Teleworking: What do workers and companies need to make it efficient?
It exhausts me to hear about the new era of teleworking and the trend towards this way of working after the pandemic. We tend to jump into new terms and classifications when we discover something that seems beneficial. However, this impetus to name things leads us to limit the scope of objectives and not use a more peripheral and global vision.
The world in general and professional life in particular is much broader than a handful of terms that seem to direct us to a specific way of doing things. Due to the diversity of sectors, professionals, profiles of people and even temporary or personal situations, we might stop limiting the way of working to closed procedures. The industrial revolution is long overdue, but we seem to be reluctant to change certain uses of that time.
The first thing I propose is to stop talking about "work" or "workers" with any suffix, prefix or adjective that occurs to us. We are talking about people with professional ambitions, life enrichment who want to participate in life projects, whose work environment forms an important part in these projects. If we want companies to develop their full potential, they must draw on these capabilities of their professionals, for which they must ensure that the work environment encourages the development of the maximum potential of people.
Let's talk about professionals and not workers
Once we agree to talk about professionals or professions, it begins to clear where to undertake the change of philosophy. The very term “professional” denotes an implicit capacity and responsibility, which obviously must be demonstrated, but which must allow the company's tools to focus on developing the capacities of professionals and not on supervising their tasks.
It is proven and documented that the highest percentage of knowledge and experience lives in people, not in systems or databases. So why spend an excessive percentage of our professionals' time undertaking tasks that do not add value and that can be automated? Why complicate the way of collaborating and sharing knowledge of our professionals by establishing watertight ways of working? Why set targets based solely on century-old models as hours worked independently of the value of those hours?
Let us guide technology, which we must not forget, must be an ally and not an enslaver, to establish an open, flexible, misplaced and motivating work environment.
Let's talk about the professional field!
Technology at the service of the professional field
If we approach technological tools as facilitators or catalysts when creating a suitable professional environment, we must do so globally, without particularizing specific scenarios or situations.
In each sector we will require different solutions, but we must approach it with the same philosophy: what do I need to develop my profession, regardless of my personal, physical or circumstantial situation?
And when tackling the answer to this question, let's build the pyramid of needs in reverse, starting with the person or the professional as an individual.
Let's see an example:
- For my profession, do I need to communicate with clients and / or colleagues in real time?
- For my profession, do I need to establish meetings to share data and show information or interact visually?
- For my profession, do I need to use corporate applications that facilitate my tasks?
We can discuss and study the best solution (it is not objective now), but we are all clear that this professional requires unified communications tools and devices capable of providing this type of communication, and here comes the conceptual change, which must be able to use them in any place or time, because they are personal tools for your professional field.
With this conception of provision of tools in the professional field, concepts such as teleworking, job or mobility disappear as specific requirements.
The company can prepare the expansion or deployment plan according to other needs, since it has the necessary basic operations covered. Enabling physical meeting rooms will be an upgrade, but not an operational necessity; if it enables jobs, it will be like a business positioning, but not a real operational need. This serves for any additional layer, which must follow the premise of adding circumstantial or image improvements, but not required for operation in the professional field.
Technological deployment oriented to Productivity
Using the “inverted pyramid” methodology based on professionals, the objective that must always remain as a guide is to obtain the highest level of productivity for the company. For this, it is necessary to be very clear about the objectives of the company and chart a course to obtain them by making the most of the capabilities of its professionals.
If the company has solved the professional field of people, it can build its path optimizing and looking for productivity from the beginning. What in other scenarios is a headache, here becomes a "simple" operational decision. These questions answer themselves:
- Do I have an operational advantage in having professionals travel to a center?
- Do I need to gather my professionals in a location for a face-to-face control that guarantees its operation?
- Do I require specific physical access for my professionals when using corporate applications?
- Does the management of business hours for my operation require a physical presence and therefore specific staff shifts to allow it (doormen, security, logistics, etc?
- Does the performance of professionals depend on the hours used or the effective time?
We just have to use the tools necessary to guarantee productivity goals, without worrying about deployment according to the professional field. A motivated professional is worth more than strict planning of tasks or schedules.
Let's equip ourselves with a complete Unified Communications suite to cover communication needs, let's enable Cloud tools to guarantee access to corporate applications, let's manage the availability of professionals using effective Attendance Control functionalities or have systems that automate processes without added value by using AI or BOT.
Let's create a new concept of a global professional environment as an intrinsic part of people, since it belongs to the life project of each one. If we build companies and businesses around people and their capabilities, the result will be more rewarding and stimulating for everyone. Teleworking technology is designed to be adapted to workers.