It goes without saying that remote work has had a huge impact on businesses and the way organizations operate. Even prior to COVID-19, many companies were considering the opportunity of remote work to provide extra flexibility to employees and to expand their talent pools beyond the location of their headquarters. COVID-19 has accelerated this change at a rapid pace. While we stayed within four walls to stop the spread, the world of work as we know it has been completely reimagined, set free from any sole destination, enabled by the far-reaching power of technology and telecommunications.
This evolution has changed the landscape of the future of work. As of today, 5.1 million Canadians are working remotely, accounting for 20% of Canada’s workforce. And, with increased worker productivity as a result of remote work, employees and employers alike can reap the benefits of teleworking. Without a doubt, remote work in Canada is here to stay, and employers are wise to adapt to this new normal. Therefore, we’ve created an employer’s guide to becoming remote work friendly.
Sunco Communication and Installation Ltd. has lived through it ourselves, and we know that with the benefits of remote work come with significant challenges for employees that require time and effort to overcome. These challenges need to be taken into consideration when creating remote work continuity plans in order to minimize their impact on both employee wellbeing and operational efficiency.
Challenges of Working from Anywhere
Reduced Perception of Support & General Loneliness
The nature of remote work implies a lack of informal social interactions we’ve previously enjoyed in an office setting. Without friendly “good mornings”, water cooler chats, or casual check-ins, it can be difficult for employees to feel like they belong. And these feelings of disconnection or being “out of the loop” can worsen as they perceive less access to guidance from their managers and are siloed from other departments and in general – the company.
Inefficient (or Non-Existent) Methods of Process Documentation
Every organization has best practices, and ideally, these are documented and available to create processes for everyone to follow. With remote employees, it makes sense that these processes adapt to suit each individual, but if this goes undocumented, it can become difficult to follow best practices, train new team members, and maintain role clarity.
Remote Employee Onboarding
Onboarding and integrating new employees can be a challenge for organizations within an office environment, and this is only exacerbated remotely. It’s important for new hires to understand and adjust to company culture, get to know their colleagues, and be trained in the appropriate processes. The proper infrastructure must be established so that this can take place successfully in a remote setting.
Data & Digital Security Threats
Data security is immensely important, particularly in remote work environments where everything must be online and accessible—but only for certain eyes. Data leaks and hacking are real threats and can have minor consequences like kicking an uninvited guest out of a Zoom meeting, or major ones with severe costs associated for businesses and their stakeholders.
Employers must be cognizant of the above when establishing a remote work policy. All these challenges are certainly better avoided, and thanks to the extensive technology available today, various solutions exist to mitigate these problems.
Technology & Telecommunications Solutions for Remote Work
Diversifying Technology Options
One of the best ways to open lines of communication is to provide several options suited to particular functions. As stated by the Harvard Business Review, email is insufficient as the sole communication option for a remote team. Remote workforces need video, audio, email, and short form messaging software in order to maximize opportunities for collaboration.
Video conferencing provides important visual cues and adds a personal, face-to-face touch that can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness for workers. For complex conversations and projects that require a highly coordinated team, video conferencing allows for clarity in communication and an assurance that everyone is on the same page. With variance in bandwidth and wireless internet, it is important to understand the needed infrastructure to best allow for consistent and seamless video conferencing.
Audio communication allows for quick opportunities to touch base, ask questions, and is most efficient when typing out an entire message just won’t do. Meanwhile, messaging systems mean that access to colleagues is just a quick “ping” away. The ability to work remotely means that people expect to communicate from anywhere, any time, on any device.
Sunco’s MiCollab allows you to connect securely and swiftly, so you and your business don’t miss a thing.
Managed Firewall & SD-WAN
Think of a managed firewall as a cloud-based network “traffic cop”, catching anyone not following the rules and posing threats to both the smooth flow of traffic and the safety of drivers and their passengers. A managed firewall protects your business from any operational interruptions caused by digital security threats so that teams can reach their destinations and accomplish their goals safely and securely. Paired with managed SD-WAN, which allows for transmission security, data encryption, and network segmentation, businesses can feel confident in their connections staying strong, fast, and always functional.
Hot Desking Phone Systems
Hot desking phone systems are a must-have for businesses with remote employees. Because the phone line is not tied to a specific phone or office location, workers can access a shared phone line from anywhere, at any time, greatly increasing the accessibility of remote work. Any team member can log into a phone line on the company’s network with secure credentials—perfect for work-from-anywhere jobs.
In fact, you can even forward the line to a cell phone! This consolidates the number of tools employees use in their day-to-day, such that as new team members in client-facing roles are onboarded, their client communication process is simple and straightforward right off the bat.
Through the advancement of technology accelerated by COVID-19, remote work truly is the future, regardless of the shape it might take. But that doesn’t mean the transition will be easy. Sunco is here to support you every step of the way, and if your team is taking the plunge into remote work, let’s make it easier for you! Contact us for a free discovery call today. And visit our blog library of information on all things remote work.
We look forward to making business communication easier for you!
 – Remote Work in Canada, 2021: https://www.statista.com/topics/7816/remote-work-in-canada/#topicHeader__wrapper
 – Change of productivity of employees working from home in Canada 2021, by gender:
 – A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers, Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2020/03/a-guide-to-managing-your-newly-remote-workers
 – Work remotely, stay empowered, Deloitte: