If we had to predict a year ago where businesses would be today, it would probably be far from what we are currently witnessing. Nobody could have prepared us for the coronavirus outbreak and how most of the country is now working and learning from home.
Love or loathe remote working, the transition into this new normal has been a tricky one for most of us. Companies that were already utilising the benefits of cloud HR software have certainly had an advantage over others when it came to uprooting their staff from their desks and managing them remotely.
This is why it is imperative that businesses take advantage of this technology. During this time, we may not have the resources to implement new systems. That is why it is crucial to know exactly how this can benefit businesses so when the pandemic is eventually over, we can make the judgement to improve daily office administration and ensure we are never unprepared if we are thrown into a similar situation.
So, exactly what are the benefits of using the cloud within a business, read below for a comprehensive guide to show why no one can afford to not make this switch now.
Working From Home Is The New Normal
Before the pandemic, working from home was experienced by a small percentage of us. Even those of us who were able to, many managers frowned upon this and would try to avoid it as much as possible.
Business owners have come to realise through no choice but to implement working from home procedures, that employees can be trusted to focus and produce quality work to keep businesses afloat during uncertain economic times.
In fact, 74% of businesses are now planning to remove employees from the office to have a permanent remote team. Considering remote working not only saves money by reducing the need for bigger workspaces but previous studies have shown that those who work remotely are 22% happier than those that don’t.
These employees reported less stress, better focus, a better work-life balance and on average, stay with their company for longer. All of this despite averaging more hours per week than on-site workers.
However, there are obstacles in the way. Especially when it comes to HR, so many businesses are used to having easy access to staff, from fleeting conversations by the coffee machine to impromptu private meetings and remote working eradicates these.
Information can be harder to obtain and collate, keeping track of a workforce, especially within larger companies. Paperwork can easily be lost, especially if items are having to be mailed between locations.
Ease Remote Payroll
Paying employees correctly and on time is one of the easiest ways to show appreciation during the pandemic and after. It may not be feasible to provide bonuses or pay rises but if staff know they can afford their bills at the end of each month, a lot of stress can be alleviated.
Of course, things aren’t as easy as they once were and finance teams no longer having access to their office space can present problems if cloud-based software isn’t implemented.
With all employees being able to access databases, timesheets can be easily completed, holiday days allocated and sick days reported. Giving your finance team seamless access to everything they need to know to do their role.
An additional benefit to this is managers can see when people are taking more leave than others, this is a great chance to reach out to those remote workers and check in on their mental wellbeing so support can be offered as early as possible.
Looking After Wellbeing
Looking after staff wellbeing is one of the most important things any business can do, especially during these times. HR departments are responsible for overseeing wellbeing and should be checking in on staff as often as possible.
It’s hard to judge how colleagues are coping when they are remote. Team video calls aren’t always the best place to convey emotions.
Cloud-based HR software can provide a platform for questionnaires and surveys for staff to complete to voice how they are truly feeling, without fear of judgement from others. These can even be completely anonymously if needed and HR teams can take action accordingly.
Despite the pandemic, businesses are still moving forward and shouldn’t postpone essential onboarding just because things aren’t as normal as they once were.
From choosing candidates to training new employees, cloud-based software can provide all the tools needed for smooth onboarding. Candidates can be automatically contacted if they are or are not successful with their application, freeing up time for other tasks.
Welcome packs can be generated online and initial forms can be completed by a new starter before the commencement of their contract. Meaning everything is in place for their first day and there is no lost time.
Keeping In Contact
Staff contact details are forever changing, whether that be from moving addresses or getting a new phone number. Especially while we are remote, it’s important to keep these up to date.
Few have the time to email everyone within the business and these emails can be hard to locate if this information was not needed immediately. Collating this information in an easily accessible platform means these details are never lost.
Staff are also more likely to update their details with an easy-to-use system.
There is always the need to relay information to all staff members, now we can no longer host meetings with everyone in attendance, cloud-based systems are the next best thing.
While a company-wide email can be done, these are often ignored, lost or skimmed. HR systems can store information easily and even track who has opened messages, so managers can chase those who need to read them.
It also means this information is stored safely and coherently so it can be accessed at any time, from any place.
The work is moving online and the new way of working has certainly highlighted the importance of having a proper system set in place. While businesses may have been unprepared before, there is no reason why we should not be for similar eventualities in the future.