Remote work has been making forward progress for years, and in just a matter of months the corona virus pandemic has accelerated the adoption, making the virtual workplace a mandatory part of the new normal for many.
The genie is out of the bottle, and “work from anywhere” is everywhere.
The pandemic has taught businesses that traditional office environments aren’t always necessary to produce incredible results. We’ve known this for a while, given the success, even pre-pandemic, that many have enjoyed when working from home offices, coffee shops and co-working spaces – or even poolside! For knowledge workers, today’s “office” is little more than a laptop and a WiFi connection.
An absence of trust was a material inhibitor of more widespread work-from-anywhere adoption pre-pandemic. But companies have found that they can untether employees from old paradigms and still be productive, regardless of geography. The work gets done, making physical location less important than ever before.
Remote offices deliver equal or better productivity when compared to traditional offices, and they also deliver some unexpected benefits. For example, many workers gain more free time as a result of eliminating commutes, and companies can access labor and expertise wherever the most qualified people happen to be. Companies are also seeing that they are gaining more financial flexibility through right-sizing or eliminating corporate real estate, particularly in high-cost urban areas.
Of course, maximizing remote productivity means an increasing reliance on tech tools like Zoom and other video-enabled conferencing apps. It’s not coincidental that items like Logitech webcams can be difficult to track down at the moment, as video has suddenly become a big part of a broader portfolio of communications tools that every remote worker must have.
But videoconferencing, email and chat applications like Slack generate a lot of extraneous noise. As a result, many organizations have difficulty cutting through the chaos and gaining the attention of employees, customers and other stakeholders when it comes to delivering key marketing messages and other important information.
Enter the benefits of text messaging communications. While opt-in SMS text communications programs – including mass-texting sent to many and automated reminder texts – have been used extensively for marketing and sales, they’ve only recently become a go-to tool for corporate and employee communications.
Workplace texting gives employers the ability to broadcast safety and health information, relay industry or HR news, keep workers informed on technology updates, send surveys, and request feedback. It’s the HR and management tool made for the “work from anywhere” moment.
Compared to email, nearly everyone reads their texts, and the wide adoption rate and 98% engagement rate really cut through the clutter. The brevity and clarity of texting also make information easier to digest, unlike lengthy emails. While people might filter emails or ignore chat apps, they’re unlikely to ignore texts. This is because texting is a go-to resource for staying in touch with friends, family, loved ones, and colleagues; we like to consider text “the messaging channel for good,” as texts regularly bring pleasant and compelling news.
In addition to being effective and engaging, text messaging is also cost-efficient. And because the post-pandemic immediate future of work looks increasingly like it exists somewhere between work-from-anywhere and a hybrid model, with teams coming into the office only occasionally, it serves as a powerful tool for managers and workers to stay connected. While email might offer a lower per-recipient cost, the miniscule per-response cost and greater effectiveness of texting deliver powerful ROI.
What’s more, adopting text messaging is extremely low-risk. To get started, companies should begin with a small test. Gain in-market learnings and then build. In our new work-from-anywhere world, we’re all learning by doing, and texting could be the tool that will keep everyone on the same page, no matter where they sign on for work.