In this day and age, modern businesses have the freedom to build and manage their workforce.
It's now possible to have an entirely distributed workforce where employees are working from various locations. It's also possible to have a mixed workforce, with some individuals reporting to the central office and others working from home due to the pandemic. A company can come up with the ideal team depending on its needs and circumstances.
There are several benefits to a distributed workforce. It can be an effective way to keep business costs down, work with highly skilled team members, and achieve better employee retention. A distributed workforce can quickly become one of your business' most important assets.
While having that kind of setup would allow you to attract talented team members and grow a successful business, it also comes with challenges. That’s why if you have a distributed workforce, it's essential to understand the common problems you may face, such as communication issues, security risks, culture differences, and lack of engagement. Business productivity may be negatively affected if such challenges aren’t appropriately addressed. The following are tips to maintain or improve business productivity when managing a distributed workforce:
A distributed workforce involves a systematic distribution of tasks to team members working in different locations and time zones. While your organization benefits from having team members across various locations, communication may suffer as well. Poor communication can result in missed opportunities, misunderstandings, and conflicts. Lack of communication fosters distrust and frustration.
To maintain efficiency and productivity in the workplace, the company should emphasize regular and open communication. Here’s how companies can promote active communication among the members of a distributed workforce:
Productivity can quickly dwindle when you have a distributed workforce compared to a co-located setup. Therefore, companies should create policies and regulations to ensure the best practices to either enhance or maintain productivity in a distributed work environment. Examples of policies and expectations are the following:
It's essential to provide a distributed workforce with adequate business tools as those play a crucial role in improving the productivity of the organization. Companies must identify the tools and software that’ll make it easier for team members to achieve their goals. These are some of the applications and systems that every company with a distributed workforce should have:
Of course, it's not enough to provide productivity tools to distributed team members; you should also conduct proper orientation or training to ensure proper use. Productivity solutions empower your employees from anywhere in the world to work smart to attain a common goal.
A significant challenge brought about by a distributed workforce is the lack of engagement within the organization. This may lead to a high attrition rate, low morale, and poor productivity. The more team members feel that they're part of the organization, the better they'll perform. A company that encourages inclusivity and promotes diversity is more likely to have high-performing, happy team members.
While a distributed workforce may not be for everyone, those businesses that can make it work may be able to experience a great deal of success. The benefits of a distributed workforce are apparent, but the challenges it entails are also real. Several issues can impede the productivity and profitability of the company. Fortunately, there are strategies and policies you can put in place so that your business works effectively while allowing for flexibility among employees.