Professional Services and CMS: Supporting Remote Working
The Impact of a Pandemic
Although the pandemic changed how owners ran their professional services businesses, many already utilised online systems to improve productivity. They were also investing in technology to support the few remote workers they had. However, the shift from just offering remote work as an option to needing a full-scale deployment was needed.
No Going Back
A survey from Gartner CFO revealed 74% of businesses intended to shift some employees to remote work permanently, meaning the shift became no longer temporary, and remote employees would need to be fully supported working remotely regardless of their location.
The research further supported this; 62% of remote workers wanted their employers to provide better technology that helped them stay connected with their colleagues.
Why does Productivity drop when Remote Workers aren’t supported?
We need to look at the other factors involved in this unpredicted move to remote work to understand this.
Firstly, the shift itself forced many employees who weren’t ready to work from home to do so. As a result, millions of workers worldwide were asked to switch their entire working routine with little to no warning. For many, this resulted in slower output, with many new obstacles getting in the way of their productivity.
This was wholly exasperated by the severe lack of training on offer, as less tech-savvy employees were having to now deal with home VPNs, new login systems and software. These small struggles each day added up to big frustrations. Meanwhile, employees also had to use their own equipment, which simply wasn’t up the task, resulting in more delays and loss of productivity.
Secondly, these new remote workers faced another challenge. They no longer had access to the essential tools of their professional services trade, from project files, limited use software, speciality tools, paper files and perhaps most importantly, each other. Without which their working lives became that much more difficult.
Finally, a whole new way of communicating had to be developed for these companies, and employees had to deal with timezones, trust issues, and the stress of living in a pandemic.
A Solution to Some of the Issues?
Modern Content Management Systems (CMS) may be just one of the solutions. These systems enable professional services providers to improve how they create, organise, store and collaborate the critical information, documents and communications that drive their business processes, compliance and fee-earning activities.
The Advancing Role of the CMS
With an ever-growing number of digital documents and communication now completed online, paired with the rapid switch to remote working, a CMS can become the company’s backbone.
Not only that, it can ensure a company abides by regulations such as GDPR whilst also increasing productivity within the organisation, particularly by identifying roadblocks, removing bottlenecks in processes, and reducing mistakes overall.
How a CMS can Improve Employee Productivity
Intelligent CMS offer several advantages that enable remote team members to stay fully briefed and in charge of their workload. It can support project managers to assess how well remote team members and their projects are progressing, and any issues experienced by team members can be reported and dealt with quickly. A good Enterprise Content Management System can also manage multiple projects at once and assign/reassign tasks to team members across the business. This autonomy avoids team silos, where information or skill-sets might be lost due to disconnection between remote team members.
Automating and Streamlining
Using a CMS in this way also means removing unnecessary stages in workflows, ultimately leaving time for more creative work.
Finally, using a CMS allows for asynchronous communication across multiple pieces of content and processes, thus removing time delays and ensuring all communication exists within one place for any project.
With the unprecedented number of changes impacting professional services working lives, implementing systems focused on easing workflows and supporting remote workers is a top priority.
However, businesses must remember to introduce proper training, supported by regular communication at every stage, for this to be successful.