all the notifications to check what the team members have been doing.
Improved transparency and employee engagement
By automating, streamlining, and converting processes into workflows, you make them easily accessible to employees and in turn improve transparency within the remote team. More transparency also leads to more accountability within remote teams.
Whenever a team member submits their work, managers can get automatically notified which can decrease any miscommunications and ensure everyone is on the same page. Similarly, if a task hasn’t been finished even after the stated deadline, team members can get notified of the delay automatically, instead of the manager having to tell them about the pending tasks.
Automation also makes assigning tasks and setting deadlines easier. Employees can get tasks reassigned according to their skills, leading to better employee satisfaction and engagement.
Automation is now a necessity for remote teams
It’s important to note that automation isn’t about replacing people in organizations. Instead, it is about enabling employees to have more time and energy to focus on the more complex and interesting parts of their work. For remote teams, automation can help improve productivity, efficiency, and collaboration.
For companies that are scaling their remote workforce, introducing automation has now become a necessity in order to maintain efficiency. By taking care of the menial and repetitive tasks, automation has the power to provide employees with a more holistic digital experience.
Dinesh Varadharajan, Vice President, Kissflow