The way we work has changed and many of us are now spending more time than ever before working from home from our kitchen or dining room tables. Indeed, some of us are even creating home offices as we integrate working remotely more fully into our daily lives.
And while there are most definitely pros to working from home (goodbye commute, hello comfortable clothing!) the one thing we all need to do is to make sure that we remain as productive and motivated as we did when we were working purely from our offices.
But how do you do that when your coworkers are also working from home and your essential tools, equipment, files and tech are all in the office?
You do it by embracing technology. And if you are a small to medium sized shipowner (or you're working for one), and you enjoy being up-to-date with all things tech, you probably don’t need us to point out that some of your managers, employees or coworkers might not be quite so accepting!
The maritime industry is notoriously resistant to change but that in itself needs to change if your shipping company is to keep up with your competitors in this ever-evolving new world of work we now find ourselves in.
So let’s take a closer look at how to make working from home easier, and the technology you should be using to help facilitate that.
How to make working from home easier with Software as a Service
When all, or most, of your team, are scattered around in different locations, you need a fool-proof way to make sure that everyone is working from the same page - quite literally in many cases!
That means utilizing communication tools, whether it’s a work group chat on WhatsApp (which you can also download onto your computer), or Skype, Zoom or Slack messages and video calls. (To name just a few.)
You will also probably want to get everyone using a project management tool such as a workflow-based Kanban-style platform like Trello, Monday, or Smartsheet so that you’re organized and have an overview of what everyone is working on - a must in the absence of your daily meetings or water cooler chats.
And if you’re dealing with maritime recruitment or crew management and planning, you will also be reliant on the platform you use to deal with all the ins and outs of your daily workload.
But problems arise when the software you use for managing your seafarer sourcing, recruitment pipelines, candidate interviews and negotiation, and your crew scheduling and change overs is downloaded onto your desktop computer at work.
How are you meant to access your calendar, crew planner, fleet information, and your seafarers’ documents, visas, certificates, and contracts etc. etc. when they’re stored on a computer that is in a completely different location to where you’re sitting, pen in hand, trying to get things done?
You switch to an SaaS - a Software as a Service model instead.
What’s the difference between software and Software as a Service?
- Software is something that is physically downloaded and installed on your computer.
- Software as a Service is software that is hosted in the cloud by another company.
What does this mean exactly? While traditional software is only accessible from the computer or computers it is installed on, Software as a Service is available on any device from any location because you access it online.
What are the benefits of an SaaS for people working from home?
There are a number of benefits for people who are working remotely or from home when it comes to using a Software as a Service model.
- You can access your software solution from anywhere. You don’t need to physically be in the office.
- You can log in and use your software on any device - your laptop, your home PC, your tablet, or even your smartphone - without it being installed.
- That means you don’t have to take your work PC home with you (and if you’re a manager, it means you won’t lose track of equipment being taken home by employees…)
- It’s cheaper to use an SaaS solution as you don’t have to buy it outright: you pay a monthly subscription fee.
- This also eliminates the costs of having to maintain and upgrade the software as the company who owns it takes care of all of that for you.
- And this means it’s safer too as the SaaS will always be running on the latest updates which makes it more secure.
- Security is also enhanced because an SaaS, and all your data, is hosted in the cloud.
- Software as a Service is also scalable as any reputable owner of an SaaS will be constantly upgrading and adding new features. Sure, traditional software firms upgrade their products too - but you’ll have to pay for the upgrades where as with an SaaS it’s all built in.
But basically, the biggest advantage of using a Software as a Service for you as someone who is working from home, is the log-in anytime, anywhere aspect.
You can work whether you’re at your kitchen table, in your home office, from a coffee shop, or while you’re traveling.
And so too can your coworkers. There’ll be no opportunity for ‘I couldn’t get into the office’ type excuses anymore!
What is Software as a Service for the maritime industry?
If you’re working in the maritime industry, an SaaS built specifically for your needs can be incredibly useful. It’ll empower your employees and your business.
That’s because one of the great things about a really good software solution is that it can pull together all the different strands of your operations - from integrated maritime recruitment to document management and storage to crew planning.
And when all of your documents are all uploaded and stored centrally in one system, that means you’ll never again have the stress of trying to get hold of copies of a certain contract, certificate, seaman’s book, passport or visa from the office or a coworker.
Searching through files and folders in the office becomes a thing of the past. Need a copy of that seafarer’s English test results? Log in to your account, find your seafarer, access his or her documents and download or print whatever you need.
Again, using an SaaS means that whether you’re five minutes walk from the office, five miles away, or in another city (or even country) entirely, the way you work will be no different to if you were right there.
Actually, scratch that.
The way you work will be different: It’ll be way more efficient and productive!
How Martide’s SaaS can help small to mid-sized shipping companies
At Martide we knew there was a gap in the market for an end-to-end maritime recruitment and crew planning software solution that worked exactly the way shipowners and ship managers wanted it to.
So we sat down and designed something that we knew would make the often-stressful processes and systems of sourcing qualified seafarers, hiring them, and meeting crew change dates easier...
...whether you’re in the office or working out of your spare bedroom!
And in fact, using a Software as a Service for maritime recruitment has company-wide benefits too.
For example, streamlining your processes with our SaaS means that your time to hire will be shorter and your candidates will find it easier to apply for your job vacancies.
How Software as a Service can help remote workers: Conclusion
When you’re working from home, or from any other location outside of your office, you really need to up your game. You need to be more organized and more on the ball. You need to be able to communicate with your coworkers, your candidates, your clients, and your manning agents.
And you need anytime, anywhere access to your systems, data and documents.
Martide’s SaaS helps you achieve all of those things.
We’ve already mentioned our secure document and data storage but did you know that our inbuilt message inbox gives you a 360 degree view over all communications with your seafarers and manning agencies?
Or that our Users function enables you to delegate by allowing members of your team to access your Martide account so that you can all work effectively no matter where you’re all located?
And that’s just for starters!
If you’d like to learn more about how Martide can help your small to medium sized business adapt to the challenges of working from home, get in touch with us for a free, no-strings attached chat.