The Coronavirus pandemic has forever changed the way we work and live. In just a few months, it has forced people to adjust their personal and corporate lifestyles. While this has undoubtedly affected everyone’s life personally, its impact on the business world remains undivided.
Businesses that run solely online aren’t much affected. This pandemic has made SaaS companies like Zoom to skyrocket their revenue base. The most affected are brick and mortar companies. Getting customers has become hard, and serving existing customers is even harder. The only way out for most companies was to adopt remote work. People performing business enabling functions like finance and HR were able to make this shift rapidly. Although business isn’t as usual since most of their clients are severely hit, they still manage to keep running.
What about manufacturing companies?
Remote working is the hardest thing for most manufacturing workers to adopt. Employees in management roles could afford to work from home, but there is no way factory workers and other onsite employees can do so effectively.
Leesman conducted interesting research on the state of remote work. They surveyed over 50,000 employees working in the manufacturing sector, and the industrial engineering industry and their study revealed that about 53% of manufacturing industry workers have zero experience working from home. Now it’s difficult to ask someone to work from home when they haven’t done so in their entire career. Before COVID-19, nearly all employees who worked from home have never done so more than once or twice a week. It’s a huge lifestyle change for employees who can manage to carry out their office duties. While these employees are fighting to be productive, an entire class of employees has been out of work for months because they can’t work from home.
Clearly, the manufacturing industry isn’t top on companies ready to implement remote working conditions. But the pandemic has struck, and nothing would ever remain the same.
Something like this was going to happen in the future, whether the pandemic struck or not. Now that it arrived early, it’s an opportunity for manufacturing companies to peep into what the future of work looks like.
Is work-from-home the future of work?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a steady rise in the number of remote workers. Out of the millions of workers forced to work from home, over 75% admit they wouldn’t want that to change much after the pandemic is over. What does this say to business leaders? The future of work is a blend of digital and physical activities. Workers will be happier if they don’t have to spend every day working from the office. Some industries are doing well with their workers working remotely, but the manufacturing industry has to put systems in place to catch up.
Risks associated with having a remote workforce
If you’re going to allow some of your employees to work remotely — and yes, you should — then you have to put systems in place to avoid risks that could make remote work counterproductive.
Remote working risks vary from industry to industry. They can be mild for some sectors and specific categories of workers, but when manufacturing industries neglect these risks for their top workers, the result is a catastrophe.
Below, we’ve highlighted some risks that you must foresee before making the switch to remote work.
For starters, low productivity and slacking off!
When someone switches from working in the office to their home office, and it’s not something they are used to, you expect to see a decrease in their productivity, especially in the older demographic. There are parental issues to sort out, and usually, some employees would struggle for a while before getting used to the apps and software that make remote work efficient.
It helps if they can configure their home office in a way that simulates their corporate office. Productivity would be easier because it won’t feel like they have left their office. This is why RemoteDesk works with HR and compliance departments to recreate corporate offices for employees. Find out more about this here.
The biggest concern: Data Security!
Data security is one of the major reasons some organizations aren’t allowing employees to work from home. When your work includes sensitive data, you have all the right to be skeptical about remote work. It’s easy for your employee to leave their PC open at home, and someone comes in to see the data you’re supposed to be safeguarding. But there’s a solution to this. RemoteDesk’s bio metric identification technology ensures that only your employee can access the information they are working on. The technology also helps you encrypt your data. It further helps to detect inappropriate violations like imposter/false identities, multiple people around, or data copy attempts through video monitoring.
Two heads are better than one: A decline in shared learning
Let’s face it: remote work reduces shared learning opportunities and leads to a potential drop in social interactions and that sense of community that keeps workers motivated. Your employees can get bored and weary from having to sort things out all by themselves. In an office setting, when you don’t know your way around a project or when you feel tired, you could reach out to a colleague and have a good chat while working remotely reduces all that. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take advantage of project management apps like slack, workzone, and Glip. These platforms don’t just help you organize work efficiently; they also have in-built messaging systems your employees can use to communicate.
Is the manufacturing industry ready for remote work? The obvious answer is no — the millions of manufacturing companies shut down globally would attest to that. And most likely, the industry would never fully go remote because some processes require workers to collaborate in the same place. But you can’t really tell. This pandemic has ushered us into a world where technology and business smoothly fit together. Who knows, in the future, it might be possible for all manufacturing processes to be automated such that all workers can control the systems from home.
RemoteDesk: A glimpse of hope for the manufacturing sector!
Manufacturing industries need to take advantage of existing remote working technologies, like RemoteDesk, to increase productivity and organizational efficiency. While it is difficult for thousands of workers to cope with this change, RemoteDesk helps them create a clean-desk, self-inspiring environment at home. And thus, helping the manufacturing industry to grow even during challenging times.