Has the future of work fundamentally changed forever?
Companies across every industry around the world are coping with how to achieve ‘business as usual’ while working from home. Are we looking at the future of work, and the new normal?
It’s been long debated how quickly tech advancement such as AI and machine learning would continue to dominate markets before they reshape industries and businesses across the world. However, it’s a global pandemic that has forced the world to turn to technology to think about how we digitize tasks, automate processes and which tools we use to transition to our now future workplaces.
What’s challenging here, is that it takes time to transition and get used to these new ways of working, both for leaders and for their teams. It’s an unsettling, uncertain time for many businesses alongside constant market volatility. Now firms need to prioritise technology as a supportive solution to enable them to keep things moving, in order to survive.
With new changes come new challenges and a new normal, especially in the current climate. What do you do when your business is programmed to meet your clients face-to-face? How will you get a real-time view of your business remotely? How will I still generate revenue?
The same way you’ve always done when the markets changed. Adapt. You adapt your process and offering, you adapt to provide a better service to your clients. Be open-minded to tech and understand the value it can deliver to process and operations, now more than ever.
With tech, you’re saving the trees and saying goodbye to paper. Looking back just 6 weeks ago, many firms would have got a real-time view of their business in the office. Everything you did in your office can be replicated remotely with tech, it’s just up to you to choose which tech slots in with the way you work to minimise disruption.
Welcome to remote teams, you’re in one. You can check out which level your firm’s at on our very own remote working scale. And if you’re new to remote and not sure where to start, we’ve got some tips for you too. The starting point is good communication software that works for your business, but the benefit of technology isn’t just about virtual calls. It’s about keeping up the productivity of every aspect and process within the business.
The new normal
It’s surprising if you haven’t heard of Zoom by now, whether that’s in the “in the office” or on the stock market. Most firms we’ve spoken to are using this tool for both internal and external meetings (that’s what we use).
There’s other video conferencing tools out there like Skype, GoToMeeting MSTeams which are just as good- you’ve just got to see which one works best for you. Video communication software like Zoom replaces face-to-face meetings with clients, team members, can help you demo via video calls.
You can use the screen share technology on these solutions to run through any documents and show presentations, just like you would if you could meet face-to-face. Try Slack for internal activity, it works well for us. Like 1-2-1’s, video calls, quick messages and questions that don’t need to be an email.
Future of work-proofing
Are you set up to capture every opportunity remotely? Setting up automations and autoresponders are a good way for you to nurture clients, capture and respond to queries when you’re not around or if you’re low on resource. It’s reported that more than 41% of consumers expect live chat on your website, like tools such as Intercom. It’s a great way to connect to businesses in real-time. Consumers want to know information there and then, which is why chat works well to serve this need.
In this “new normal” future of work, you need to be visible, ironic right. Having visibility of your team and what they’re working on will help you identify opportunities to collaborate and save you checking up on them. If you manage large teams it’s not realistic to spend the day checking in with all your employees to make sure they’re working. The great thing about tech is that it encourages collaboration, especially in isolation.
Using project management tools like Asana, Trello or Google Docs can help managing projects with multiple contributors and individual tasks, so you know what everyone’s up to. Team boards or checklists can keep you in check and you can sync as little or often as you need. We like to have a companywide weekly sync on Zoom and the stand-ups throughout the week within teams on Slack.
Practice self-discipline and motivation. You are the only person accountable for your actions. It’s incredibly easy to get distracted at home, so set yourself up for success. If you’re struggling, talk to someone, keep the communication going within teams and work together to make this transition work for everyone.
Future of work thinking
Technology brings people together. We’re proud of the increasing number of new support initiatives on offer to businesses within our industry announced in recent weeks. Companies are coming together to support their customers, prospects, partners and even competitors. Tech firms are uniting in alliance to help support the adviser community during these volatile times. Giving firms access to free support and tutorials to help you digitize your workplace.
The future of work will incorporate elements of this “new normal” we’re currently living through. However, we still need human interaction and face-to-face meetings, so they’ll be coming back as soon as possible for many businesses across the globe. For now, the situation has helped firms rethink their digital presence and how they use tech to communicate with their clients.