Securing the future: Defining and implementing a Remote Work Strategy (RWS)

Businesses and employees who work remotely are more successful and have a more positive sense of well being.
Implementing a Remote Work Strategy doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s essential to ensure a smooth transition. Answer the 4 “W’s” to define your organization’s strategy. ASC is a fully remote workforce and has sound methods to develop these strategies.

Summary:
*Businesses and employees who work remotely are more successful and have a more positive sense of well being.
* Implementing a Remote Work Strategy doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s essential to ensure a smooth transition.
* Answer the 4 “W’s” to define your organization’s strategy.
* ASC is a fully remote workplace and has sound methods to develop these strategies.

The past few weeks have ushered in a seismic shift to the traditional office work environment. Remote work allocations are more popular every year but were still met with some resistance by “traditional” employers. Those days are past: remote work is here to stay. While the prospect may seem daunting, there’s reason to celebrate.

A special analysis of U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data holds promising news for the future of work. 85% of businesses state that flexibility has increased productivityin their company. Allowing for more flexible work arrangements and schedules increases employee morale, according to 90% of employees.

77% say allowing employees to work remotely may lead to lower operating costs. By every measure, the statistics show having flexibility is better for everyone.

It’s not easy to equip employees with the tools they need for remote work. Every business and IT leader needs a Remote Workforce Strategy to ensure an easy transition without too much disruption.

If you don’t have a remote workforce strategy (RWS) in place, you are already behind.

Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. In 2015, 3.9 million U.S. workers were working offsite. Today that number is at 4.7 million, or 3.4% of the population. (infographic from Flexjobs)

Components of a successful RWS:

Developing a solid strategy is like investigative journalism. Answer the 4 “W’s”:

Who:

Which of your employees can perform remote work? With the right safeguards in place, anyone who uses a computer to conduct most of their work can do so anywhere. It’s essential to keep business security and data protection in mind while making personnel decisions.

What:

Which components of your business functions can maintain productivity and quality? There are hundreds (if not thousands!) of SaaS and other tech solutions to allow HR, sales, marketing, finance, and customer service to conduct business offsite.

Why:

Consider the underlying business risks as well as opportunities as you construct your RWS. Not only is remote work better for employee morale and productivity, but it also allows you to expand your talent pool.
Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, says: “Talent shortages are fueling the growth of workplace flexibility right now. Not only is it one of the most sought-after benefits among job seekers today but flexible workplaces expand the talent pool. This strategy allows employers to hire the best and the brightest from around the world.”

When: When should you deploy remote work? Yesterday.

Upwork’s “Future Workforce Report” predicts that

73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028

and with our current climate, that number is likely to increase.
The key here is to start small, think big, and scale fast! Done is better than perfect—once you have a strategy deployed you can track, tweak, and update it.

How:

The eco-system of applications, networks, and other digital systems must be reliable, secure, and play well together. With so many available options for various functions, it can be overwhelming to decide which software solutions to use. It’s important for the executive suite to connect and integrates IT strategy and business goals.

You don’t have to do it alone.

We know first-hand how complicated and intimidating it can be to embark on such a huge operational challenge. Advancement Strategy uses our proprietary methodology to define our clients’ RWS so that every employee can get to work as quickly as possible. We perfected our process within our company—ASC has operated under our RWS since Day 1. Our remote office ensures we can hire top talent from around the globe, and that our employees stay healthy, productive, and engaged.
Ease internal anxiety and ensure success for your business by engaging a consultant to develop a sound Remote Work Strategy. Our expert team not only designs RWS but will install everything you need to get going.

Contact Us!

 

 

 

Are you still doing IT Strategy the old way?

Technology leaders *say* they want to innovate. However, when our consultants examine their company’s IT strategies, there are usually two obstacles blocking the way toward moving their organization into the future.

Technology leaders say they want to innovate. However, when our consultants examine their company’s IT strategies, two major obstacles block the path toward moving their organization into the future.

  1. First – Where’s the innovation?
    There are a few red flags that show new plans don’t contain the ground-breaking strategy clients claim to want.

What’s missing?

  • Technology: There aren’t any new technology solutions identified.
  • Resources: Conceiving, identifying, and implementing inventive strategy requires investment and buy-in from the company.
  • Inspiration sources: Developing innovative solutions is impossible if the leaders are not drawing from external confluences.
  • Budget: Researching and testing new solutions requires its own line item.
  1. Second – “We’ve always done it this way.”
    True innovation requires deviating from what “used to work” as well as developing a holistic, data-rich strategy.What went wrong?
  • Nostalgia: Basing strategic plans on current and past plans and information instead of looking to the future.
  • Silos: Making decisions without pre-vetting with other organization departments. Big decisions affect the entire organization: it’s easy to miss a crucial detail that may not be in your vertical.
  • No Data: Lacking tools, processes, and personnel to capture, track and facilitate the strategy’s effectiveness through data.
  • A budget is not a plan: Without true innovation, strategy becomes nothing more than an IT spend plan.

Balance the innovative elements of your 2020/2021 IT strategy (and beyond!) with tried and true best practices you’ve learned in the past. These standards include:

  • Researching the technology market for industry-specific trends and advances.
  • Getting buy-in and clearly defined business requirements from other business units ahead of time. It’s essential to collaborate with coworkers and departments who will be impacted by the IT strategy in order to ensure alignment with the business’ future plans.
  • Evaluating how effective previous strategies were compared to spend plan. Collect, analyze, and use your data to guide decisions for the next phase of strategy.

 

Oh No! I’m the new IT leader—but I don’t have the background.

Imagine this: you’re a budding manager who’s driven, knowledgable,  and suddenly given a big promotion… in a new department.

This happens to high-performing tech leaders who demonstrate the capacity to manage more within their organizations. Assuming responsibility for the IT department is a difficult situation. It’s even more challenging if you don’t have an IT background.

Thankfully, you don’t have to struggle alone. Get help by working with the current IT talent in your organization. Better yet, look outside the company and engage a consultant to augment your efforts and act as a guide for strategic decision making.

Sometimes there are additional obstacles to overcome —specifically when the business cuts costs through “restructuring”.  This common managerial practice removes the current IT executive and reassigns IT function responsibility to a more junior employee.

Why does this happen? Executive leadership often assumes the IT department doesn’t understand business objectives and so is misaligned with the business strategy. How can you succeed in this new environment? Shake the “clueless IT” stereotype and seize this opportunity to demonstrate how IT adds to business innovation.

Engage your new team in developing efficient, effective IT and Enterprise Architecture roadmaps. Your employees are invaluable assets and will demonstrate their expertise by participating in developing new business strategies that align with corporate objectives.

You’ve shifted your perception and recognize the value of your IT team. You’ve empowered your employees throughout the organization. Great work. The final step to solidify your position and establish trust is executing these practical actions that will ensure your success and maintain both your job stability and security.

1. Create a plan to support your organization’s 10 major IT functions internally.

2. Learn intelligent ways to cut costs without disruption.

3. Stay humble: Ask for help or clarification to understand an issue. Pretending to know more than you do leads to poor decision making.

4. Do the work that ensures you’re in touch with the inner workings of your department. It’s tempting to defer to the large systems integrator and let them bear the brunt of the workload, but doing so leaves you vulnerable and ignorant of any potential issues.

With this advice and on the job training, Implement these handy tips —and invest in on the job training— and you’ll be navigating your organization like a pro in no time! If you need additional help – reach out. Advancement Strategy offers consulting and advisory services for CIOs and other executive-level decision-makers, especially involving Mergers and Acquisitions.