The pandemic proved to be the final factor in inspiring a global overhaul of how employees and management approach their workdays. A drastic shift from a workforce that primarily operated out of an office setting five days a week to one which was dispersed and working either fully remote or in a hybrid scenario arose and seems to be a new norm that is unlikely to change. For employers who are accustomed to seeing and managing their employees in person daily, this seismic shift brings with it challenges in how to keep track of employees and projects without missing a beat. For some employers who were already employing a practice management (PM) system, the transition to a hybrid working world was vastly easier. Here are a few reasons why:
Global Workforce without a Physical Global Footprint
Employers who had been limited to hiring employees who were in geographical proximity to their offices are no longer confined by geography. What employers are forfeiting in terms of shrinking commercial space is quickly becoming overshadowed by the opportunity they now must hire qualified employees from virtually anywhere. This change considerably opens the pool of qualified candidates to hiring managers. While the hiring construct has been altered, many managers are still grappling with the concept of how to manage a now global workforce that they can’t see in person. The concern topping their lists is: Will our organization’s productivity suffer if managers can no longer manage face-to-face?
Keeping Track of Who’s Doing What and When
A strong practice management system is invaluable in helping managers keep track of where an employee is spending their time and how effectively and quickly, they’re moving their work through the pipeline. A strong Practice Management System allows you to track all engagements from inception to completion, giving you vital information along the way that helps you keep your eye trained on which employees are slowing down the process or propelling it forward. As well as which projects are either taking longer than anticipated or may have exceeded project budgets.
One of the decided advantages of practice management systems is that they allow you to house all the data and how you track it in a centralized location that can be easily accessed from anywhere. This affords you the option of eliminating multiple, sometimes duplicative systems. Because the PM system is cloud and browser-based, accessibility is easy with the added benefit being that no additional on-site hardware investment is needed to keep things operating smoothly. Particularly with a workforce that’s working from a variety of locations, it’s helpful to have the PM tool in your toolkit so that you know that regardless of the time zone from which an employee is operating or whether you have an opportunity to communicate with them in person, everyone has access to the same data in real time. Collaborating across time zones and vast distances becomes irrelevant when you have functional groups in place that all contribute to the information encapsulated in the PM system. Real time collaboration can take place on multiple tasks and with multiple users.
Introducing: Remote/Hybrid Workflows
To align with the new workforce model, firms may have to invest some time in creating workflows that are more geared towards remote or hybrid workers. Establishing firm policies that are clearly adhered to can help you centralize the tracking and administration of all tasks of an engagement that reside in the PM system. Management can track the progress of specific engagements, tasks, or employees, and see which groups of individuals to assign or move specific tasks based on the time they can see those employees have available in their schedules. Using this information, and the analysis that’s available through the PM system, many of the holes in the process that come from being new to a remote or hybrid work arrangement can be readily identified and refined to streamline overall work management.
Having a flexible mindset along with a powerful PM system you can rely on as we all transition to the new work “normal” will help your organization attract new employees, position you for growth, and come out ahead of the competitive curve.
Contact us for a PracticePro 365 demo that highlights the specific features you can tap into if you’ve transitioned to a remote or hybrid work environment.