With the business environment changing so rapidly and so drastically, many companies are now faced with difficult questions with multiple answers, neither of which is necessarily the right one. In fact, with so many trends to tackle, it may seem impossible to apply all changes fast.
That’s alright, though. There’s nothing wrong with starting with small steps, as long as a business knows where it’s going. That is to say, planning comes first.
Let’s take a look at the fields that need polishing!
Table of Contents
Your Current Working Model
Obviously, the matter of working models comes first as it is the prerequisite for all other successful changes.
First of all, even if you’re running a business relying on office space, you should consider hybrid work models. Many roles can be performed remotely, so if your teams of, say, SEO experts and content writers are working from the office, they may well reconsider their options… which are many.
Remote work has been around for a while, but it is only with the onset of the latest pandemic that literally all businesses everywhere realized that their outdated work models won’t hold for much longer. Freelancing, sole proprietorships, and digital nomadism are becoming more attractive by the minute, so traditional businesses simply have to remain competitive or perish in denial.
Another matter is contract types. Businesses simply must consider employees’ needs, which have, of late, been revolving around the matters of expats and taxes.
There are various hybrid work models that may work for businesses. Depending on the scope of your business, you may want to start with one and go from there, which is totally acceptable.
But where do you start?
First, take a look at the options:
- Partially remote work, with flexible office space – no permanent offices; rented flex space used for periodic collaboration (but not connectivity)
- Almost entirely on premises – limited remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers
- Partially remote work, multiple hubs – multiple offices with the workforce dispersed among them
- Partially remote work, large office space – the majority of managers and workers spend most, but not all, of their time at the office
- Almost entirely off premises – mostly remote work with no office space
- Multiple microhubs – management and employees are dispersed across small microhubs located in different cities (or countries, depending on the scope of your business operations)
As you can see, the transition doesn’t have to be performed in a matter of days. Rather, your business may take things slowly and apply necessary steps on the go, making the transition as seamless as possible.
Educating Your Team
Next on, businesses need to reconsider their training plans. For starters, remote work calls for a set of completely different skills, notably soft skills.
Teaching soft skills is completely different from your average training sessions and it is by no means easier at that. After all, there are different personalities to consider and you must make remote teams — sometimes scattered across the world — operate perfectly well.
Among the crucial soft skills, you need to help your workforce develop are interpersonal communication and critical thinking. Not something they teach you at university, right?
In addition, remote workers need to possess a couple of other critical skills, including but not limited to:
- Sales skills
- Negotiation skills
- Time-management skills
- Stress management skills
- Marketing skills
- Various business skills depending on the scope of their work
- Accounting skills
Just how exactly you will deliver training for all of these is up to you, but make sure to rely on innovative teaching methods like gamification, AR learning, and mLearning methodologies of all sorts.
Engaging Frontline Workers
Have you ever heard of GPS time clocks? If you haven’t, you absolutely should reconsider the role and satisfaction of your frontline workers ASAP.
Many things have become clearer during and after the pandemic and one of the most alarming insights is that frontline workers are leaving jobs at an alarming rate. In fact, frontline workers are the most sought-out workforce type, with more job openings than the willing candidates.
For one thing, the main reason why frontline workers are looking for better job opportunities is their poor relationship with managers. This is not surprising when we know that managers often lack experience in the field and only possess the skills taught at universities. This practice must change, and soon at that.
Further out, frontline workers often lack access to the latest apps and tools. Compare this to the situation with your remote workers and you’ll realize the magnitude of the issue.
Bottom line, businesses must make sure that frontline teams are getting the training, the tools, and the support they need in order to be able to perform their jobs properly just like other teams in a business.
Green initiatives have become omnipresent so it’s only natural that businesses that don’t want to lag behind must take them into account.
Clean tech seems to be the future, so start thinking in terms of sustainability and even education. E.g., many businesses are setting up sustainability teams aimed at educating the workforce and even marketing their courses to people outside the company. This is, in turn, boosting their reputation and online presence, so the benefits are multiple.
Everything considered, there is much and more to be done to make your business competitive and the best place for your employees. Start with picking the best hybrid work model, update your apps and tools, and provide modern training.
The rest will come in time, but faster if you keep up with the trends.