Workplace arrangements today are as diverse as the people performing work. Organizations have traditional employees working alongside on-demand contingent workers, freelancers and contractors, all on a single team or project. This trend is affecting how employers manage the composition of their workforce and how software tools help them do it more effectively. Let’s go through software solutions for hybrid workplaces.
One challenge many organizations face is finding a way to blend traditional onsite employees with remote/offshore staff or contractors from around the globe into a cohesive unit of productivity. The solution involves an effective talent management strategy that ensures seamless communication between geographically distributed teams across different time zones and cultures while ensuring accountability of each individual’s contribution to the group’s total output.
The new hybrid worker demands employment flexibility – freedom to team up with other remote workers at a moment’s notice without the inconvenience of negotiating his or her status with a Human Resources department. To meet this demand, many organizations are turning to virtual teams where the members work side by side in an online environment.
In a nutshell, software can help employers manage their hybrid workforce more effectively and create a smooth workflow across teams and time zones while doing so efficiently. Here is how:
1) Software tools for workforce management not only foster better communication between employees through features such as live chat, audio/video conferencing and shared screens but they simplify the entire collaboration process by automatically sharing relevant information such as project details, updates on progress and deadlines. By making information accessible via mobile devices wherever you go, these solutions allow project managers to identify potential communication obstacles before they become insurmountable.
2) Using mobility features, employees are able to perform their work from anywhere by staying connected to the cloud-based system using multiple devices including mobile phones and tablets. This flexibility allows workers to conduct business on their own schedule while managers can assign projects according to the availability of available resources. The ability for an employee or contractor to pick up work in the home office one day and continue in a different location is valuable in helping companies maintain continuity of operations when employees are temporarily displaced due to bad weather conditions (we often see this happen during hurricanes). Mobility also helps keep projects running smoothly when team members need last minute changes like new deliverables or edits that need to be made at short notice.
3) The solution also helps in organizing and prioritizing projects through automated workflows that allow collaboration between teams, customers and suppliers from within the same system. Team leaders can set milestones for different phases of a project while keeping track of progress by checking on key metrics such as estimated time to complete each task, number of tasks completed and overall estimated completion date for all deliverables.
4) Another core feature that has become increasingly important in today’s distributed workforce is managing employee performance with software tools. This includes not only measuring their overall productivity but also tracking their daily activities including number of hours worked through time clocks built into the system. These digital timesheets save a lot of administrative work associated with collecting paper-based timesheets from remote employees at various locations in the world.
Employees also have easy access to their performance metrics including productivity scores, goals they are expected to achieve and any action items for improvement that may have been assigned by their managers. They can review these reports through mobile devices while onsite or away from their computers so it’s easy to be proactive about meeting targets before they become critical issues.
5) Cloud-based software solutions are easier to implement with lower costs of ownership when compared with traditional workforce management systems. The range of features is typically more comprehensive given the amount of money spent per employee, making them ideal for use in hybrid workforces that include remote employees who work alongside onsite personnel. Since data is automatically synced with all member smartphones or tablets, there’s no need to worry about missing important information. These solutions also allow employees to work on projects from anywhere by simply logging into their accounts through any internet-enabled device.
Benefits of Software Solutions for Hybrid Workplaces
Hybrid workplaces are still evolving but these software solutions already offer many benefits including real time reporting, seamless data integration between teams and locations, automated workflows that simplify collaboration within the system and mobility features designed for today’s distributed workforce. As more companies rely on contingent workers across hybrid models this will drive demand for tools that help manage them efficiently so look out for new features in future releases of popular products like Microsoft Office 365.
Do you think supporting a global workforce is one of your biggest challenges? Do you think software can help? We are interested in hearing your ideas too.