Since public activities are mostly limited during COVID-19 pandemic, companies have been urged to implement work from home, or WFH as we know it. This would inevitably cause more challenges in maintaining balance within the organisation, especially when you haven’t been familiar with digital tools for wfh. The key to cope with remote working is to keep both working effectivity and timing efficiency intact on the entire workstation. It sure is not as easy as ABC, but it’s not rocket science either. Typical challenges encompass tracking attendance, keeping team communication afloat, ensuring the distribution of tasks, and making sure all the projects are in line, and more. To make it, new ground rules need to be applied.
To nail work from home, companies now inevitably rely on digital tools for wfh and software set to bring balance to the whole organisation. As there is a wide array of tools available, allow us to break down the frameworks that can be accommodated by countless features and functionalities in the wave of platform shift. The following are the essential foundations that should be covered by the features of the tools you are about to implement. Read on!
Human Resources (Workforce Organization)
HR may be the most affected division by the implementation of work from home. Attendance tracking, working shift ascertainment, and performance appraisal become more challenging to finish. However, several digital tools for wfh may come into a band-aid solution in taking on work from home.
1. Integrated Company Policy
HR teams are the ones who know first what is going on in the organization. Therefore, it needs a centralized and comprehensive database that covers every detail of the employee. The database needs to be as seamless as possible so that it can grant access for certain levels to update the content.
2. Online Attendance System
Attendance is one of the vital metrics in determining an employee’s contribution to the team. As companies used to rely on a biometric attendance system that involves touching or other physical contacts, WFH requires HR to depend on a system that enables remote position tracking and user verification. Of many known attendance tools in the market, they tend to use:
- Geo-tagging (GPS)
- Facial recognition
These features allow you to capture the online attendance of every workforce from default location and verify remotely.
3. Elaborate Payroll Administration
Payroll serves as the estuary in HR as it is based on elaborate measures of an employee. Every module in HR management has to be integrated and channel every detail of certain employee information such as attendance, performance, and manner in one platform to determine salaries, allowances, paychecks, reimbursements, retirement compensations, and many more.
4. Measured Performance Review
Performance Review must be ensured from every single module that it is collecting reports from deliverables from all departments. Reports are gathered to draw conclusions on whether the objectives are achieved or not. The process of data collection will recognize if an individual is in line with the target. In addition, this function also connects the HR to other departments so that the entire organization is well controlled.
5. Shift Planning
Every organization has different approaches to arranging shifts. Some may work on regular working hours and the others may work day and night; they switch in shifts. This should be handled efficiently. Some tools may allow you to arrange and customize shifts, add allowances, and make periodic rotations on working shifts. This also can be a solution for the dynamic and flexible overtime rating which also leads to payroll.
With attention to these modules, several tools have been in the market offering solutions to these necessities such as Talenta, Hadirr, Zoho, and many more. However, every tool has its pros and cons depending on how you integrate into your organization.
General frameworks of features in HR tools encompass:
- Employee: contains the entire database of registered employees
- Finance: records all company’s cash-in and cash-out
- Payroll: processes the calculation of each employee’s payroll
- Performance Tracker: records all reports regarding employee’s performance in determining payroll, promotion, allowance, and more
- Time Management: displays company’s time organization including calendar, schedule, attendance, and more
- Every module can be integrated
- Creates more elaborate results and data
- Help HR work more efficiently and easier
- Generate accurate Data
- Security issue on credential data
- Require full understanding of feature and program
- Tendency to be tricked by fake GPS
- Generate rigid data
To stay on the same page when working on a project is essential. It is certainly a more challenging task given everyone is working from different locations without a chance to physically coordinate with one another. Therefore, task distribution and progress tracking play a vital role in accommodating work from home. During work from home, project management tools and software are battling with one another in providing solutions in allowing companies and enterprises to keep up with the current working culture.
- Task Distribution
Task distribution serves as a virtual whiteboard that everyone can access. Everyone is allowed to input, drag, and dismiss the task and working progress on each entry. It then allows every workforce to monitor every single progress ongoing. The process of task distribution is usually visualized by digital notes that encompass requests, proposals, approval, and implementation as introduced by Trello and Monday as the most used project management tools in the market.
