Changing how, when and where you work can free up time, deliver new talent and boost morale
The pandemic has been referred to as the world’s “greatest working-from-home experiment”.
For those of us with the means to do so, the sudden switch has spurred the speedy adoption of digital technologies, including cloud-based file storage, and workplace collaboration apps. These tools have turned living rooms into home offices almost overnight, as we learn how to be productive away from the workplace.
Conference calls on webcam give us a peek into the lives of our colleagues, and teams are trying new ways to stay connected online whilst working apart. For some small businesses and their staff, this rapid transition has proven challenging, while for others, it’s been a welcome change.
Embracing a flexible workforce
As restrictions slowly ease (or, in some cases, threaten to return), you might decide to keep some of that flexibility in place. Working remotely could prove to be more cost-effective and convenient and, importantly, your team may prefer this arrangement.
Staff may also find it much less stressful to balance their work and family commitments if they can work remotely, even if it’s only for part of the week. Allowing flexibility isn’t just a boost to morale; it’s a smart way to reduce unexpected leave, and send a clear signal of trust.
Finding new talent in new ways
Importantly, the distributed work trend is not only about where work is done, but also who does it. More businesses are embracing the growing network of freelancers and contractors, which provides hard-to-get niche skills plus flexible surge capacity, all without growing your headcount.
If you’re recruiting for your business, you’ll have a broader talent pool to hire from if remote working is an option. Highly specialised global talent becomes accessible online, bringing the benefits of national and international expertise to your workplace when you need it.
It’s the perfect time to embrace flexible working, along with the tools that make it so effective. The benefits extend from bringing you closer to your customers to helping you save on the cost of under-used office space and giving your team the gift of better work-life balance.
Consider your customer
If your customers change where they work, will their buying patterns change?
Can you help your customers who are working from home with training on in-home technologies, office set-up, or digital collaboration tools?
If your staff prefer to work different shifts remotely, or work in different Australian time zones, can you extend your hours of customer service availability?
Consider your business
As working patterns change, do your staff have to work from nine to five, or would shifting rosters and job sharing make more sense?
If you’ll have fewer staff onsite, can you repurpose your floor space with fewer work stations or more room for meetings, using a smaller footprint to save on leasing costs?
How can you improve your team structure and role descriptions in light of new working patterns?
- Review the current balance of staff working onsite and remotely. Reach out, check what their preference is, and think through what is most productive for your business.
- Update your technology to allow for effective work to happen away from the office.
- Make sure IT systems and in-home devices used for work purposes are secure from cyber attack.
- Before hiring new staff, consider whether freelance or contract options give more flexibility.
With a few handy tools in your arsenal, remote working can be transformed into a smooth and stress-free process for you and your team. Many apps from the Xero app marketplace are designed to do exactly that.
Notch Above Bookkeeping is a team of Platinum Certified Xero bookkeepers and BAS Agents. We help small business owners across Australia (especially medical specialists such as dentists, orthodontists, optometrists and anaesthetists) to prepare their BAS returns and streamline their bookkeeping processes, payroll and accounting records using cloud technology.
Call us to find out more about our Xero remote business bookkeeping on 1300 015 130 today.