The industry is changing; white-collar workers are increasingly performing their duties from home, helping cut costs and aiding productivity. However, any company looking to implement remote working into their long-term strategy must consider asset management.
Small Biz Trends explains that 70% of US citizens will likely work remotely in some form or another by 2025. However, the result hasn’t been an outright disaster. Instead, many big players have realized the inherent benefits of such practices. It results in reduced costs, such as office space and utilities. It also creates an opportunity to take advantage of skills from elsewhere in the country.
In terms of employers, asset management is not just the management of people but also their company-owned items, such as laptops, vehicles, and cell phones. If workers are onsite, you can access the assets at any time. However, in remote working, it is not quite easy.
Why Overcome Remote Work Challenges?
For employers, especially those dealing with asset management, acknowledging that remote workspaces introduce challenges is crucial. Effectively overseeing remote employees entails grappling with concerns that echo familiar workplace challenges, often magnified within the remote work context.
Essentially, the task of managing remote employees frequently entails addressing challenges that might already be part of your awareness, including:
- Limited face-to-face opportunity: In remote settings, the conventional chances for leadership and employees to discuss asset-related concerns are not readily available. This absence can lead to digital micromanaging and diminished access to leadership support and other essential resources.
- Social isolation: The absence of social interactions in a physical workplace can leave remote employees, especially those handling assets, feeling disconnected from the business, posing a challenge in managing remote teams effectively.
- Information accessibility: Remote work sometimes introduces disruptions in communication and access to asset-related information, affecting the seamless flow of task-related details and project communication.
- Home distractions: Managing remote teams involved in asset management requires recognizing that employees may contend with distractions like constrained home office space or parenting responsibilities, influencing their work environment.
Understanding and proactively addressing these asset management challenges are key aspects of successfully managing remote workers and remote teams, ensuring a cohesive and productive work experience for everyone involved.
17 Ways of Overcoming Asset Management Difficulties in Remote Work
Navigating remote work complexities requires overcoming asset management challenges to ensure a productive workforce. Challenges like limited face-to-face interaction, social isolation, disrupted information flow, and home distractions need effective solutions. Now, let’s explore 17 simple ways to tackle these issues and create a smooth remote work experience.
Addressing Ownership Concerns
Remote work often raises questions about the ownership of assets, particularly when it comes to personal vs. work-related use of equipment. While employees may occasionally need to use personal devices, companies should avoid making this a regular practice. For example, sales reps managing a personal PC off-site might encounter challenges. This emphasizes the need for clear policies and regular checks during scheduled office times to ensure proper asset management.
Navigating Remote Procurement
Remote work has implications for procurement processes within asset management. However, it doesn’t have to disrupt asset procurement if the right systems are in place. Effective communication and a positive team mindset are crucial in successfully implementing new processes. Overcoming challenges in remote procurement is more about shifting perspectives than fundamentally altering the physical aspects of asset acquisition.
Considering Fleet Management
While fleet management may not be a primary concern for remote workers, vehicle access remains crucial in certain scenarios, such as sales representatives operating in different states. Fleet management, which optimizes vehicle utilization, fuel consumption, and maintenance, can be extended to remote workers. Standard tracking systems for company fleets can effectively monitor remote workers’ fleet use.
Tackling Tracking Challenges
One significant challenge in remote work is the efficient tracking of devices, work patterns, and overall management. Physical asset tracking, aided by GPS technology, is straightforward. However, tracking software, like time-tracking tools, becomes essential for monitoring work patterns in a digital environment. Implementing such tools ensures transparency and productivity without compromising privacy.
Maintaining Asset Inventory
Even before the rise of remote work, asset inventory management often involved remote processes. The accessibility of sophisticated software enables seamless asset inventory management. Whether dealing with physical assets like phones or laptops in the field, a robust tracking system ensures remote work patterns do not impact effective asset inventory management.
