Permanent Remote Work: Here Is a SWOT Analysis to Decide If It Is Sustainable
Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only constant in life is change.” This saying is thousands of years old, but it still resonates to this day. With COVID-19 shaking the global economy and business operations, it has been crucial for companies to think of ways to survive. Every day, various factors continue to challenge the world labor market. All the while, we’ve seen remote work saving businesses everywhere.
While there are plenty of opportunities in the work-from-home setup, it also presents various threats. While many companies were taking advantage of remote work long before the pandemic, we must admit that for the bigger percentage of businesses, this operational model is something they never anticipated. As such, not everyone is completely on board when it comes to transitioning to remote work permanently.
In our previous post, we taught you how to conduct a SWOT analysis to make well-informed decisions for your business. Now, we will show you how you can use this methodology to decide whether you should continue your remote work operations permanently.
Factors to Consider While Conducting a SWOT Analysis for Remote Work
Cementing remote work in your business operations entails undertaking a major digital transformation. Before you can accurately identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses, you need to consider these factors:
- Can your employees access company data remotely? Do you have user-level permissions in place for your files?
- Is your current IT infrastructure scalable and flexible? Can you easily integrate existing solutions with new platforms that will enable remote work?
- Do you host business systems in the cloud or within your company’s premises?
- Do you have security measures in place for internal and external threats like employee theft and cybercrimes?
- Do you invest in technologies that support the agility and mobility of your workforce?
- Do the existing technologies and processes in the workplace help or frustrate your employees?
- How many platforms and apps does an average worker need to use every day?
- Do your software solutions work together, or do they clash against each other?
- Do you have an existing system for making data-driven decisions?
- Can you easily update the technology in your workplace to adapt to the changes in the setup?
Keep in mind that when performing a SWOT analysis for remote work, you need to identify threats and opportunities thoroughly and accurately. You can only achieve this by conducting unbiased research on your industry, organization, and market. You can only determine if permanent remote work is profitable and sustainable if you’re honest about the current performance and position of your company. It’s easy for managers to look through rose-hued glasses when assessing their organization. However, doing so will not help your digital transformation. It’s always better to be realistic about the effects of factors that you consider as threats.
Review Local Labor Laws First
Ever since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, every country has enacted measures to stop the spread of the virus. So, before you start looking for SWOT analysis examples, you need to examine the changes in the labor laws in your employees’ countries. Let’s say you hired a remote worker who resides in Victoria, Australia. In this case, you have to follow the local government’s regulations for work-from-home employees amidst the coronavirus situation. According to the recent changes in the region’s labor laws, you’ll have to allot a weekly 20AUD allowance for home office consumables and utilities.
Of course, the guidelines vary depending on the jurisdiction that your remote worker is in.
Should You Permanently Move to Telecommuting?
To determine if remote work is something your team can do permanently, you can try identifying your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Here’s a SWOT analysis example for a company offering software products:
- Customers can buy our service or product online.
- We can easily perform a demo of our product or service via a video call.
- We can provide an online demo if necessary.
- Customers can sign up for the service online.
- We can accept calls from multiple clients simultaneously.
- Customers can easily reach out to us via our website.
- Clients can go to our website and conveniently troubleshoot issues via the chat function.
- We don’t have to physically meet our customers to help them get started with our products.
- All our remote workers need to have a company email address.
- We’ll need a tool for project management.
- We need to set up a comprehensive intranet system.
- We need an efficient method for sharing documents.
- Our data has to be securely stored in the cloud.
- We need an efficient tracker that will monitor the working hours of the employees and the progress of projects.
- Customers are searching for more online tools.
- Clients will want a more reliable online service.
- Clients are looking for solutions that are available online.
- Customers prefer companies that have an established online presence.
- Productivity can become challenging, especially since the communication process will change.
- We may lose customers who prefer face-to-face sales meetings.
- Certain operational aspects need approval from different people, which should be done in person.
- Online approval forms are not available.
- Contracts have to be signed in person.
- The sense of camaraderie and engagement may fade because employees start feeling isolated.
Communicate the SWOT Analysis Properly
Challenges in an organization usually start at the top. So, if you want your remote work setup to be successful, leaders in your company must guide and support the team. They must acknowledge the threats and opportunities that the work-from-home setup presents. What’s more, they must recognize that even with a geographically scattered team, they will deal with different personalities. While some are independent enough to quickly adapt to remote work, others may find the transition quite challenging. As such, it is important that there is efficient communication between team members.
There are plenty of tools that will help your team operate efficiently even if they are working in different locations. There are team chat apps that will make communication easier. Moreover, there are various project management programs that will help managers monitor tasks and progress. Giving out rewards can also be an efficient way to keep remote workers motivated and engaged.
If you want to produce data-backed performance metrics, use a time tracker like Traqq. You can use this tool to identify productivity leaks. What’s more, Traqq can help you determine which workers are performing efficiently. This way, you can properly distribute tasks and recognize those who deserve commendations and incentives. In a way, if you’re running a digital business, Traqq can help address many weaknesses and threats that you’ll find in your SWOT analysis.
Amidst the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people will prefer working from home for a significant period. Several tech companies have announced that they intend to embrace remote work permanently. In fact, this is the perfect time to get your team on the same page about remote work. With the right tools and preparation, what may seem like a big hurdle for others will become an easy transition for your team.