As we move into a new age of work, our reliance on technology grows. Learning how to work more effectively in the modern era begins with understanding your tech.
More and more employees are beginning to embrace remote work or a hybrid workplace model in today’s world. This means that organizations are faced with the need for an increasing number of devices and applications for managing productivity inside and outside of the workplace.
With so many different options and types of remote work apps, you may find yourself faced with a host of security risks and productivity slippages due to the sheer number of options and combinations. This can happen even if you’re putting significant thought into tracking productivity for remote workers on your team.
To stay safe and productive using modern tech, let’s dive into some of the risks you may encounter and the six remote teams best practices to foster productive use of technology in remote work.
Why Does Tech Play Such a Crucial Role in the Modern Workforce?
We rely on technology to navigate our day-to-day lives. Technology is everywhere, and that can be an amazing thing.
Tech has opened up an entirely new way of working. Whether from gig economy workers using smartphones to earn cash on their own time or freelancers utilizing laptops to work globally, technology is an integral part of how we work today.
Today’s companies need to be able to utilize tech to allow for seamless communication and collaboration between in-person and remote teams. Why? Giving employees the ability to work where they please will often result in more satisfied, productive employees.
With teams increasingly remote, the challenge for leaders is discovering the best remote tools to manage their global workforce. Many companies have become accustomed to only focusing on technology in the office, which doesn’t provide all the answers when looking to boost remote work productivity.
Beyond creating efficient systems and processes (and tracking productivity for remote workers), company leaders are also faced with the challenge of avoiding the risks that accompany technology designed for the modern workplace.
So, what are the risks and how do you navigate them?
Modern Tech Challenges for Today’s Leaders
The impact of technology on productivity is undeniable. Tech makes it easier than ever to collaborate, communicate, and coordinate from anywhere. For remote and hybrid teams, this allows for greater remote team productivity that would not have otherwise existed.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that tech is flawless. Some concerns still remain for company leaders regarding productivity, including:
The Potential for Distractions
Working remotely means always being in front of a device, and supervising remote employees isn’t the same as supervising them in the workplace. We all know the temptation of opening up a new tab to watch a funny video. Unfortunately, the potential for distractions is always a threat to remote employee productivity.
Not Having the Right Tools
There are so many tools designed for a specific purpose, but that doesn’t mean that every tool will be a good fit for every team. If you end up choosing the wrong tools, your team may fall behind as a result.
Having Too Many Tools
Having too many tools can be just as detrimental as not having any of the right tools. When you’re not consolidating your communication into one platform, you have to utilize multiple tools to get the job done, which can waste time and make collaborating effectively near impossible.
A Lack of Structure at Home
All the productivity tools in the world can’t help remote staff focus if they’re not providing themselves with the proper structure at home. If they don’t have a dedicated working space, lack a work schedule, or only work and don’t maintain a good work/life balance, their productivity will naturally be affected. This will happen regardless of whether or not you have remote employee productivity monitoring software.
With Technology Comes the Need for Security
Beyond productivity, leaders should also be concerned about security. Security concerns are often centered around:
Data Breach Risks
Remote workforces are at a greater risk of data breach risks due to the use of personal devices and data storage in cloud programs that would not otherwise be conducted in the workplace. Should you not have the proper protection on all employee tech that contains sensitive data, this can be a cause for concern.
Work Conducted on Personal Devices
As we stated above, personal devices aren’t the most secure, and that leaves both you and your employees vulnerable to hacks that could otherwise be avoided. The last thing you want is a hacker coming in and taking valuable information and ruining your systems.
Devices Being Used in and Out of the Office
Keeping track of devices leaving the office and being operated remotely can be difficult. Should they be lost or stolen, those are costs that you have to pay to replace these items. Should they be hacked after they’ve been taken, this can be potentially damaging to your company as well.
Put simply, there are many things to consider when using tech to streamline your remote or hybrid operations. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to improve your experience when shifting over to a new way of working.
How to Foster Productive Use of Technology
Making sure that your technology works for you is simple. Some of the key remote productivity tips to utilize are the following.
1. Pay Close Attention to Employee App and Internet Usage
Monitor the use of applications and websites to determine which tools are the most important to your employees and which need to be restricted. You can do this by tracking productivity for remote workers and seeing which apps yield fewer results during working hours.
2. Offer Contextual Access to Applications and Websites
Provide contextual access to applications and websites to certain employees based on their roles. For example, if an employee needs access to Facebook for marketing purposes, they would receive access. Meanwhile, someone who works on the development team may not.
3. Allow Employees to Access Certain Websites During Breaks
Give employees access to social media and news sites that they can use during downtime. Remember, forcing employees to work 24/7 is not conducive to a productive remote work environment. Breaks are necessary!
4. Keep Out-of-Office Devices Secured to Avoid Data Breaches
Secure company data on devices in the workspace, personal devices that have been authorized for remote use, and company devices that are being used in and out of the office via a hybrid workforce.
5. Develop a Tech Toolkit That Minimizes App Usage
Develop a tech toolkit that offers your team one solution for every need to avoid a fractured system of tools that hinder your productivity. For instance, nominate Slack as your primary communication tool, limit video meetings exclusively to Zoom, and channel all your project management to JIRA.
6. Train Your Workforce on How to Use Tech Efficiently
Give your employees the proper training and expectations so they know how to use their technology and understand what is and isn’t permitted. You can enforce these expectations with remote employee productivity monitoring software.
Technology can either be a major distraction or a serious supporter of your team’s productivity. Make it the latter by leveraging the tips above to create strong remote or hybrid workplace systems for your team!
Adjusting to Remote Work Needs Is a Must
Remote work and hybrid work environments rely on technology to get work done, but that doesn’t mean that all teams are using available applications efficiently. To foster a productive remote work environment, we must understand the many productivity and security risks that can befall any organization and learn from these.
The guide above will give you the right direction to develop systems and implement safeguards to avoid such pitfalls and increase your organizations’ efficiency. Once you have all the systems in place, you can supplement them with remote employee productivity monitoring software to track your employees’ productivity and keep them engaged!