Connected working is one of the emerging trends to hit the HR and Finance landscape in recent years. With its capacity to respond to a changing workforce where agility and remote working are required, it’s easy to see why it is trending. There is already well established benefits of connected working for the two main teams it impacts, HR and finance. But what about the benefits to the wider business? From the power it offers management to uncover a single version of the truth, to the cost control and productivity savings that all teams can utilize by accessing a synchronized dashboard of data, there are plenty of reasons to consider connected working.
For those wondering how to work more efficiently and more productively, collaboration is often the answer. Connected working allows for leaders in each department to use their skills to contribute to the wider health of the business. An Accounting Web survey found that 45% of financial directors felt that their role was either no more strategic than before or even less so. This suggests that for many businesses, there’s an untapped resource there.
This chance to re-focus on what matters affects everyone, and saves time from being wasted on what’s not important. “Anyone who’s working off spreadsheets or pieces of paper, they are definitely missing a trick,” said the Head of Procurement from Dalata Hotel Group PLC.
Single version of the truth
To one team member, a project may be going amazingly well because of a viral marketing campaign or high user retention rates. But to another team member, the same project could be failing because of a serious cash flow issue. By connecting pieces of information from all sides (especially connecting an assessment of human capital with one of financial capital), you can gain an accurate assessment of what’s going on. This is why it’s important to have a collaborative and intuitive system in place.
Transparency and communication
Communication is essential both for practical processes and developing the senses of teamwork, happiness and purpose. However, when individuals within teams work in an isolated way, there’s a high potential for mistakes to happen and for peer review to fail to take place. Which is why making communication as simple as possible is vital. This is achieved through instant messaging or speedy email systems.
Polycom has found that 91% of workers around the world feel like they have gotten to know their colleagues better as a direct consequence of using technological collaboration tools – which means that, for those businesses, teamwork now flows naturally. Connected communication also means that decisions can be taken more quickly.
For leaders, connected working also offers strategic long-term benefits. For example, if you use an agent-based model to project your business’ or industry’s performance in the future, these will be more accurate if you incorporate data from all departments rather than just one or two – giving you a better return on your investment in the model to begin with.
Scalability and investment
Seasoned investors can spot a disorganized and siloed company a mile off, and you’re likely to lose out if you come across this way. If you ever come to list your company on a stock exchange, meanwhile, you’ll need to make public more information and data than ever before – so an integrated dashboard will become essential.
While connected working has its obvious benefits from the point of view of the HR team, there’s also much more it can bring to a workplace. Whether it’s the streamlined data it can deliver to a C-suite member preparing an important investment pitch or the way it can help a senior manager to make informed operational decisions on how to increase profitability, connected working has plenty of benefits.