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Blog Image January 20, 2021

Emerging Tech Trends That Will Assist in Bringing Remote Teams Closer Together in 2021

Whether or not you consider yourself a proponent of remote work, the events that unfolded in 2020 prove that working remotely is here to stay, making right now the ideal time for property owners and management companies to set new goals for managing their workforces in 2021. By implementing work-from-home practices, you can help maintain proper capacity in your leasing offices, ensure the safety of your residents and staff, promote environmental sustainability, and even cut operational costs.

However, the work-from-home phenomenon hasn’t come without its own set of challenges. Staff members may experience moments of reduced direction, coordination, and communication. Social isolation is also a new, unique obstacle for many businesses hoping to maintain a strong company culture and positive working relationships from a distance. Finally, unclear performance metrics have left businesses in every industry wondering where they stand amongst competitors and how they should readjust their focus in the new year.

Luckily, the tech industry is closely attuned to such issues and continues to release various solutions into the market, including within the PropTech space. Here are a few trends that we predict will help with managing remote teams in 2021.

Virtual communication will continue to take hold of the market.

If 2020 demonstrated anything, it was the importance of virtual communication, otherwise known as the Zoom Boom. Allowing us to remain connected to one another and embrace being separated in unfamiliar, isolating ways, the California-based video communications company became a rising star among pandemic technology solutions. Zoom has allowed us uninterrupted access to one another in a de facto online social space for families, friends, and businesses. The application was even recently named 2020’s top free app download across Apple iPhone and iPad devices.

Zoom will continue its ascent in 2021, with the company’s stocks still being considered a strong buy on Wall Street. As Zoom remains prosperous, its users can expect the app to roll out more enhanced features, designed to unify communication and collaboration strategies for business leaders and their teams. Not only will the app be available across more devices, but it will also release whiteboarding enhancements with features like infinite canvas, snapshots, and templates. Zoom will also strengthen its dashboard analytics and list of voice commands. Adjacent companies, like Microsoft Teams and Slack, are expected to follow suit.

Online-based company culture will take a front-row seat.

As much as we love the convenience and connection Zoom and other similar companies have facilitated during these challenging times, it’s not a cure-all to 2020’s laundry list of obstacles. At the end of the day, we are still human beings in need of conversation, interaction, and affirmation, and there’s only so much that video chat can do when it comes to improving your company’s culture . Just as the Zoom Boom became a reality for us all, so did Zoom fatigue. No matter how seamless the application, video chatting takes a lot of extra time and energy from workers, and it can be less effective in keeping team members actively engaged in comparison with face-to-face interactions.

Zoom , Microsoft Teams, and Slack are very aware of these challenges and have begun to deliver resources that combine digital ingenuity with human touch. One way that they accomplished this was by introducing of GIF keyboards and enhanced libraries of emojis and stickers to an otherwise cold and corporate chat window. These fun add-ons help make online chatting more akin to interpersonal interaction. Additionally, these applications allow companies to implement non-work-related chat channels, where teams at all levels can bond over mutual interests, coordinate after-hours virtual socials, and promote lunch break wellness activities, like yoga or meditation. Introducing the right type of technology tools will encourage your team to become more content and productive in their roles.

Measurable analytics of new practices will become the end-all-be-all.

Remote work has seen a 400 percent increase in the past decade, thanks in no small part to the current public health situation. A large percentage of the American workforce would work remotely for the rest of their careers if allowed, as it provides flexibility, limited distractions, and zero commute. Despite its consistent array of advantages, though, one issue with remote work will top executives’ to-do lists in 2021: better establishing measurable Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. Where does the health of your company or individual community lie right now, and how will it measure up once the dust has settled?

In 2021, the tech industry looks to establish more comprehensive metrics for remote workers and the managers that oversee their workloads. CRM systems , such as Salesforce – whose revenue was up by 5.42 billion dollars in 2020 – will continue to play a crucial role in uncovering and understanding actionable data-driven insights. Salesforce and other CRM applications, like Zoho and Apptivo, accomplish this by tracking every interaction between your team and potential and current customers. Yet, no matter how intelligent these systems may be, there will still be plenty of room for teams to unpack the data delivered by these applications. Looking beyond this year, it will be up to human minds to work alongside these technological solutions, setting business goals, locating the appropriate documentation processes, and leveraging other tools needed for success.

Without a doubt, 2020 has underscored the need for flexible business models, adaptable staff members, and seamless technological tools that connect us all within an instant. Although managing teams has never been easy in general, managing remote teams has presented entirely new challenges to businesses and both their remote and on-site staff members. 2021 will witness further evolution of the work-from-home lifestyle by relying upon next-generation technology, coupled with human ingenuity, to redefine how companies within the multifamily sector and beyond continue “business as usual.”

About The Author

Melinda M. Kirby is a leader in the women in technology movement and the ultimate go-to people person. She is the Chief Administrative Officer at 365 Connect, the leader in delivering the world's most sophisticated automated marketing, leasing, and resident engagement platform for multifamily communities across the globe.

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