From conducting researching and development to bringing products to market, digital transformation has made business processes smarter, faster and cheaper than ever before.

But it’s not just about how; where we do business has changed too. Gone are the days of the coffee machine, four beige walls and the 9-5, trends and technologies have conspired to create a mobile workforce, with employees now able to perform just as effectively from the comfort of their own home.

This arrangement lets workers make the most out of their time, while companies gain employees who are happier, less stressed and more productive. It’s no surprise that strong, forward-thinking companies see this culture as a means to maintaining competitive advantage.

But an effective flexible working policy needs to be underpinned by effective technology – software that can complement mobile workers in their bid to do more for your firm. Below we take a look at some of these technologies in more detail.

Project management

Flexible working signals a departure from the rigid structures of the office world – the workstation, the hours, managers and colleagues keeping a subtle eye on how your time is filled, minute to minute.

If welcome to workers, this freedom can be a sticking point for bosses: how do I know my worker is being productive on company time?

Cloud-based, bespoke project management software gets around this as it can shepherd worker behaviours. For instance, platforms allow managers to create categories for different departments and their projects. Within this, tasks with set deadlines can be allocated to individual employees, files and comments can be shared, enabling workers to ask for advice and guidance, or fully collaborate as a team.

More complex platforms go to greater lengths, with sign-in features that allow bosses to track their workers’ presence at all times, although this ‘spying’ does rather detract from flexible working’s big selling point.

The strength of project management software lies in its power to organise. It can be accessed at any time, from any place with an internet connection, and is an essential component of effective flexible working strategy. Employees remain diligent and productive, while bosses get peace of mind.

Clock-in software

It’s relatively straightforward to track the hours of a salaried workforce, but many firms rely on part-time workers with flexible shift patterns whose hours need to be clocked just as diligently. Overtime pay issues and altered benefit packages can create further complexities if bespoke working arrangements are not accurately monitored.

Electronic cards or biometric clocking devices suit office-based clocking-in needs. Operating remotely calls for these systems to be integrated into software so that bosses can be sure employees are adhering to agreed working hours.

Attendance software enable workers to log in and log out from their smart device or laptop whenever undertaking work outside the office. It may not be a popular feature with members of staff but individuals’ physical locations can even be tracked through GPS.

Integrated payroll software

Of course, thorough logging of staff hours needs to be followed up by flawless payroll procedures. In the age of digital transformation, traditional systems that rely on manual paperwork are simply not fit for purpose.

An integrated payroll platform will enable you to bring working hours and remuneration together in a way that produces accurate, trackable wage slips.

Leading with transparency, staff members can electronically receive wage slips, each of which features a full breakdown of payroll-related details. The function of integrated payroll software is to accurately track and automate pay-related business, which is extremely handy for employees working irregular shift patterns.

Nick Thompson, managing director at DCSL Software, has experienced the surge towards mobile working first-hand. He said: “A few years ago, we really started noticing the impact that mobile technology has had on the workplace. There’s an expectation now – from both employers and employees – that work shouldn’t just happen in front of a desktop computer in the office. Unfortunately, there are still many traditional businesses struggling to catch up with the times when it comes to flexible working.”

However, it’s not just about resistance to change. Sometimes, Nick explained, the biggest challenge is to find the right tools that are fit for purpose. “We often end up working with clients to create software that is unique to their business”, he says. “There can be a fine line between showing trust on one hand, and exercising control and management on the other. Here at DCSL, we always aim to fully understand what the most efficient solution would look like – and then build it, in close collaboration with the client. The result is a software solution that allows everyone to perform better, without being restricted by out-of-the box functions that don’t add value. Through bespoke software development we can create solutions that boost productivity and track performance while still respecting people’s integrity.”

As technology has driven how and where we do business, traditional procedures have become more dynamic so that organisations can stay competitive as they scale.

Flexible working is an undisputed energy within this evolution, evidenced by the fact that majority of employees and employers alike say that it bolsters productivity while helping to increase company profits.

Bespoke software solutions dovetails modern practices with data-enabled management, so companies can build a global office that gets the best from its workforce.

By Stephen White, Amplified Business Content