Anywhere Operations has emerged as a preferred operating model, where employees can work from anywhere to satisfy customers located worldwide. According to Gartner, by 2023, 40% of organizations will blend virtual and physical work experiences to improve productivity and customer satisfaction. Beyond the current pandemic, there will be lasting changes with the rise in e-commerce and many benefits to adopting an Anywhere Operations framework. We will explore what questions you should ask your internal and external stakeholders as you shift your company to an Anywhere Operations model.
Questions for Your Leadership Team
Get support and insights from your management team when transitioning or optimizing your remote workforce. Ask questions such as:
1. What is the Best Remote Work Model for the Organization?
Remote work is commonly expressed in several variations:
- Office-Centric: Employees come into the office most of the time but can work from anywhere one or two days per week.
- Fully Flexible Hybrid: Your team decides when to work from the office and when to work from a location of their choice. However, you will need to implement a structure for equity and predictability.
- Remote-Friendly Hybrid: You implement guidelines about who can work remotely and when (on set days of the week).
- Hybrid Remote Office: Provide your employees with a menu of options from which to choose, such as remote, flexible work week, and in-office options.
- Fully Remote: Your team works remotely by default, with processes and culture that support a remote workforce.
Remote work is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Your management team will need to decide which model works best for your organization’s unique requirements.
2. How Do We Allocate Employees for Remote Work?
You will need to choose which categories of employees work remotely and which roles need to be onsite. Consider what functions can be performed remotely with minimal risks and the most benefits for your organization.
3. How Do We Maintain Our Company Values and Culture?
It’s vital to foster a sense of belonging, especially among new hires. Promote a culture statement and a thorough onboarding process. Managers should communicate more frequently using video conferencing and chat to get employee feedback and provide support. Management will also need to create team-building exercises online and face-to-face as much as possible.
4. How Do We Measure Success?
Set clear expectations about how employees will perform remote work. We recommend creating a remote work policy outlining office hours, meeting availability, learning and development activities, stipends & compensation, employee rights, and performance reviews.
Questions for Your Staff
Your employees will be making this transition, so you should get their input:
5. Do You Have Any Concerns About Working Remotely?
People often fear change because they fear the unknown.
Asking your staff to express their concerns gives management the chance to offer further explanations and assurances. It also allows you to identify gaps or accommodations you had not previously considered.
6. How Would You Like to Perform Remote Work?
While you will provide guidelines for your organization’s Anywhere Operations, still request your employees’ feedback. For staff assigned to work remotely, you can offer the choice of how to work remotely (such as which days to work from anywhere).
7. What Tools Do You Need to Work From Anywhere?
Find out what collaboration tools and devices your staff will need to perform their tasks in an Anywhere Operations model. Your employees will be more motivated when they have some input in their new working arrangements.
8. Are There Any Circumstances That May Impact Remote Work?
Working from anywhere could mean working in a home with very young or school-aged children. Showing awareness and concern for employees’ special situations and offering possible solutions will aid their transition and productivity.
Questions for Your IT Department
Ask your in-house IT support the following questions:
9. How Do We Support a Remote Workforce?
Supporting a team located in a single location is different from supporting a team that can work from anywhere. You should invest in core technologies such as:
- Cloud Computing: You can’t have a remote workforce without using cloud collaboration tools. Cloud computing technology not only enables convenient real-time communication, it’s also cost-effective and scalable.
- Core Business Apps: You will also need cloud-based business applications to provide maximum accessibility across your remote workforce. Some popular examples include Office 365, Slack, and SharePoint.
- Mobile Tools: Working from anywhere means a greater reliance on mobile devices. Supply your team with the necessary mobile tools for seamless productivity.
- Unified Communications: Your team will need integrated communication channels to help them perform at their best. These online tools will ensure efficient workload distribution, improve collaboration, and boost productivity
10. How Do We Prioritize Cybersecurity?
Transitioning to Anywhere Operations also means addressing the cybersecurity risks. Secure your company’s network access points using logins via secure VPN connectivity. Invest in cloud security, malware protection, data backup, and recovery services.
11. What Collaboration Tools Do We Need?
You can provide your internal IT support team with the collaboration tools suggested by your employees. They will research and shortlist the best options for your organization. You should also ensure that you are getting value for investment with the select options.
12. Do We Need External IT Support?
Finally, your internal IT team should be candid about their ability to manage the requirements of this new Anywhere Operations model. Hiring a managed IT services provider is a cost-effective and reliable way to get the added IT support your organization needs.
Questions for Your IT Provider
Choosing the right managed IT services provider means asking the right questions:
13. What Support Services Do You Provide?
Your contract should clearly state the services provided by your managed IT services provider for the fixed rate. Find out if the cost varies per user or device and if after-hours requests result in extra fees. Your chosen IT provider should also support your essential line-of-business apps (even if it means a slightly higher monthly investment).
14. What Provisions Are in the SLA?
The Service Level Agreement (SLA) should outline specific standards that the managed IT services provider should fulfill (such as the ticket response time). Ask about how they track their SLA compliance and if you can access their performance metrics for your project.
Questions to Ask Your Customers
Your customer base is one of the critical components in a fully realized Anywhere Operations model. Ask the following questions:
15. How Can We Serve You Better?
Your Anywhere Operations transformation is the perfect opportunity to retool your customer engagement processes. Get valuable feedback from your customer base about how you can make improvements.
16. What Are Your Challenges?
The most effective businesses are those that solve significant challenges. Not only will your customers feel valued, but you will get the opportunity to learn about other viable solutions you can provide.
17. What Suggestions Do You Have to Improve Our Products?
Your customers will be happy to share how you can make your products better. Anywhere Operations also embrace greater e-commerce. Get your customers’ insights about the best positioning of your products within the virtual marketplace.
18. Why Did You Choose Our Company?
Your customers are best placed to inform you about the value your organization provides. Implementing an Anywhere Operations model will generate recognizable value. As your customers enjoy more value, they become brand ambassadors.
Net Friends Supports Your Hybrid Workforce
Transitioning to Anywhere Operations is intensive, but we can ensure a smooth process. Net Friends is your expert managed IT services provider offering a suite of services designed to help you leverage all the benefits. Contact us to discuss how we can help your team safely work from anywhere to grow your market share and widen your profit margin.