If you believe everything you read, the country has seen a radical and permanent shift in how we work. No more offices, everyone’s now efficiently working away in spare rooms or on kitchen tables.
But what’s the reality? Except for domiciliary care workers, many care organisations have limited experience of remote working. Even there, it’s often remote delivery backed by centralised and largely manual admin.
Covid-19 forced care organisations to engage crisis management and change processes in a hurry. The remote working solutions they found got them through the crisis, but are they sustainable?
It’s hard to see things going back to how they were. Infection control means most organisations can’t call all their staff back in, even if they wanted to. Sadly, the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 is very real. And maybe your best staff simply like working remotely and would prefer to carry on.
If remote working’s here to stay, it needs to be driven by tools that make the process streamlined and secure. Workarounds bring risks and inefficiencies. They can create more work and increase the chances of miscommunication (and missed communication). Perhaps that’s an unavoidable risk in the short term but it won’t be sustainable.
Turn Back or Forge Ahead?
Transformation to flexible and remote working is normally a managed process. Choosing the ideal tools to support new ways of working is a vital step.
But these are not normal times. In the care sector, all types of organisations from commissioners to deliverers had to find ways to keep working when offices were closed or reduced to minimal staffing levels.
The vital stage of selecting optimised business tools was washed over in the wake of events. The solutions arrived at certainly aren’t the same ones that would have emerged from the normal, measured process.
So organisations have a dilemma. Do they revert to ‘normal’ with centralised management and admin? Or do they push on and turn the current halfway house into a permanent and sustainable solution?
Advantages of flexible and remote working have been proved. Anxieties about lost productivity and lack of accountability have been dispelled. And, in the ‘plus’ column, people value flexibility and there’s proven potential to slash facilities operating costs.
The risks and inefficiencies that follow on the coattails of emergency solutions must now be designed out. The mindset shift towards remote working is done. Follow up by implementing cloud based business tools designed specifically for the new ways of working.