Remote Working Is Here to Stay: 3 Must-Dos to Achieve Effectiveness in the New Normal
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our perceptions of the workplace and forced businesses to reevaluate their approach to work arrangements. Previously, businesses have concentrated efforts on improving the physical work environment. Since the onset of COVID-19, there has been a shift of focus to the digital workplace along with the tools that boost productivity and collaboration in a remote arrangement.
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A top priority for many leaders is ensuring that the workforce stays connected despite the distance. There are some important aspects of collaborative tools for effective remote work:
Real time – With virtual meetings becoming an integral part of collaboration, complicated call set-ups and technical issues can be frustrating for a workforce that will be spending hours in online meetings. Platforms such as Cisco WebEx, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and BlueJeans enable next-gen meetings for effective discussions without minimal interruptions.
Near time – To enable your staff to share and respond to messages in a timely manner, chat and messaging tools like Slack, Jabber, Skype and WhatsApp are important for dynamic communication. Relying on email alone can limit engagement levels and idea sharing.
Persistent – For an ongoing repository of shared documents and live updates for your team, consider Cisco Webex Teams, Slack, Microsoft Teams or Facebook for Work. With a dedicated group for related updates and files, staying up to date with your wider team becomes more efficient.
Before you jump the gun, you should also keep these key considerations in mind to set your digital workplace up for success: the number of licenses required, installation of software, type of endpoint devices and peripherals (cameras, headsets, mics, etc.).
2. Taking a 360 approach
Take a holistic approach to deploying and securing applications and devices if you want to truly empower your digital workplace. The first place to look is your network architecture. Ensure that network paths can accommodate traffic and symmetrical bandwidth needs for conferencing, virtual desktop and application delivery are met. This will prevent any bottlenecks and keep your connection running smoothly.
More importantly, don't let security take a backseat. In fact, now more than ever, security should be a top of mind for businesses. For a start, businesses can do more to prevent data loss by ensuring governance rules are being followed and improve devices and device compliance by rapidly supporting remote workers who don't have company devices at home through BYOD enrollment and app delivery.
When it comes to security, prevention is truly better than cure. Business leaders should develop the habit of constantly finessing their company's security strategy by carrying out assessments to identify gaps around visibility in critical areas such as encrypted traffic, network access and authentication.
3. End-user experience
These tips ultimately work towards a high-performing digital workplace for seamless end-user experience. That is to say, the end user is vital! Aside from picking the right technology that isn't taking a dent due to security aspects, end-user training needs can't be ignored. Realising the full value of investments made during this period is contingent on how well the end users utilises these capabilities to meet their needs.
With the rapid advancements the cloud has been making in past years, many agreed that remote working will play a large role in the future of work in time to come. However, almost no one could have predicted that this cloud-powered future would have arrived so quickly.
To achieve success in this new normal, businesses must regularly review and refine the digital experience of employees. Flexible work policies, care for employees' well-being and the right digital tools are all vital to keeping employees safe and productive. With these best practices as a guide, businesses can take the first steps to maximising remote work effectiveness and embrace the future of work at the same time.
Offering technology products from more than 3,000 manufacturers, WWT will be able to answer all your remote working queries and meet your organisation's digital workplace needs—be it training or implementation. Talk to us today to better understand this rapidly evolving space.