The pandemic brought about a shift in our work patterns. To ensure continuity during the crisis, many businesses swiftly transitioned to remote work. Looking ahead, it’s clear that remote work is a key feature of the modern workplace. A hybrid model of work is slowly but surely becoming the new norm.
Hybrid work models, where employees split their time between remote and in-office work, have gained traction. However, maintaining a cohesive and positive employee culture in a hybrid environment can be a challenge.
One tool that can help navigate this transition and foster a positive employee culture is an ERP system. It’s widely acknowledged that, for technology integration to be successful, businesses need to foster a culture that supports change, innovation and improvement. However, the opposite isn’t often considered ⸺ how does ERP impact company culture?
ERP’s capabilities, including centralising information, streamlining processes, and facilitating communication, contribute significantly to sustaining and enhancing employee culture in hybrid workplaces.
Four ways ERP can benefit hybrid work culture
1. Unified access to information
As the number of remote workers increases, the biggest challenges don't stem from a lack of passion or dedication. Instead, the main barrier is limited access to information that’s generally available in an office environment. For most of us, the hassle of searching through a full inbox or combing shared drives for documents is all too familiar.
Having a cohesive system in place benefits everyone by ensuring that answers can be found without the need to lodge a request with the BI team, or email multiple people to find the right person to speak to. The ability to access a system and locate the necessary information enhances efficiency and productivity.
ERP systems provide a unified platform where all employees can access essential information. Whether in-office or remote, everyone can locate and use the data they need.
2. Seamless collaboration
Hybrid collaboration comes with its share of challenges. Technical hiccups arise with the use of unreliable tools and apps. It can be difficult to ensure equal participation and inclusivity, especially when it comes to managing different rules of engagement for in-person and remote teams.
ERP systems facilitate frictionless teamwork across locations by allowing employees to work on shared documents, monitor project progress, and communicate effortlessly. Distance shouldn’t hinder collaboration, and everyone should feel part of the team, regardless of their physical location.
3. Transparent communication
Hand-in-hand with collaboration, communication in hybrid environments isn’t always straightforward. Factors like time zone differences, varying communication tools, and the potential for information silos can hinder effective collaboration.
ERP systems can generally be integrated with communication tools and channels, enabling employees to share calendars for scheduling and task coordination.
They also offer real-time tracking and monitoring of project progress. Every interaction, transaction, or project-related detail is documented within the system. This transparency helps build trust among team members, as everyone can see the contributions and efforts of their colleagues, even when working remotely.4. Enabling upselling and cross-selling
Beyond internal benefits, ERP systems also play an important role in enhancing customer interactions. In a hybrid environment, remote teams may face challenges coordinating and sharing real-time information, impacting their ability to seize upselling or cross-selling opportunities.
ERP systems connect with other business areas, opening opportunities for potential upselling or cross-selling when customers return. If a customer shows interest in a specific service, ERP allows employees to identify and communicate complementary offerings. This not only boosts revenue but also reinforces the importance of a customer-centric culture.
Elevating culture with accessible ERP
It’s great to talk about the benefits of ERP and how it can make hybrid and remote working not just a possibility but a benefit. However, if an ERP seems out of reach for your business, it doesn’t mean much to you.
Luckily, the acceleration of technology and digitisation in the workplace has changed the way businesses use and access ERP platforms. No longer only a tool for Enterprise businesses with multi-million-dollar revenue, there are now great ERP options for small and mid-sized businesses.
SAP Business One is on such platform, which offers all the benefits and features of an ERP system designed for the needs and budgets of smaller businesses.
Hybrid and remote working benefits aren’t just for big companies. With an ERP like SAP B1, smaller businesses can also offer the working flexibility that is preferred by many and compete for talent demanding these sorts of perks.