If there is anything that recent events have taught us, it is the value of having a workforce that has the ability to telecommute when there is a health crisis that warrants social distancing and quarantine.
Many businesses right now are grappling with the difficulty of deciding which employees can successfully be migrated to a work-from-home situation to manage operational needs. For some businesses that have not created a pandemic policy and action plan, this process is arduous, and they may face shutting down less essential business units within the organization.
That also means laying off valuable employees at a time when they are most economically vulnerable; something very few businesses want to do.
However, for organizations that have been slowly implementing telecommuting into their corporate culture and workflow, sending employees to work from their own home offices had little to no impact on the business. In many cases, these businesses have full-time and part-time telecommuters who are already equipped with VOIP desktop phones and workstations, connected to a company wide and departmental intranet, and utilizing messaging services and video conferencing for seamless communication.
Within the Salesforce AppExchange, there are many SaaS options to help businesses connect remote staff and facilitate a seamless telecommuting arrangement for their team. We’d like to share 5 of our favorite applications in the AppExchange that can help businesses make the transition to 50% essential or 100% remote employee functionality.
1. Dialero (Telecommunications)
Forget about that clunky desktop VOIP conference phone, with Dialero all you need is a Twilio account and you can click-to-dial to any telephone in Salesforce. The Dialero app logs all telephone calls and can keep a detailed history of each conversation for archival, making it a valuable sales and customer service tool.
Other broadcast features are also available in Dialero, including the ability to send SMS messages to contacts for lead nurturing and standard features like voicemail, built into Salesforce for your team.
2. Work-Relay (Project Management)
Sometimes within an organization, different business units may use unauthorized software for task management or workflow optimization, if they are not provided with a native solution inside of Salesforce. One of the most highly rated project management applications is Work-Relay, which has the ability to be as simplified or as complex as required, for different departments and functions.
Not only does Work-Relay manage scheduling, it also has built in tools for asset and resource management and provides an easy dashboard for review of workflow processes, schedules, repetitive and longer-term projects. No coding required.
3. Prolifiq Crush (Key Account Management and Planning)
When was the last time your sales team touched base with your top 10% wholesale B2B buyers? Keeping track of the communication and nurturing sales relationships is critical to revenue growth.Prolifiq Crush is an easy to use native Salesforce application that allows sales executives to define key growth accounts and stakeholders with an innovative influence chart. Vital sales administration functions such as account and contact management, SWOT analysis for new target account acquisition and other powerful sales tactics to drive KAM within your sales team, without ever leaving Salesforce.
4. ScreenMeet (Enterprise Remote Support + Cobrowse 2 Way Audio Video Chat)
Some staff members may be using Zoom. Others may be using Skype for video conferencing. The best and most secure video conferencing option is one that is built native into the Salesforce platform. No download is required as it is a cloud-based app, which reduces some of the security risks of installation at each workstation.
It has all the bells and whistles you need for a reliable native to Salesforce video conferencing system for business, including screenshare and screen ‘takeover’. ScreenMeet authorizes agents securely through their SFDC credentials and writes all data back to the platform for archival if required and can be used in organizations with 1 to 10,000 employees.
5. CronSights Handle Time Metrics (Formerly ‘WorkIt’)
Automatically log customer service or conflict resolution cases within your organization, to determine average reconciliation times for your customer service and support team. Collect aggregate data on the specific products, services or issues that require the most time and support from your team.
Managers can evaluate resolution averages to determine where extra training may be required for support personnel, or where different sales resources should be provided to employees to facilitate sales and closing in a shorter time frame. Executives will also be able to identify the ‘all-star’ customer service employees by evaluating productivity benchmarks.
The constantly growing selection of native software solutions in Salesforce also provide innovative no-code applications for compliance management, accounting and finance, human resource and other essentials for a part-time to full-time telecommuting workforce.
What are Some of the Benefits of a Remote Work Enabled Team?
The first and most obvious advantage speaks to the current COVID-19 healthcare crisis, as we mentioned, where social distancing and public health preventative measures are forcing organizations to allow remote work-from-home arrangements for their staff, or shutter their business operations if they are not able to facilitate that shift administratively.
There is other non-crisis related advantages for organizations who want to transition part (or all) employees to a remote working arrangement. In terms of recruiting younger professionals like the Millennial population segment, offering telecommuting opportunities is helpful, as Millennials enjoy the aspects of lifestyle balance and economical advantages of working from home.
Recruitment and Retention of Talented Millennials Hinges on Telecommuting Accommodations
According to a survey by TINYpluse, 91% of Millennials stated that they get more work done outside of the office, as opposed to sitting in a distracting open office and traditional work environment. An additional 85% of Millennial respondents indicated that they wanted more flexibility in their work schedule; the ability to start earlier in the day for instance, to attend to other lifestyle needs. And 85% of survey respondents also indicated that they wanted to telecommute 100% of the time.
Progressive organizations know that to both recruit and retain talented Millennial professionals, they must offer the opportunity to telecommute at least part-time, to accommodate the life balance and structured work preferences of the population group.
Facility Cost Savings for Mid-Level and Corporations Through Telecommuting
In some of the most high-demand cities around the world, the cost of commercial space continues to skyrocket. As an organization grows, expanding that workspace to accommodate additional staff may not always be economically or logistically feasible.
By empowering policy changes, equipping and training employees to work productively from home, organizations can realize significant savings on overhead, and in some cases on rented event or meeting spaces. Some organization rotate shared office or desk spaces with structured in-office schedules as well. Telecommuting staff also have reduced energy usage, produce less waste and recyclables within the workplace, and result in a smaller carbon footprint for the organization.
Ready to Take the Next Step to Create Telecommuting Capabilities in Your Organization?
Have you discussed transitioning part or your whole workforce into telecommuting or remote work-from-home arrangements? The top concern for most organizations is the ability to facilitate seamless productivity from home that is equal to or greater than the productivity employees demonstrate in a classic office environment.
There are many apps within Salesforce that can be integrated for your organization for effective communication, employee performance analytics, management and supervisory guidance (via Intranet), optimized video conferencing and live relay chat, and much more.
Contact our team at Six Street Technologies to schedule a discovery call, where we can begin to outline an effective strategy to make telecommuting and remote working part of your crisis intervention plan, or cost saving measures.