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Teleworking: How to overcome the challenges and deliver benefits to companies and collaborators

By Marcelo Szabo, Solutions Manager Visual Communications - Digital Signage - Emerging Technologies of Ricoh Latin America

Now more than ever, companies in Latin America are acknowledging the importance of being prepared to implement flexible working policies like teleworking or remote working. According to a study, Brazil is the leading country with more than 7 million teleworkers, followed by 2 million teleworkers in Mexico and Argentina, and one million teleworkers in Chile1. Without a doubt, the number will continue to increase while organizations from all sectors see the competitive advantages of implementing this model that allows people to work safely wherever and whenever necessary, while offering collaborators emotional salary to balance personal and professional life.

Keys to implementing flexible models successfully

The reality is that some companies still express certain reluctance due to several factors like work culture, potential security breach and data loss or decrease in productivity. However, it is time to see “Digital Workplaces” technologies as true allies to overcome any challenge. Here are four aspects to consider when enforcing flexible policies:

  • Relying on clear and efficient work patterns and communication channels: Business leaders need to establish work priorities for the teams and promote channels to foster real collaboration among team members.
  • Working to attain objectives and not on an hourly basis: It is important to build up complete trust among workers, regardless of the workplace, as well as different ways of working to achieve measurable goals set by the manager or the company.
  • Assessing effective collaborative technology tools: This point is essential. People need reliable, easy-to-use, and flexible communications options that accelerate information exchange and decision-making. Fortunately, there are solutions today like interactive whiteboards that enable a collaborative environment where everybody can see, meet, and collaborate with each other dynamically and interactively, without the need of a computer, tablet, or mobile device. In this way, your thoughts and ideas can become a reality through illustrations and phrases.
  • Positive change management: from the management team to the managers, and each and every employee. Implementing a flexible working policy entails a change of habits so people can work from the place they think that will help them achieve the best results, instead of going to the office Monday through Friday during normal hours.

Maximizing the advantages of teleworking

Once these four aspects have been defined, organizations will be able to maximize the benefits of teleworking or remote working in terms of productivity, balance, and sustainability. In short, the increase in balance and the empowerment of employees that allows them to manage their own working time results in their overall wellbeing, which entails an increase in their commitment to the company. Additionally, by commuting less, the levels of CO2 emissions per employee are reduced, and the company saves fuel.

1 Source: First report of Teleworking in Latin America and the Caribbean published by the International Telework Academy Latin American and Caribbean, 2018.