Addressing Repairs and Maintenance
Remote work may raise concerns about the repair and maintenance of assets, but it doesn’t have to be a significant challenge. Establishing a network of pre-designated vendors can facilitate remote repairs and maintenance. If a vendor isn’t available at the team member’s location, finding reliable alternatives when needed is feasible. Initial repair guidance can be provided through email or phone calls, eliminating the need for team members to connect for asset maintenance physically.
Facilitating Secure Asset Transfer
In remote work scenarios, ensuring secure asset transfers between team members is essential. Implementing encrypted channels and secure file-sharing platforms can safeguard sensitive information during asset transfers. This guarantees that vital assets reach the right individuals securely, contributing to the overall efficiency of remote asset management.
Enhancing Collaboration on Asset Use
Remote work often involves collaboration on shared assets. Leveraging cloud-based collaboration tools, such as Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, fosters seamless teamwork on documents and projects. These platforms allow real-time editing, version tracking, and collaborative discussions, promoting effective asset utilization and productivity.
Promoting Cybersecurity Awareness
With remote work, the risk of cybersecurity threats increases. Promoting cybersecurity awareness among remote teams is crucial to preventing data breaches and unauthorized access to assets. Regular training sessions on cybersecurity best practices, phishing awareness, and secure online behaviors contribute to a more resilient and secure remote work environment.
Streamlining Asset Approval Processes
Remote asset management may require an efficient approval process for acquiring new assets or making significant changes. Implementing streamlined approval workflows through project management tools or dedicated approval platforms can expedite decision-making, ensuring that asset-related requests are processed promptly and with accuracy.
Implementing Remote Asset Training Programs
To ensure that remote employees effectively utilize company assets, implementing remote asset training programs becomes essential. These programs can cover proper usage, maintenance, and troubleshooting procedures for various assets. Conducting regular virtual training sessions or providing access to instructional materials contributes to a well-informed and empowered remote workforce.
Monitoring Employee Well-being
Remote work can impact employee well-being, influencing their mental health and job satisfaction. Employers should incorporate regular check-ins and surveys to assess the well-being of remote employees. This not only fosters a supportive work environment but also helps in identifying and addressing any challenges related to asset management or work dynamics.
Encouraging Remote Team Building
Building a strong remote team culture is vital for effective asset management. Encouraging virtual team-building activities, such as online games, virtual coffee breaks, or collaborative projects, enhances team cohesion and communication. A connected and engaged remote team is more likely to manage assets efficiently and collaboratively.
Prioritizing Ergonomic Workspaces
Remote workers often struggle with creating ergonomic workspaces. Providing guidelines and support for setting up comfortable and safe home offices ensures that employees can effectively use their assets without compromising their health. This proactive approach contributes to sustained productivity and well-being in a remote work environment.
Establishing Remote IT Support
Remote asset management inevitably involves addressing technical issues. Establishing a robust remote IT support system ensures that employees have access to timely assistance for any asset-related challenges. Implementing ticketing systems or dedicated communication channels for IT support enhances the efficiency of remote asset troubleshooting.
Implementing Asset Retirement Policies
Remote work may necessitate the retirement or replacement of assets. Developing clear asset retirement policies and procedures ensures a systematic approach to phasing out outdated or non-functional assets. This proactive strategy prevents potential disruptions in remote work due to unreliable equipment and contributes to the overall efficiency of asset management.
Continuously Optimizing Remote Work Processes
Embracing a culture of continuous improvement is essential in remote asset management. Regularly reviewing and optimizing remote work processes, including asset acquisition, utilization, and maintenance, helps adapt to evolving challenges and technological advancements. This iterative approach ensures that remote asset management remains efficient and aligned with organizational goals.
Remote working shouldn’t create many problems for a modern, digitally aware company. You can easily track and manage the physical assets. Perhaps that should be standard at bigger companies anyway. Whether people are onsite or not, you need to monitor software licenses and so on. Essentially, most asset management works as if it were remote – items are in different buildings, on other floors, and the difference between that and being in a home is negligible.
As for managing people’s assets, a good company should already have a strategy. The important thing is to remember that people are assets, just as much as laptops, vehicles, or cell phones. Once you have grasped that, you should be fine.