- Time Tracking
Time management is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of remote working. Being able to deliver is one thing, but efficiently working on a scheduled timeline would make a difference. Time tracking tools help you determine whether every workforce is in line with the timeline and workflow in finishing deliverables. Time Doctor, Paymo, Tickspot are popular options when it comes to time tracking software that has been entering the fray in remote working culture.
- Document Sharing
Collaboration is one of the most essentials in working on a project. As WFH generates gaps between workforces, collaboration has become more challenging. For that reason, online file-sharing platforms such as Google Drive and DropBox may very well be vital tools for virtual collaboration.
Sharing a file by email or hardware storage may take time especially when it comes to larger files. It also has limitations on multi-user access. Hence, using email and hardware storage as the main file-sharing media may take back working efficiency in your team.
With the entire department of workstations implementing WFH, electronic signatures have come to back-officers’ aid amid numerous digital tools for wfh in maintaining the order of the organization. As the companies need to accommodate agreements and contracts, upper management and back-officer whose authority to grant permissions can function despite being physically away. Electronic signatures offer solutions to signings of
- business contracts;
- supply chain agreements;
- work orders;
- employment contracts;
- minutes of the meeting;
- corporate disposals flexibly.
General frameworks of features in project management tools encompass:
- Project Initiation: Visualizes general timeline in a helicopter view for a certain period of time and displays project availability in general
- Project Planning: The main dashboard in which project and assignment starts
- Project Execution: The main function of the apps where a project is conducted involving teams to collaborate in submitting progress, approval, exchanging feedbacks, and sharing files
- Project Monitoring: Displays overall status of each project including progress, budget, and individual involvement
- Closure: Serves as the library for finished projects which displays the performance of each project for review
- Helpful in maintaining remote working
- Easy to track progress
- Organized and easy to access
- Noticeable to the entire organization
- Tends to cost more
- Security Issues
- Difficult to maintain accountability
Maintaining communication lines while everyone is scattered throughout different areas is challenging. To sort things out, it needs to be more than two-way communication. Comprehensive digital tools for wfh may become the backbone of your organisation. The objective of communication tools is to simplify things instead of making things more complicated.
- Internal Messaging App
The main point of using chat tools for business is to set up parameters of every division on the same page. Chat tools allow your team to communicate and collaborate in real-time with file-sharing features which can be integrated into other platforms such as project management and deck presentations. You are also allowed to separate chat rooms into different setups for different objectives.
- Division Based: a chat room focused on discussing topics related to the structural hierarchy of your organization
- Project-Based: a chat room focused on discussing topics related to on-going projects or clients
General frameworks of features in messaging tools encompass:
- Channels: Separate chat rooms by different topics involving certain team members by division or projects
- Chat Threads: Allows user to respond to a certain message
- File-sharing: Allows team members to send and receive files
- Online Meeting
Video conferencing platforms can be a band-aid solution in closing gaps in communication as it allows team members to virtually connect while running remote working. The following are features that can cover meetings from a different location:
- Video Conferencing: allows teams to facilitate larger groups meetings with seamless workflow
- Video Recording: allows teams to keep meeting materials
- Cloud Database for the recorded meeting: helps team member keep track of meeting materials and archives
- Shared Screen: allows user to present materials to be displayed to all conference members
- Connecting every team member seamlessly
- Allowing system integration to other digital tools
- Security issues
As various issues from the dismissal of physical presence emerge during the COVID-19 pandemic, WFH has pushed us to make a detour in finding solutions to cope with. Working culture shifts, the challenges are there for us to take on.
While we can rely on an online attendance system in managing workforces, project management tools in organizing assignments and personals, time tracking system in preserving time efficiency, a file-sharing platform in retaining collaboration, and e-signature in providing authority for back-officers, these tools still create gaps between the instruments of the organization during the implementation of work from home. Besides, every tool has its issues, especially in security and integration.
Looking for the best system integration company and a provider of digital tools for wfh that can provide you with exceptional custom tools and software, or need deeper insight regarding tech and digital services? Look no further!