4 Ways to Move Beyond Zoom with Collaborative Remote Work Technology

Working from Home

We’re over a month deep into our new working from home reality. How’s it going for your business? Many of us are feeling the strain, with multiple Zoom meetings every day, remote team management, and a host of other at-a-distance challenges. And while tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are a godsend for this environment, there is also a growing need to document and integrate those tools with your HRIS.

Depending on your current setup, that might be a little tricky. Still, documenting things like budget allocation, time management, and productivity is crucial to your ability to bill clients accurately, justify payroll, and forecast future needs.

Some of these capabilities might already exist within your HRIS. You may just need to make some tweaks in your reporting and documentation processes. For others, however, you may need an additional tool or two as you manage some of the new challenges of remote work.

As you assess how your remote work technology and strategies have performed over the past month and how you can improve, here are some things to consider.

1. Project Allocation

When projects are being allocated to different areas across the company, you’ll need a way to designate each department for accounting. If you use a project management system, you can use account codes to connect activity with the system and associate it with a specific meeting and project. If the meetings are part of your billable hours, then you can use the codes to document those hours for invoicing.

Project codes can also be used to document time investments on the part of consultants. You can send this information to payroll as part of your pay justification process.

2. Talent Management

Within your team meetings, it’s helpful to know how much time people are spending on specific tasks so you can ensure that you are allocating resources appropriately. You can use project codes for this as well, and you can also use other tools in your HRIS to stay connected with your team. For example, many platforms have chat functions, goal-setting tools, checklists, and other tools to track employee productivity and performance. Alongside those features, your HRIS can help you track activity and forecast future talent needs.

3. Time Tracking

Time tracking tools for remote workers just need to provide an automated way for hourly and sometimes exempt workers to track when they are working and when they are not. This is helpful both for managers who want to keep tabs on productivity and for documentation purposes (for example, in case it is needed for a worker’s compensation claim). Some mobile time tracking tools can also provide geographic location checkpoints, which may be helpful for employees working in different locations or for drivers.

4. Collaboration Tools

Zoom and other video conferencing platforms are helpful, but they shouldn’t be the only collaborative tool in your toolbox. Here are a few additional ways to support your collaborative process:

  • Real-Time Chat – Chat programs like Slack are quick and easy, and they also make it possible to share documents among teams quickly.
  • Digital Workspaces – You may also want to incorporate a digital workspace such as Mural to facilitate remote workshops and brainstorming sessions. You can use frameworks and templates within the platform to design a workflow, mind map a process, facilitate a customer discovery session, and many other activities that would generally take place in a conference room with your team. Mural integrates with Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Drive, and other platforms so you can keep all your notes and ideas together and share with other team members.
  • Digital Whiteboard – For Zoom calls, try using a digital white board to collect ideas. Look for one that allows collaboration and comments, and that includes the ability to attach files.

As shelter-in-place orders continue, our remote work technology and practices will need to become more sophisticated to accommodate the needs of clients and employees. But that’s great news, because when we head back to our offices, we’ll have a streamlined strategy already in place for the growing demands for remote work.

A robust HRIS platform can also support your team with mobile access, cloud databases, and workforce management functions. If yours isn’t up to the challenge, we can help! Start your search for your perfect HRIS match with our HRIS Comparison Tool!

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