By Andrew Hoag - August 26, 2020 4 Mins Read
Business leaders have been preparing for an undefined “future of work” for years, but the coronavirus pandemic sparked a radical shift in the way companies operate. Workplace policies, processes, and habits were forced to change overnight in ways we couldn’t predict. Before anyone knew it, the “future of work” became the present-day reality. Distributed workforces, democratized decision-making, and digitalization were already on the rise, but today, they’re a central part of the new normal. As organizations navigate long-term remote work, leveraging cloud-based tools to foster employee independence is no longer just an option; it’s a necessity.
The bureaucracy and red tape of old are outdated and could harm companies in the current climate. Speed and efficiency are key to a healthy business, but if employees aren’t empowered to move quickly and make informed decisions, operations will stagnate. Leaders must arm each employee with the data and tools they need to effectively execute in their roles.
How Cloud-Based Tools are Revolutionizing Remote Work
That’s where cloud software comes in. These tools unlock two core components in today’s remote work environment: transparency and automation. Implementing cloud technology across departments — including recruiting, sales, and finance — can empower employees to stay nimble, even as fully-remote work presses on.
For example, Gem is recruiting software that gives HR managers and executives a clear look into their team’s progress. Gem automates tasks, tracks touchpoints, and offers analytics to streamline the hiring process. Most companies have historically relied on spreadsheets to track candidate relationships, but that manual work won’t cut it in the current distributed work environment, where each person needs easy access to make decisions in the moment. Engaging and nurturing top talent today requires a cloud-based, data-driven approach.
In the sales department, leaders have traditionally lacked transparency into the current state of their reps’ deals, which translates to a lack of trust and negatively impacts productivity and win rates. Companies like Gong have entered the market to solve that problem, leveraging AI to provide sales leaders with objective insights and real-time visibility into their market, deals, and teams — ultimately informing smarter business decisions. These capabilities empower reps to deepen customer relationships, speed up sales cycles, and grow revenue, enabling greater efficiency across the organization.
On the finance side, spend management software like Teampay integrates directly into Slack and simplifies the way companies control cash. It allows employees an easy, pre-approved way to make business purchases without having to be in the same office, and provides finance leaders, managers, and employees, instant insight into that spends. This fosters a sense of autonomy among employees, saves finance valuable time during month-end close, and gives management the ability to course-correct, all resulting in a more agile business.
When searching for the right software, enterprise leaders should focus on holistic platforms like these that operate from end-to-end, not piecemeal solutions. This is crucial when full teams are remote and need to work independently. For recruiters, that means a tool that encompasses the full funnel from reach out to offer; for sales teams, the entire pipeline from generating leads to closing deals; and the finance department, from payment request to reconciliation and reporting. When combined, these tools — and the data they provide — work in tandem to simplify work processes, solve employee pain points, and fuel faster decision-making for leaders.
Where We Go From Here
A recent study by talent mobility platform Topia found that empowerment and trust were the most important factors employees looked for in “great employee experience.” Now more than ever, the relationship between employees and organizations must be one of mutual accountability. Cloud-based tools provide transparency by giving employees a look behind the curtain and allowing them to make decisions based on all relevant information. These tools also offer automation that saves employees the headache of tedious, error-laden manual work. Meanwhile, cloud-based solutions let leadership see what’s happening across the business every step of the way, enabling them to pivot strategies as needed.
Remote work is here to stay for the long-haul, but when companies provide employees with the cloud-based tools and data they need, employees will feel more engaged, productive, and empowered to get the job done. Although the workplace may never be the same, cloud-based tools will guide us into whatever the future may hold.
Andrew Hoag is CEO and Founder of Teampay, and has been the founder of four companies, including urbantag in 2011, which tackled the trillion-dollar online-to-offline commerce market and exited in October 2012. In addition to these entrepreneurial and leadership roles, Andrew has served as an angel investor and advisor to many other companies, helping them to raise venture capital and design product strategy.
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