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“The results are in, and it’s a win for the WFH hybrid.”

My recent poll on Linked In showed that only 6% of those who answered expected to be back in the office full time in the near future. The vast majority – 72% said they’d be doing between 1 and 4 days in the office. Reassuringly for businesses, of those nearly half wanted to work in the office 3-4 days a week.  My small poll is not statistically representative. For that, it would need to have had over 3,000 responses. But as for ‘testing the water’ about what people would like to do, I think it shows a strong inclination towards more flexible working patterns with 100% presence in the office being unlikely to become normal ever again.

A sign of the times

I was not the only person on Linked In to post a poll exploring attitudes and expectations towards returning to the office as lockdown eases. I’ve recently seen several others, including the CICM, post similar polls about whether people expect to be back in the office full time, part-time or remain largely working from home for the foreseeable future. In an article in GQ Magazine last year, an article with the provocative headline, “COVID 19 Has Not Killed The Office”, subtitled, “The Office is Already  Dead”, suggested that lockdown had not radically changed things, only accelerated them. It quoted a Dutch researcher in whose opinion,

“The global pandemic sent trends that were already happening into hyperdrive”.

As with eCommerce, online shopping was already overtaking high street and in-store shopping and the companies, like TopShop, Debenhams and others that have failed to adapt in line with those trends have suffered the worst fate – they’ve gone under. That is to say – they’ve been engulfed by their more switched on competitors who have put digital-first.  But this is not about digital – it’s about adapting to change.

Adapt to survive

For a year now, many companies have coped but not thrived, with laptops or VPN access from people’s home computers enabling home working. Getting into the company systems is one thing, but keeping a team motivated and focused is another. There is a sociological concept called The Coaction Effect that suggests people are more productive when they work alongside each other – possibly our innate competitive streaks, and possibly to do with our desire to fit into a tribe or group. In sociology, it is widely understood that motivation and productivity go hand in hand, and teams work better together physically. Zoom and alternatives have helped us all stay somewhat together, but companies are now looking for more lasting solutions to remote working that are designed to stimulate and enable productivity. Enter, Corrivo.

Motivating Teams

The first thing you see when you log in as a Corrivo user is your dashboard. The tiles on the screen show your personal achievements and outstanding tasks: the ‘done and to do’ lists as it were.  Also displayed are the achievements and tasks for your team. The dashboards are configurable so that you can move the tiles around, so the first thing to catch your eye is the one you need to action. Your team leader can also set this for all involved, so you have the flexibility to design the dashboard to fit your business priorities.  Typically, those managing invoices, collections, queries, disputes or invoice payment allocation would have responsibility for a number of accounts. They see the results for those accounts they cover. Team managers, though, can assign accounts and tasks to different team members to keep the team on track with its goals if someone in the team is absent, or even reassign a task or account to a more senior manager who can handle sensitive cases well.

Productivity

As if those high-level objectives on the dashboard were not enough, each user in Corrivo has a neatly organised workflow waiting for them which takes the pain out of scheduling and lets them get on with customer relations. Queries on newly sent invoices are organised by urgency. Overdue invoices within the Collections Module are organised so that a list of the calls you need to make today are available, with all the contact details and case history. Likewise, a list of all the letters to approve are there, perfectly formatted ready to send subject to your last-minute sense check. As soon as a payment is made and allocated to the account, the letter for approval disappears. If there are part paid invoices, you get to decide what to do. Having your workflow so neatly and sweetly arranged allows for a calm, methodical approach. It allows managers to get a sense of how many calls and contacts a single person can make in a day, so they can also tell when productivity has dipped.

Remote Working

Corrivo was designed as a responsive, fast, reliable cloud solution that could be available 24/7 to all users. This makes it available to users from around the world; whether a team is spread across several countries or part of the function is off-shored to a third party, the whole system is continually working for you, maintaining one central point of reference that is backed up and does not provide a single point of failure. This is important because remote workers with IT issues on their computers or broadband problems do not lose any information if something goes wrong. Similarly, if your ERP system encounters a problem, your invoicing system does not suffer because it has been isolated, and you’ll always have a compliant, auditable archive and a system that can update when your other systems revive.   Not only does Corrivo already support geographically dispersed teams (a large soft drinks manufacturer comes to mind) but, it does so allowing all levels from HQ and Treasury, right down to sub-brand collections manager, to work effectively as a team, even though they’re not even in the same country.

Designed for the future, fit for the future

If you have any reservations about whether your AR system is really fit for purpose, given the outlook of a continued mixture of working from home and offices, split locations, hot-desking and flexible hours, please call for a chat. It can help to compare your current ways of working with best practice to see if there’s a gap you could work towards filling.

Contact me on the office number or my mobile or email davidh@datainterconnect.com.
Reach out to me on linkedIn for a quick chat on messenger if you prefer.

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