A prime part of the motivation for entrepreneurs starting their own businesses is usually the freedom from not having to deal with office politics.
Ask anyone who has worked in an office, especially as a lower-level employee: it is never enough just to do a decent job. There always seems to be that one boss who favors employees for reasons other than a job well done: one employee talks a great game despite barely working; another is so strikingly attractive that they get the lion’s share of attention; yet another tells such great jokes they can get away with anything; and yet another missing work half the time manages to elicit executive sympathy for his or her physical disorder and the quality of their work is just passed over.
The advent of cloud computing is bringing about a new corporate environment in which there is no office. Everyone is working remotely from their own locations and the physical building is a thing of the past. In addition to many other benefits, this scenario spells the end of office politics.
Is Proximity a Bad Thing?
One would think that physical proximity of workers would foster harmony and fairness—but over the 100-plus years that the office environment has been in existence, this has been proven anything but true.
Of course the basic problem isn’t so much the proximity—it is the fact that managers and to some degree executives are never fully trained to pay attention only to the quality of employees’ work. In a very few organizations, if a person is doing a fantastic job for the company that’s all that matters; others can cozy up to the boss, try and distract attention away from the poor job they are doing or resort to other devious measures—but in that rare organizational instance it doesn’t matter because only quality work wins out.
For the majority of companies, this is not the case, and many woeful employee tales attest to this fact. In many enterprises, it is the smooth operator, the expert in office politics—or what in former days was called the “yes man”—who succeeds while those working hard and actually getting it done are passed over for promotions and raises.
But the brave new corporate world, made possible by cloud computing, is putting an end to all that.
The Cloud Computing Advantage in Managing Office Politics
In a virtual company environment, managers or executives are not physically present with their employees. Hence the primary monitoring point of employee work is not personality—it’s results.
Think about it: the manager is logging into the company virtual headquarters, located in the cloud. She is looking over the work that just came in and evaluating it on its own merits. There is no employee sitting before her trying to explain away mistakes or excusing a missed deadline. The works speak for itself; it’s either up to snuff or it isn’t.
That manager has good cause to operate in this fashion, for the executives above her are working the same way and evaluating her strictly on her results.
Of course, those results will not be obtainable without the right cloud computing technology.
Technology and CRM Solutions
A business is a business because it is dealing with other entities such as consumers or other businesses. The more remote you are from the entities to which your company is selling, the more superior your technology and customer/prospect data must be.
It goes without saying that you must have applications such as meeting and collaboration software that will make it as good or better than “being there.” But the crucial piece of the puzzle is the CRM solution.
An intuitive, flexible CRM application makes it possible for everyone in the virtual company who deals with customers or prospects to rapidly locate usable and complete data about those with whom they are communicating. Employees must also be able to save information in logical ways that show others—such as managers—how a sale, marketing campaign or even tech support ticket is progressing.
CRM has always been important, but in today’s virtual business environment it is more important than ever. This is especially true in a strictly results-based operation; the quality of your employees’ work can be directly correlated to the usability of your CRM solution.
Cloud computing has brought about a whole new virtual world for enterprises in which results are the only factor in judging someone’s work. With the right technology, the working environment is once again a safe place for those who truly perform on the job.
See our other articles on the changing face of business.