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December 2018

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Digital Nomads: Flexible workplaces
November 21, 2017

Digital Nomads: Flexible workplaces

Digital Nomads: Flexible Workplaces

More and more organizations are looking at flexible workplace statistics in order to understand the increasing trends of remote worker hiring:

Here is what different global surveys cite.

  • A Surepayrollsurvey reveals that 86% of the respondents would like to work alone to increase their productivity.
  • A Connectsolutions study states that 30% of the respondents believed telecommuting increased their efficiency.
  • Another study by PGI cites that 80% of the employees reported higher morale working remotely.
  • arvard Business Review concluded through a study that 87% of the respondents felt more connected.
  • Forbes magazine states several companies including American Express have shed tens of millions of dollars in cost due to flexible working environments

These statistics show that there is an increasing trend of hiring remote employees or work from home employees, as many have realized that there are many advantages in recruiting remote employees:

Let us first understand, that even though the terms ‘telecommuting, telework, work from home and remote work’ all sound fairly synonymous, there is quite a difference.

Remote work is when the employee resides outside the geographic area of the company’s office/ HQ. Telecommuting and telework implies there may (or may not) be on-site work needs. However, these days, not all work is mandatorily done from home — employees can opt to use their laptops at a coffee shop, a food court in a mall, a co-working space, or even an airport lounge while on the move. So, even though “work from home” is the common term used, it can be a misnomer in real practice.

  • Financial savings: There are directly related savings on occupancy, utilities and office stationery.
  • Increased productivity: There are certainly a higher number of hours that remote employees put in with higher collaboration, further improved by the irrelevance of weather and traffic conditions, impacting their overall productivity.
  • Better retention rates: ince there is a clear flexibility in terms of the work hours and regular physical presence, remote employees have a longer retention period with the organization.

We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, where the needs of employees as well as of the organization are changing at a rapid pace. In order to stay ahead of the competition and gain the upper-hand over others, training is the only solution. Training helps us to stay away from the rut and sharpens our edges.

Remote Training - A Visual Learning Experience

As many readers would agree, training remote employees requires proper planning and execution of new teaching techniques. But, with practice and efficient use of resources, Remote training promises to add flexibility to training programs while reducing costs.

There are challenges in managing remote employees and keeping their productivity up, which range from:

  1. Building trust,
  2. Successful onboarding,
  3. Orientation and cross-cultural awareness,
  4. Upgrading skill-sets with encouragement for higher qualifications,
  5. Remote monitoring and supervision, etc.

Training becomes a key driver of motivation and retention in the above challenges. There are two categories of people, who can be addressed here - One is the training need for remote employees and the other is the training need of the everyday employee. Both can be met through remote training and tailored distance education programs.

There is a compelling need to train new employees as soon as they join a new organization… Let us see the advantages of remote training:

  • Equality: Remote and physical teams can be trained together at the same time. Thus, equal attention is paid to both, while similar skill set and level of training is imparted
  • Cost Savings: Shift e-learning has found out that 85% of every dollar spent in class room coaching is spent in delivering. Savings result in the form of (non-use of) Venue and infrastructure costs, travel costs, lodging and boarding costs for trainers and long-distance travelling to a particular venue.
  • Increased productivity: ATD states on demand learning yields 50% higher net sales per employee. There is a lot of time saved in travel and preparations, and hence, employees will put an additional few hours of productivity.
  • Better retention rates: Barring the distance and remoteness, collaboration happens at an enhanced level with the homogenous group; hence employees tend to stay longer in their jobs.
  • Better modes of delivery: Forbes insight states that 59% of the employees would rather watch a video than read text. The remote delivery of training uses a variety of programs including live webinars, face-to-face chats, custom-made programs and podcasts - aided by improvement in technology.
  • Easy Access to best Trainers: Location and travel are no more constraints, and thus enable the trainers to adjust and fit their schedules with availability of a greater number of programs.

It becomes imperative for organizations to draw up Training and Development Calendars and announce annual schedules, in advance. The right training course can mean the difference between mediocrity and extraordinary. Forward-looking universities and colleges are offering distance education programs and e-learning courses, which assist Managers and corporate individuals in CxO positions, to implement tailored personal development courses which are dove-tailed to meet the departmental, rganizational and individual goals.

Facilitated distance education programs and career-enhancing programs from such organizations, would include –

  1. Leveraging use of technology to get more out of remote employees.
  2. Training managers to effectively manage and motivate remote teams.
  3. Working effectively across borders.
  4. Driving team challenges.
  5. Senior management effectives, etc.

It may be noted that remote training is not a replacement for physical face-to -face training for any and all programs. Each has its own place. Remote training organisations and distance learning Programs, without any doubt, offer measurable benefits in improvement of employee morale, increased productivity, minimal supervision, uniform procedures, new skill-set development, etc. Choosing the right program and identifying the right organisation to employ for delivery of the training, is the key to its effectiveness.

Learn more about such evolving trends in the Human Resource industry: http://distance.nmims.edu/program/post-graduate-diploma-program-in-human-resource-management-pgdhrm

Rite Kapoor

Dispute Analyst

Fidelity Investment Services

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