Andrew-Bourne-of-Zoho1

Onsite and remote – taking a best-of-both-worlds approach to your business operations

BY: Andrew Bourne [Region Manager, Africa at Zoho]

Companies around the globe have had to adopt remote working in a short period of time. Some have thrived and won’t go back to the office model, with the likes of Twitter, Quora, and Slack all indicating that they’ll either be fully remote or remote-first for the foreseeable future.

Others, however, have struggled with the transition and are hankering to get their teams back into the office.

The ideal solution is probably somewhere in between these two extremes with employees able to work remotely when it is suitable and returning to the office as needed.

Here’s how businesses can take a best-of-both-worlds approach to their operations:

Assess needs

It’s important to first weigh out the real benefits of a fully-staffed workplace. This helps decide what functions need to return onsite and which ones can continue being remote. Bearing in mind that due to comfort zones and habits, staff may feel the function needs to be onsite when in fact it may be more cost-effective or more efficient to do remotely.

For instance, if your teams collaborated really well and were far more creative in the office, office space is worth the investment. Similarly, employees may feel more comfortable approaching management face-to-face than over email or video call. There is also the issue of mental health. Remote work is not suitable to everyone, and some people may need human interaction to enable them to cope with being stuck at home. It may not be a daily interaction, it may just be a staff social event once a month, each circumstance or function should be assessed on a case-by-case basis to make the best decision for the future of the business.

Utilising technology

Having a blended workforce that adds a significant amount of remote workers to the mix can make striking a balance a little more difficult.

Fortunately, virtual networking technologies can help here. A virtual meeting, for instance, allows both on-site and remote workers to hold brainstorming sessions and meetings without losing any of the benefits of being in physical proximity to each other.

When it comes to collaboration, a cloud-based office suite can enable seamless communications and teamwork, facilitating faster accomplishment of projects. That can be massively beneficial for both remote and on-site workers.

Technology can also help with another oft-cited headache when it comes to balancing remote and on-site work: project management.

A good project management tool will help you manage budgets, timelines, resources, communication and quality with a calendar, Gantt chart, time tracking, and group chat type functionality. If you can find one with automation capabilities, you’ll also save time on routine tasks. Meanwhile, a visual workflow builder with a simple drag-and-drop interface is useful for making automation easier.

Remote or not, these types of technologies can streamline your day-to-day operations with meaningful enhancements like task list templates and routine task automations. It won’t just make things easier if you’re ever forced into a scenario where you have to take your operations remote for a period, it’ll also help improve overall productivity.

Making the most of the ‘new normal’

In truth, most businesses have been heading towards, at the very least, a hybrid model where some employees are remote and others work on-site. But this needn’t be problematic.

Both offer distinct advantages, according to the function or individual task being fulfilled. With the right approach and technologies, it’s possible to leverage the benefits of both without falling prey to any of the disadvantages traditionally associated with them.

Zoho

Zoho

About the author

Andrew is Zoho’s Regional Manager for the Africa region and is based in Cape Town, South Africa. He has more than 15 years of experience in sales and marketing, and has spent the last five years focusing on the implementation and testing of various business technologies.

He is very passionate about Zoho and has exceptional insight into the business and marketing world.

 

 

This article was first published by Tech Economy Nigeria on the 14 July 2020. 

Latest Articles

50th South African school now water-secure thanks to Woolies Water Fund, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet

03/24/2021

Emafini Primary School in New Brighton, Gqeberha is the 50th school to receive a comprehensive water harvesting system from the Woolies Water Fund, helping them become water secure. The water harvesting system consists of two x 10 000l water tanks, gutters on the roof to channel the rain water into the tanks, a filtration system and large…

Read More

Aiming high: how to make investment choices in the cannabis world

03/24/2021

Picking stocks in the cannabis space can be a daunting task, but what once used to be a very ‘out there’ sector is now whetting the appetite of investors. It all started in 2018, when Canada legalised recreational use, but the UK is becoming an increasingly fertile ground for the sector after the FCA allowed…

Read More

LGBTQ+ real estate forum appoints five board members

03/23/2021

  The networking forum welcomes Sarah Rock, Lucy Smith, Dan Westeley, Ian Pattinson and Scott Parsons to the company board. Sarah Rock is principal associate at global law firm Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, Lucy Smith is a partner at HTA Design LLP, a practice for professionals like architects and urban planners, Dan Westeley is leasing…

Read More

50th South African school now water-secure thanks to Woolies Water Fund, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet

03/24/2021

Emafini Primary School in New Brighton, Gqeberha is the 50th school to receive a comprehensive water harvesting system from the Woolies Water Fund, helping them become water secure. The water harvesting system consists of two x 10 000l water tanks, gutters on the roof to channel the rain water into the tanks, a filtration system and large…

Read More

Aiming high: how to make investment choices in the cannabis world

03/24/2021

Picking stocks in the cannabis space can be a daunting task, but what once used to be a very ‘out there’ sector is now whetting the appetite of investors. It all started in 2018, when Canada legalised recreational use, but the UK is becoming an increasingly fertile ground for the sector after the FCA allowed…

Read More

LGBTQ+ real estate forum appoints five board members

03/23/2021

  The networking forum welcomes Sarah Rock, Lucy Smith, Dan Westeley, Ian Pattinson and Scott Parsons to the company board. Sarah Rock is principal associate at global law firm Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, Lucy Smith is a partner at HTA Design LLP, a practice for professionals like architects and urban planners, Dan Westeley is leasing…

Read More

Ender’s game: how to game our way to vaccine understanding

03/23/2021

  How digital solutions – including games and animation – can play a critical role in disseminating accurate and effective information about the crucial COVID vaccine. By: Glenn Gillis The global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is gearing up to be the largest, fastest and most difficult vaccination programme in history. No issue in our time…

Read More