industry 4.0

How to combat the risks of the “anywhere” employee in manufacturing

Over 40 percent of America’s workforce is continuing to work remotely through 2021, and it’s predicted that nearly a quarter of the workforce will remain “anywhere” employees by 2025—an 87 percent increase from pre-pandemic numbers. To be sure, having the technology and network infrastructure already in existence to swiftly support these “anywhere” employees has been a godsend. But in the long run, there are risks that need to be mitigated when half the company is working remotely, as well as new habits and technologies that need to be firmly established and adopted.

As manufacturing organizations across the globe adapt to a remote work culture that’s set to stay long past the pandemic, there are naturally many concerns about these “anywhere” employees. If customer service, sales, channel partners, and more are all working remotely, there are bound to be fundamental changes to how work gets done in your company. The sooner your company addresses the risks associated with these changes, the more agile and prepared for the future of work you’ll be. 

In this blog, we’ll address three core risks that come with the “anywhere” employee in manufacturing and how IT decision-makers in the industry can provide comprehensive solutions to them. 


More disconnect between front and back-office departments → Leverage messaging on multiple channels

Even in the before times—when corona was just a drink and our passports weren’t so dusty—there was still a consistent struggle to keep front and back-office workers efficiently connected and in sync. Now with the added ingredient of remote work, that threat looms ever larger. But the need for seamless collaboration between corporate knowledge workers and factory floor/warehouse workers is critical in any time and setting. To fix this, it’s time manufacturers leverage communication tools across multiple channels. What used to be done by a quick walk up or downstairs now must be done with some typing and clicks.

Manufacturers ought to exploit the best communication channels in multiple categories: asynchronous (email, SMS, recorded videos), synchronous (video conferencing, phone calls), just-in-time alerts, in-context messaging feeds. Workers who may not have been actively involved with CRM platforms in the past may need to be now if that’s where the communication is happening (and if you’re doing things right, it is happening on CRM with the Salesforce Chatter feed supplying in-context project and fulfillment messaging). 

Take some time to identify multiple channels of communication. There’s no shortage of options, so pick the ones best suited to your business and your teams. But don’t rely on just…



Want to keep reading? Download the complete ebook—A New Way of Work: Post-Pandemic Planning for Manufacturers.

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