4 Ways to Empower Remote Workers
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Today, more than ever, companies are recognizing the value of embracing remote work as a viable and productive alternative to traditional office-based setups.
According to Cisco, approximately 57 percent of employees visit the office 10 days or less a month and 98 percent of meetings include remote participants. With remote work here to stay, leaders must now consider the employee experience both inside and outside of the office.
How can large enterprises deliver a seamless remote work experience that fosters effective collaboration and empowers employees to do their jobs effectively?
I'll answer this question by examining four key pillars of remote work.
Virtual meetings have become an integral part of the modern remote work landscape.
According to a recent survey, 93 percent of employees spend two or more hours in video meetings each day. How can organizations ensure these meetings are productive and inclusive?
First, employees must be able to easily join and participate in meetings. There are many hybrid meeting solutions available on the market today from technology companies like Poly, Cisco Webex, Microsoft and others that can support video conferencing interoperability. This allows employees to join a meeting no matter the platform – no matter the platform – in a few clicks or less. Second, organizations must consider supplying remote workers with the right equipment to provide the same high-quality experience they would receive in the office.
- Enable remote workers with professional-grade headsets, cameras and speakers to equal the playing field.
- Continue to reevaluate room strategy, configurations, and technology.
- Remove silos within hybrid meetings to ensure meeting equality.
- Offer resources to assist remote workers in resolving any connectivity, software or hardware issues.
Knowledge workers, as their name implies, rely on sharing knowledge to get their jobs done. When these employees shift to working from home full time, the inability to turn to a colleague for advice or to bounce ideas back and forth can be isolating. It's essential to give employees a team collaboration platform in which they can share their knowledge and collaborate as seamlessly as possible. In addition, the shift from the individual worker to the "team of teams" model has increased the need for connected groups to constantly communicate and share content in real time.
Front runners in this space for large enterprises are Microsoft Teams, Slack and Webex. The persistent nature of these platforms not only helps teammates share ideas, but also make it easy for managers to keep tabs on what their teams are working on and jump in to help when needed.
- Leverage enterprise buying agreements for the most cost-effective models.
- Understand your organization's security posture to avoid risk or data loss.
- Discourage small teams from using free versions of software through personal accounts.
- Tap into existing expertise. Chances are groups of employees have already embraced these tools. Allow them to coach peers who are just getting started.
- Reduce the number of tools.
- Understand how these tools act both in and outside of your organization. Some tools may not be as good as others when interacting with those outside of your business.
Organizations invest significant resources, both time and costs, to ensure optimal performance of their corporate applications. But how much would that matter if remote workers are unable to access these apps?
VMware Workspace One took the strain out of remote device management and compliance. These solutions can be hosted on-premises, in a public cloud or a combination of both, providing high-performance user experiences without the need for full-device VPN connections.
Giving staff the ability to manage devices over untrusted or trusted networks of varying bandwidth can save IT tremendous time and cost.
- If you currently have application and desktop virtualization, evaluate your licensing to determine if you're prepared.
- Consider expanding existing remote access use cases. Can you virtualize any additional applications or access to desktops?
- Be prepared for increased circuit network bandwidth utilization.
- Investigate solutions that can be spun up and expanded quickly, particularly cloud-based or hybrid solutions.
- Educate end users on how to access applications.
Advances in calling are helping remote employees stay connected. While collaboration and messaging tools are helpful, many workers in departments like human resources (HR), sales and call centers still need access to phone systems to do their jobs effectively.
If large enterprises can't provide remote employees access to their phone systems, they risk losing market share and hitting numbers. Luckily, vendors like Cisco and Microsoft offer various solutions for cloud calling that give remote users the same benefits of an on-premise PBX phone system. Not only that, but phone systems hosted in the cloud can be easier to get up and running than you may think. Replacing the need for organizations to manage their own system, has given significant benefits like cost and infrastructure reduction.
- Prioritize call forwarding.
- Prioritize single number reach.
- Enable users for mobile remote access.
- Provide tools such as headsets and web cams for improved voice and video.
By delivering remote workers a rich meeting experience, team collaboration, the ability to easily work from any device and powerful calling, organizations can foster productivity, enhance communication, and support seamless workflows, regardless of location.
Technology gives us the ability to bring nearly all the benefits of office life outside of the office. With the right approach and remote work strategy, leaders can advance their organization's overall vision for collaboration and improve the lives of remote workers.