You’ve surely heard of Smart Working. For a couple of years, it has become the new fashion methodology.
The reason is simple. Smart Working improves performance but also increases employee satisfaction and retaining talent.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have had to opt for telecommuting. Smart Working is a step in it, getting even better results whenever basic conditions are met.
It is a very effective formula in the prevention of coronavirus in companies.
Because, as much as we love Smart Working, not all companies can adapt to it. Nor is it the ideal option for all workers.
Knowing what Smart Working is, what problems and advantages it has are the first step to knowing if we should bet on it. This smart work formula requires investment at first, but it also means great savings in the medium term for the company.
What is Smart Working?
That is, in Smart Working, the worker does not have to go to the office, but can work from home, in a cafeteria, in an airport, on a train, etc … In addition, he does not have a defined schedule, but rather flexibility hour in total .
This does not mean that the worker can decide, for example, if he works from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but that he will also decide the hours he dedicates each day. In this work methodology, the results and the fulfillment of certain objectives are measured, not the time it takes or not to achieve them.
Therefore, if a worker can offer in less time what the company expects of him, with this method, he will be able to enjoy that extra free time that he has earned with his effort. In this way, it is sought to end presentism, so common in offices in Spain.
The company must offer all the necessary tools for teleworking, and the worker must have everything they need to carry out their work.
For this methodology to work, there must be fluid communication between employees, teams and superiors and, above all, everyone must be very clear about their role in the company. If this is achieved, the results can be spectacular.
Smart Working Problems
But what problems does Smart Working have? What are its main drawbacks?
The first thing we have to anticipate is that it is not valid for all jobs. As was seen during the pandemic, there are a significant number of jobs that require presence. In these cases, we could opt for other benefits such as emotional salary or flexible remuneration, but not for this methodology.
Likewise, it can also mean worse communication. Having flexible hours within the same work team can make it difficult to resolve doubts that could be solved immediately in a face-to-face team.
Likewise, it makes it more difficult to establish improvements in the company with initiatives such as quality circles.
By not seeing each other regularly also makes creating lasting bonds and building teams more difficult. No matter how good an internet connection and how many videoconferences you have, smart work cannot compete with the bonds formed by having a drink after work or simply during a coffee or lunch break.
Insulation is, therefore, one of the main problems, especially if the employee does not have family dependents.
On the other hand, distractions can also play a trick. Not everyone can have the discipline to work until they meet their goals, knowing that their schedules don’t matter and that they can stop working at any time.
Working at home, especially if we have young children, can be more complicated, making it difficult to concentrate than being in an office.
Finally, we must also mention the need for technology. For Smart Working to work, the company must be digitized. Otherwise, you won’t even be able to start implementing it.
Advantages of Smart Working
It may seem that there are many drawbacks, but if we think about the advantages, we quickly realize that they are more numerous.
Trust in the worker
Smart work means greater trust in the worker. That the employee perceives that his company is trusted enough to bet on this methodology will make his vision more positive.
It is also an end marketing measure that improves job employer branding. Most workers want to work in a company that offers this possibility.
A key advantage is the offshoring of talent. The worker can work from anywhere. This means, for example, that he can leave the big city to go to live in the country or his hometown and gain a living population.
But, in addition, it also allows you to bet on talent found elsewhere. Suddenly, proximity to the office location is no longer important. Now, what is relevant are the skills that said potential employee has.
We can work with teams with members located in different countries. This will also give a broader, multicultural perspective of problems and solutions without needing to be a big company.
The cost savings is the main benefit of Smart Working. There is no travel allowance. You save electricity, water or office supplies. Even the offices themselves can now be smaller, and you can save on buying or renting them.
We have already talked about the advantages and disadvantages of teleworking. Betting on this methodology is much cheaper for the company. Adding to greater productivity, it is a full-blown win-win.
Respect for the environment
Related to the above is respect for the environment. Lower spending means less pollution, which is also favored by reducing trips to the office.
Emitting less CO2 for the company’s operation allows greater sustainability and falls within the company’s corporate social responsibility. This new intelligent working method allows the company to consolidate its commitment to less harmful forms of value production.
It is the biggest advantage for workers. Smart Working allows for a greater balance between work life and personal life. Each person can set their schedules as they want, getting to work at their peak productivity hours.
This way, it will not be a problem to have to take your children to school, go to the pharmacy or the doctor at any given time or do any other business. Not only will it not be a problem, but it will also not affect your work.
Each person will adapt, with some limitations such as meetings with other team members, and will work much more at ease. Few things like a worker more than knowing that any inconvenience of everyday life will not be a problem.
How to implement it in the company?
If you are considering implementing Smart Working in your company, these are the steps you have to take.
We are talking about one of the most important trends in Human Resources for 2021, and it will require some investment.
The first thing is to check if the jobs are compatible. We will have to make a list to see those that are and those that are not. If they are not all, it will also be necessary to decide if it seems appropriate to offer this opportunity to only a part of the company.
Due to the nature of their position, the party that cannot opt for this methodology will have to be compensated with other benefits for employees. It is important that everyone feels that they are valued in equal measure.
The Human Resources department, thanks to its employee experience map, must also know if workers are interested or not in being able to telecommute also, if we trust them to offer them this opportunity.
Once we know the positions and the employees eligible for Smart Working, we have to go to the company.
Is our CRM or ERP system digitized? Can you work from the cloud? What equipment should be purchased, and what investment would it entail for the company?
Finally, the forms of communication with the teams would have to be defined. How will the online meetings be, who should be present in each case, and how will the objectives be measured.
At the time of implantation, it is ideal for putting some trial period. This way, you can check if the Smart Working is working or not. In case you don’t, with objective meters, you can always go back.