With summer finally here, employees and employers alike are beginning to plan for upcoming summer excursions. One major roadblock tends to stand in the way of employers and management being able to enjoy their allotted vacation time: the worry that leaving the office for an extended amount of time will cause you to fall behind or miss out, or that the business will suffer because your presence isn’t being felt.
Thankfully, modern workplace technology has made it possible to go on vacation across the world and still be able to keep tabs on the office and get pressing work done. The remote working revolution has been a game changer for businesses, allowing the entire team to work from anywhere with an Internet connection without sacrificing the quality of work, collaborative efforts, or productivity.
The importance of getting away from the office
Prior to remote work being a viable option, business owners and upper management rarely felt that they had an ideal opportunity to get away from the office for an extended amount of time - there were just too many “what ifs” and external factors that wormed their way into the minds of managers.
Vacation and time away from the office are important in maintaining office morale - without being able to step away and spend quality time with the people who mean the most to you, work can quickly become unmanageable, and can eventually lead to burnout. Burnout has been shown to increase the number of sick days taken by employees, makes employees more likely to seek employment elsewhere, and makes team members less confident in their day-to-day work.
In a study conducted by Gallup, it was reported that 23% of employees feel burned out at work very often or always and that 44% feel burned out sometimes. This same study revealed that management may be more likely to experience burnout than individual contributors, with the study finding that 26% of managers reported suffering workplace burnout compared to 24% of individual contributors. It’s important to remember that people at all positions require time away from the office - with remote working available for workplaces, the office is going to be just fine without your immediate in-person attention. Not only is it great for workplace morale and happiness, but it can refresh even the sharpest minds and inspire new ideas and perspectives.
Business owners need a break too - perhaps even more than staff
For many company owners, their business is their life, and it wouldn’t be a successful one if they didn’t view it that way. According to an Office Depot poll, sixty-six percent of small business owners found it difficult to take vacations. Failure to take time for yourself can lead to a lack of perspective and burnout, which can have serious implications both personally and for your business. Luckily, the technology exists to help you keep in touch with everything you need to reassure yourself that things are running properly while you are away, as well as allow you to do something about it if you need to without hopping a red-eye flight home.
Remote work is here to stay
Remote work, like many technological advances, was initially thought of as a fad. After years of proven benefits, inspiring success stories and hard data, it’s safe to say that remote work isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Some of the benefits of remote working include increased employee productivity and efficiency, lowered stress levels and improved workplace morale, increased engagement, and cost savings for employers. Modern employees are beginning to expect that their employers will allow them to work remotely occasionally, seeing it as on-par with other employment benefits.
Employees have reported that they love the flexibility involved with working remotely, and the freedom to work from anywhere they choose - 99% of employees reported that they intend to work remotely at least occasionally for the rest of their career. In addition, 88% of employees reported that they have worked remotely from outside of their home city for at least one week to one month every year. This indicates that many other businesses are using the true potential of remote work to their advantage, allowing team members to get work done from anywhere - even if they’re in another city, country, or continent.
Encourage collaboration and communication from anywhere
Bringing together team members to work on projects together has been shown to improve employee engagement, create more productive meetings, increase retention rates, and spawn innovative and dynamic ideas that otherwise never would’ve been generated. With a wide range of benefits, collaboration is extremely valuable for organizations and has become a necessity in many workplaces. One of the concerns that have kept some employers from exploring the option of remote working is the possibility that the collaborative experience of working together in-person will be tainted, and that teams will no longer be able to easily work together.
Thankfully, the collaboration continues to be possible in remote working situations - solutions like G Suite allow for entire teams to come together within a single document, working together to tackle problems and generate new and innovative ideas. Refining a pitch deck before an important presentation is simple, with team members able to work on it in real time. This can be done from any trusted device, anywhere with a stable Internet connection. Team members can create, share, edit, comment, and view documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms using G Suite, making it easy for all employees to stay engaged and in the loop, whether they’re working from home, the office, or the beach. The versatile collaborative elements of G Suite have made it easy for management to monitor the progress of projects, to lend assistance to teams, and to review and approve projects - even from abroad.
Another benefit offered by solutions like G Suite is that it makes team communication exceedingly easily. Users can chat with one another from within files, leave comments and suggestions for team members, or use Hangouts Meet for video and audio calls and meetings, as well as larger-scale conference calls. Hangouts Meet is also compatible with Skype for Business and other workplace conference solutions, making it easy to bring clients and others into meetings.
Unified workflow made possible for remote employees
It’s important that business solutions work together seamlessly in order to aid employees in being more productive and make it easy to use and switch between a variety of solutions, allowing for a unified workflow. It’s become increasingly common for productivity suites, email inboxes, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, and telephony systems to integrate and interact with each other, letting employees improve their productivity, work together in completing and refining projects, and be able to effortlessly communicate with each other anytime, anywhere.
Cloud-based business solutions have made it possible to take unified workflows on the go, offering benefits to employees of all levels working remotely. A unified workflow allows employees to integrate their inbox, productivity tools and VoIP systems with a cloud-based CRM solution, letting them collect and use valuable customer data for more effective sales calls and to create meaningful relationships with customers. Unified solutions make it possible for employees to access their CRM solution directly from their inbox, and even to make and receive calls from their inbox via their telephony system. These solutions can also integrate with business intelligence solutions that are used to ensure team members are remaining productive in their remote posts, and to effectively measure engagement and adoption rates of business solutions.
Keep an eye on the office without even being there
Quite possibly the most significant barrier keeping employers and upper management from enjoying time away from the office is the idea that when they leave the office, things could come to a standstill in terms of productivity and efficiency. Business intelligence solutions like Prodoscore have made it possible for employers and upper management to keep a watchful eye even when they’re not in the office. Prodoscore monitors employee productivity in solutions like G Suite, CRM solutions, and telephony systems without being intrusive or limiting the effectiveness of team members.
Each day, all team members are assigned a Prodoscore, or “productivity score”, allowing employers or managers to visualize how productive each employee has been, including who might be having an off day or week, and what employees have gone above and beyond, deserving some extra praise. These scores and visualizations can be used by management to identify where potential productivity bottlenecks exist, allowing for proactive decision making and problem-solving. It also makes it easy to track adoption and engagement rates, helping businesses more accurately appraise the value of newly implemented technologies and solutions. With Prodoscore complimenting your unified workflow, you’ll finally be able to use that vacation time you’ve desired for so long, without ever having to worry about the office again.
To find out how UpCurve Cloud can help you take that much-needed vacation time and still be connected to the office through intelligent cloud-based workplace solutions like G Suite, CRM solutions, and Prodoscore, contact us today.