How Remote Work Has Shifted Product Strategies in a New Direction?
Written by: Hrishikesh Pardeshi, Founder at Flexiple, buildd & Remote Tools.
Last updated: Jan 19, 2023
Remote work has had a significant impact on product strategies. It isn't easy to find one-size-fits-all solutions when a business has workers with unique needs working across time zones spread out worldwide. This is especially true in large organizations where different teams operate autonomously and are responsible for their projects.
As a result, cross-team collaboration becomes vital when developing a product or service that requires input from multiple people with unique skill sets located in various parts of the country—or the world.
Ways Remote Work Has Shifted Product Strategies
Table of Contents
- Cross-team collaboration
- Flexible work hours
- Product development
- New tools
- Market identification strategies
- Selling product strategy goals
The most significant way remote work has shifted product strategies is through cross-team collaboration. While it's easy to collaborate with others on the same floor or in nearby offices, it can be difficult to coordinate across different time zones.
This can add to roadblocks and delayed results within the workplace. However, many companies have developed and improved platforms rapidly to make it work in this recent transition of work circumstances.
As a result, many organizations are finding that they need to develop new ways to facilitate communication and teamwork across teams that might not even be located in the same country.
Flexible Work Hours
The clock often manages remote workers because their supervisors can't see them. It means that remote workforces have different schedules than on-site teams, requiring flexible hours for everyone involved.
It's no longer feasible to always expect people to be at their desks between 9-5. With remote workforces, bosses need to provide for different start times, break times, and even lunch hours that don't all line up perfectly with the day of the rest of the teams.
This resulted in different performance tracking systems to measure if employees met their own KPIs and the rest of the workload assigned to them.
Today's most significant problems companies encounter are user experience (UX) issues. The best way to fix these UX issues is through prototyping and testing new ideas. However, it requires teams to work closely together, with constant feedback and input throughout the new product development process.
In addition, the best time to discover UX issues is before a product goes into production, which means that companies with remote workforces need to find ways of making prototyping and testing as easy and efficient as possible for their teams.
Product development is one of the aspects that was impacted most as testing new products are in general a back and forth process. Having virtual employees can delay this process on top of having general delays as different time zones etc.
There are many new tools that remote workers can use to facilitate communication. For example, Google Hangouts, Slack, and Dropbox Paper are all valuable tools for communicating quickly, and these capabilities will only improve over time with AI integration.
Remote work is changing how companies operate across the board, but it's also leading to the emergence of new tools that can help keep everyone organized and on task. As more companies turn to remote work, people are likely to see even more new tools that can help them stay productive, even when they're working from home.
This has forced application and software developing companies to advance their products at the speed of light. There have been numerous highly successful applications and software launched over the last few months, especially starting with the lockdown period tied to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Market Identification Strategies
One of the most significant ways remote workers impact product strategies is through market identification. When the workforce is spread out across different time zones, it can be challenging to know the current market trends and how one should target products at consumers who might utilize them differently than on-site employees.
By working closely with teams located throughout the country, companies with remote workers can better understand market trends and the potential for new products.
With this being said, market identification strategies have been improved as well with having employees all over the world. People from different parts of the world experience different markets and can closely be monitored as well when considering a global market.
Setting Product Strategy Goals
In the past, product development strategies focused on meeting organizational goals. Companies tried to figure out how to make their products as efficient as possible, which usually meant focusing on what management wants and tailoring plans to suit those needs.
With remote workforces, companies now need to focus more on user-centered design and setting goals that meet specific company needs while also solving users' problems.
Just as remote workforces have shifted management structures, they've also led to a shift in how companies set goals and plan development. It's no longer a matter of simply imposing the boss’ will on the workforce. It's now more important than ever before to set goals that help the company while meeting users' needs.
Changing Product Strategist's Role
The most significant change that remote workforces have brought is a new product strategis. In the past, companies would hire employees based on their line of work, but in today's increasingly small world, it makes sense to hire people who can do all sorts of jobs from home. This also keeps evolving as technology advances and it enables a broader range of jobs to be performed from anywhere in the world.
This means hiring product strategists whose skill set matches your company's needs. For example, if the product creation doesn't rely much on working in person, hiring a strategist who works remotely probably makes more sense than someone who needs to be in the office all day. A remote strategist would also communicate easier and more effectively having the knowledge and skills of working from home and using software that enables them to perform everything remotely.
The best product strategists understand how to work with various teams and can quickly and easily communicate their ideas and feedback. As more companies are turning to remote workforces, this means that it's more important than ever for product strategists to have thick skin and the ability to handle criticism quickly while creating a product.
Remote work is here to stay, and companies need to embrace these changes if they want to succeed in today's market. By making sure that a company has apt tools, right product strategists, and user-centered designs, any business will be able to meet their organizational goals while also helping users solve their problems.
With the handful of jobs that can’t be performed remotely, might never end in being a remote work, for example a surgeon or the medical field. These are exceptions, but the rest of the world is transforming and advancing in a digital direction and the best strategy is to evolve your company as soon as possible to stay in the loop as technology will not stop evolving.
It’s a never ending evolving concept and our workspaces might change radically in the near future again. The best business strategy would be to stay updated and keep exploring new ways of doing business, as most software companies upgrade their products to make a task easier for a company.