If you’re over the age of 30, you’ve probably worked in an office that had a dress code saying (explicitly or not) that tattoos, beards, and leaving your shirt un-tucked weren’t acceptable in the workplace. It may be our growing cultural awareness or the tightened job market that has led us to change, but those rules are much scarcer than they used to be. Physical appearance isn’t the only thing that’s changed along the way, physically appearing is now considered optional in many organizations.
Did the shift to having remote staff sneak up on you? It could have been when you got fewer and fewer resumes showing up in your in box. A simple line about where the winning applicant’s desk would be may have been the deal breaker for some. Avoiding the commuter rush and the time, money, and stress it entails may be only half the reason that people want to work remotely. Being able to catch their son’s “Willy Wonka” debut and dodging that dress code might have also come into play.
Another good reason for the shift to people wanting, and essentially demanding, being able to work remotely is because they can. It’s possible now to be at that play and 5 minutes later attend the weekly conference call to give your update on the financial performance of the new retail location. Your cell phone plugs you in to sign off on contracts as easily as it updates you on the ballgame score. And the cloud. You’ve got access to the software you need to run your business, just as securely and swiftly as you did when you had to maintain a server room, an IT staff, and a backup tape rotation. Without the fuss or expense.
Are You Behind the Curve?
As financial managers, some of us have come kicking and screaming into the world of location-independent workplaces. We’re used to ticking and tying…and securing…physical documents. Posting and depositing physical checks. Confirming that the right signers have approved that capital expenditure. And looking people in the eye when things go wrong. How do you replicate all that?
Whether your industry is within the FinTech sector (Financial Technology) or you are their client, partner, or vendor, FinTech is making big things possible in accounting departments and elsewhere. How we process payments is dramatically different. Paper-free offices exist. Yes, even accounting offices. The movement toward paperless offices fits in perfectly with the technological advances that we’ve seen. And if you still had a doubt, when your bank started charging $25 for a paper statement, you knew there was no going back.
The cloud has helped us come full-circle. In the quest for talented people with the right skill-sets, they’re now accessible. Finding those individuals who enjoy working in a dynamic environment without the hectic physical commute is doable. The cloud has brought down the barriers of physical nuances as well. Tattoos don’t need to be covered up. Individuality reigns. I don’t think it’s new that people prefer to work from home, I think it’s just that the pieces are all now there to make it a win-win for everyone.
And what does that mean for the financial leaders that need to manage remote workers? There’s a learning curve on both sides but once they recognize that the same skills of being proactive, promoting communication, responsibility, and teamwork that are used in the office are the ones they use with remote workers, life gets easier. The cloud and other tools you use to facilitate the work might be different today but using the same level of effort and deliberateness to manage remote workers will keep them engaged and adding value to your organization.
If you don’t already allow people to work remotely, are your reasons still valid? If you do, are you engaging with your remote workers at the same level as you do with your on-site workers?
Businesses of every description rely on the Budget Maestro™ family of software solutions by Centage Corporation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business budgeting and planning, financial forecasting, financial consolidation and reporting processes. For more information, take a tour of Budget Maestro, contact Centage, or call 800-366-5111 now.