WFH – The Good, The Learning And The Strategy
By: Raeford Liebenberg, manager at Silvermoon, a Galix company
WFH was enabled by communication and collaboration tools that are enhancing quick response times without completely depriving people from interaction with colleagues and clients.
And while there are exceptions, companies are now benefiting from employees that optimise their daily hours at home as opposed to losing valuable time in traffic or other social distractions at the workplace. Indeed, workers’ daily commute leads to hours of lost productivity and also makes a solid case for WFH.
The right technology
With the good also come the learning curve. Whilst many companies are now seeing a spike in productivity, it wasn’t smooth sailing from the get-go.
From a technology perspective, many workers simply didn’t have the required infrastructure in place. Furthermore, many companies and individuals had to scramble to ensure their Internet speed was adequate and that they had all the necessary security safeguards like endpoint protection up and running.
Here, there simply isn’t a one size fits all solution. Some workers might only require basic connectivity to efficiently download e-mail and connect via apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, using voice only. Others might benefit from a fast connection such as Fibre to the Home (FTTH) which allows for much faster speeds. Again, fibre isn’t always an option and here people can opt for 4G/LTE packages that offer great value for money. The downside is there might be congestion and data lag during peak hours, particularly in more densely populated areas.
The point is, it’s important to evaluate what your needs are and what you require to stay productive and WFH efficiently.
A technology partner can be an invaluable resource, guiding both the companies and their employees and presenting them with the right solutions for the job. But it’s important to opt for an IT solution company that offers a mix of the right expertise, affordability, support and trust to establish a solid and needs-specific solution.
A winding road
With the correct solution in place, the human condition and particularly the power of routine shouldn’t be underestimated. Setting new rules and boundaries for successfully WFH can be quite tricky.
So how do you ensure that both employers and employees benefit from WFH? For one, a written policy should be put in place to ensure that everyone is working according to a set of rules. Importantly, this WFH policy will automatically set boundaries which will go a long way in establishing work life balance.
Honesty is also key – these policies shouldn’t be cast in stone and employees must be encouraged to give feedback on what’s working or not – this can be tweaked as time goes by to realise a productive workforce.
For example, some workers might prefer flexi hours which will give them time to spend with their children and run personal errands while working after hours to meet their work obligations.
The finance department, on the other hand, needs to hold business hours whereas the sales time might prefer working from early in the morning, take time out in the afternoon and then touch base early evening.
In the end, WFH is here to stay; the trick is to ensure that both employers and employees are comfortable with this new set of rules and have the technology in place to strengthen their daily productivity gains.