From 2012 to 2016, the number of people working remotely rose by 4%, and in the U.S. alone, 43% of workers spent some of their time working remotely. “Remote work” refers to jobs performed away from a corporate office in a remote location — home office or co-working space, for example. This trend recognizes that technology enables employees at all levels to work anywhere, at any time.
The digital workplace: New and more effective ways of working are driving employee engagement and agility, in part by exploiting consumer-oriented styles and technologies.
Technology designed to improve employee interactions: Examples include workstream collaboration tools and video conferencing capability. These technologies are increasing the fidelity of communication among people working in a corporate office and people working from alternative locations.
Remote work programs can be undermined by a lack of trust, when managers are not equipped to deal with employees they cannot see. Stereotypes and assumptions about what work can or can’t be done remotely result in underperforming programs. Employees who are unprepared and ill-equipped to handle remote work demands suffer burnout, frustration and lost productivity. Moreover, marketing leaders fail to appreciate the breadth and depth of the infrastructure changes needed to support effective remote work at scale.
In short, successful remote work programs hinge upon the “yes” answers to the figure below.
To bolster your “remote work” effectiveness, evaluate, define and adopt new processes and technologies that enable you to:
- Establish a trust foundation by empowering both employees and managers. Mutual trust is at the heart of successful remote work initiatives in the digital workplace. Marketing leaders must trust that their employees will act responsibly when working remotely. Employees must trust that their employer will act in their best interest and enable them to be successful.
- Determine what work functions and tasks lends itself to a remote model. Moreover, what personality types can be effective in a remote/home office.
- Prepare employees for remote work demands and challenges. Remote work is not free of human costs as loneliness is a major factor in employee burnout.
- Stress-test your technology infrastructure. Remote work technology infrastructure enables effective performance by remote workers. The specific elements of this infrastructure will depend on the type of work for a given role. Infrastructure decisions must account for training, support and levels of service, so that employees are enabled to work well from multiple disparate locations.
To learn more, and implement or refine your ‘remote work’ program, see “How to Cultivate Effective ‘Remote Work’ Marketing Teams (Gartner subscription required).”