Transformation of the world of work, shortage of skilled workers in the Swiss fiduciary sector and the ever louder demand for location-independent working, not only since the Covid pandemic: The topic of remote work is also becoming increasingly relevant for the fiduciary sector. What challenges do fiduciary companies face with the increased incidence of remote work? How can managers motivate their employees in remote teams? What needs to be considered so that the team spirit does not suffer due to a lack of personal interaction? In this blog post, there are tips on how fiduciary leaders successfully manage remote teams.
Whether working from Bali, Berlin or the Bernese Oberland: The option to work remotely can contribute to the satisfaction of your younger employees. Many digital natives – who currently make up a large proportion of fiduciary professionals in the labour market – indicated in surveys years before the outbreak of the Covid pandemic that flexible working hours and the possibility of remote working were a non-negligible aspect when choosing an employer. For many employees, it is motivating to be able to work in an environment that suits them. At the same time, due to the shortage of skilled workers in the fiduciary sector, it may make sense to recruit fiduciaries who live further away and who do not want to or cannot commute to the office every day. New tech solutions for fiduciaries help ensure remote teams can work together constructively at all times.
Remote work: these are the challenges fiduciary companies must overcome
The management of remote teams is also called remote leadership and poses new challenges for fiduciary company managers. Below you will find an overview of the most important features of working in remote teams.
One of the first points that fiduciary companies should clarify when running remote teams is how to ensure data protection. Data loss can lead to irreparable reputational damage and may even result in criminal prosecution. If your clients’ data falls into the wrong hands – intentionally or accidentally – your fiduciary company is threatened with a loss of fiduciary, fines and sanctions.
Attention: Many international providers of accounting tools have their headquarters in the USA, where access to company data is possible without judicial control by means of the Patriot Act. In Switzerland, however, this is not allowed. For example, if you work with the Swiss fiduciary accounting software from Accounto all your clients’ data is subject to Swiss data protection law.
In addition to choosing your work tools carefully, you can further reduce the risk of data theft or leaks with simple precautions you can implement: Only store sensitive data on password-protected platforms and systems. Protect work equipment from unauthorised access. Do not give out login data to external persons. If you are asked to give out a password by employees or the IT managers, you should first check the authenticity of the request. Define strict access rights for all systems. Give all employees only those rights that they actually need. This reduces the likelihood of users infecting business-critical applications, data and services through lack of caution.
Besides data treasure, the availability of collaboration tools is an important factor in remote teamwork. The availability of fiduciary software solutions should be at least 99.9 percent. This allows your remote workers to collaborate efficiently at all times.
Knowledge transfer can be more difficult in remote teams than when all employees spend several days a week together in the office and can turn directly to their desk neighbours for questions and clarifications. Organise in-house training and education several times a year that is tailored to the needs of your employees.
Critics of remote teams often claim that remote work leads to a loss of team spirit in the medium term. As leaders, you can counteract this by communicating openly and transparently. What goals do you set for the next quarter or the following business year? Is everyone behind the goals? What steps do you need to take to achieve these goals as a team? What is each team member working on at the moment? Who needs support and where? What channels can employees use to ask for help? How does the team deal with problems? To promote team spirit in remote teams, you should also create space for non-committal conversations. This can range from a weekly break or aperitif call, to a Slack channel for jokes, to virtual or hybrid team-building activities.
Find out what suits your remote team or check with employees to find out their preferences. If possible, it is also very conducive to team spirit if you bring all team members together in the same place from time to time. As managers of hybrid teams, it is imperative that you treat on-site employees and those in the home office equally. Because hardly anything causes more dissatisfaction, resentment and strife in the workplace than unfair bosses.
Closely linked to the success factor of communication is the creation of a constructive feedback culture. Exchange information with the employees on a regular basis. Especially representatives of generations Y and Z expect continuous feedback on their own work. Praise exceptional commitment, pay tribute to good performance and, if necessary, point out areas for improvement. Conversely, also be open to feedback. Accept criticism and requests for changes.