What were once dining room tables are now playing host to multiple screens, keyboards, notebooks and tangles of wires that the untrained eye might think of as fire hazards. These are the makeshift office scenes that many have faced since that fateful day in March when lockdown was announced, and remote working became South Africa’s reality.
While some companies were no strangers to remote work before South Africa’s lockdown was implemented, most were caught unprepared. According to a study entitled Remote Working in South Africa 2020, only 23.5% of South African companies were embracing remote working strategies prior to lockdown taking effect.
Since March, most South African businesses have had to adapt to some form of remote working, whether as a temporary measure to ensure that work could continue through hard lockdown, or as a more permanent solution, allowing them to decrease their office capacity and expenditure. But the shift to remote work came from necessity, rather than a realisation that allowing employees the flexibility that they need could benefit business in the long run. This has seen many companies not using the opportunity to its full potential.
A lot of the companies that approach Solid Systems about remote working are worried that their staff’s productivity and efficiency will take a hit when they don’t have the structure that an office environment provides. They don’t picture it as a solution that can not only help their business to succeed, but to thrive. They don’t understand that when you get remote working right, when you embrace the wide variety of working styles that it accommodates, it’s an eye-opening experience. Those concerns about productivity and efficiency evaporate as the realisation hits that when your people have access to the tools that they need, and the freedom to work in a way that suits their personality best, they actually get far more done.
But the road to success is not always a straightforward one. So many people have the impression that remote work is simple to implement – just let your staff work from wherever they are. What they don’t realise is the background that goes into making it work. You cannot expect your model of working to simply shift from an office environment to a home one. When you have people working around the country, or even around the world, you’ve got to understand that the smallest disruptions and inconveniences can be detrimental. From ensuring your employees have access to the right technologies, to ensuring that their connections are seamless, to finding the right platforms for collaboration, truly embracing remote working, rather than simply tolerating it, takes effort on the part of all parties involved.
Communication is key, and it’s true when you’re working in an office environment as well, but it’s absolutely essential for remote work. Finding a platform that your team members can use to keep in touch can help with collaboration, with keeping everyone on the same page, but more than that it can boost morale and instil a sense of company culture and camaraderie in your staff.
And while some companies that approach us are concerned about the security of their data, with the right platforms and tools, you’ll find that you worry less about security than you would think. Making sure that the right people have access to the apps and data that they need comes naturally, as does keeping it safe and secure from outside influence. You can keep track of who is accessing what, when, for how long. You can encrypt essential information, and you can store backups of everything so that in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, your operations won’t be negatively impacted.
When remote working is embraced, you’ll find that the tools available, the flexibility that it allows, the variety of working styles that it accommodates, will enable your team to live their best lives, and your company to excel.
About Solid Systems
Since 2003, Solid Systems have specialised in delivering leading technology solutions and offering guidance to organisations in South Africa and abroad, in the most human way possible. Humans are at the heart of our business, which is why we value each relationship and prioritise a personal approach, finding solutions that deliver results for companies in the best way possible.
With our highly skilled and passionate professionals behind us, and the latest and most sophisticated tools at their disposal, we ensure that the businesses we work with are constantly evolving, and can step into the future with confidence. To learn more about our remote working and other IT solutions, visit our website: https://www.solidsystems.co.za/it-solutions/