Here we are some 100+ days into the COVID-19 pandemic, and as Americans, we do what we do best in a crisis – we keep moving forward. Those who could, quickly adapted using whatever means possible to ensure business continuity for their customers and employees. The ability to shift quickly to a remote workforce isn’t easy, but IT teams worked around the clock to get their staff up and running.
Best Practices for a Remote Workforce
With an at-home workforce in place for an extended period of time, the right tools are needed to continue building relationships, collaborating with team members and managing day-to-day tasks. Without the appropriate technology, security and bandwidth, working from home can be a challenge.
Video and chat are two critical apps that have helped remote workers continue to communicate and collaborate. The ability to interact in real-time with project teams, colleagues and customers keeps us engaged, productive and feeling successful in these uncertain times. Video has become the front runner during these last few months, with some developers seeing as much as a 3000% increase in daily users. In fact, many organizations have seen an uptick in productivity while using the new video and chat platforms for virtual meetings, site surveys, and other opportunities that would normally call for in-person interaction. Furthermore, it’s likely the soaring popularity of video in business environments will continue even after states completely re-open. Some key benefits include:
- Achieving higher level of engagement – We’re less likely to distract ourselves when on camera
- Building / Maintaining / Strengthening of relationships – Encourages an interactive, positive experience
- Greater level of learning – Participants on video are more focused (even more so for visual learners)
- Power of persuasion – When eye contact and gestures can be observed, a pitch can be extremely effective.
Collaboration tools and technology are necessary for a remote workforce; these tools allow for a single place to access everything needed to conduct business, move projects forward, and stay engaged with video, chat, email, and a shared network . Mitel’s MiTeam Meetings and MiCloud Connect, for example, allow businesses to get the most out of the at-home work experience with in-the-office performance. Mitel and other industry providers we partner with are currently offering incentives for new users that can help you save just when you need it. Ask us about these offers.
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Technology for Long-Term Remote Work Policies
According to a study from 451 Research, 38% of employees expect their companies to expand remote work policies moving forward, which indicates that more businesses are putting practices in place on a more permanent basis in the post-pandemic world.
When looking to the future for long-term, work-from-home strategies, companies should consider SD-WAN and cloud connectivity solutions. Both provide the technology needed to safely expand and improve telework capabilities for remote workers. In this scenario, CNP often recommends one of Fortinet’s remote worker solutions for a full or partially-remote workforce. That’s because these solutions provide the resources needed to implement a secure, reliable infrastructure that can help maintain business continuity.
Supporting Users on a Daily Basis
Now that most of us have been working from home for a while, it is likely the transition to remote working is well behind us. However, there are always improvements that can be made to continue to keep data safe and networks performing optimally. Keeping users educated and informed will help minimize some of the challenges. Posting FAQs, using a shared network or portal to house key ‘set up and operation’ guidelines, along with best practice tips and how-to videos will reduce incoming, commonly-asked questions and provide the autonomy employees need to manage their situation from home.
Looking for more tips? We have plenty to share! Just contact us and we’ll set up a virtual meeting to explore your unique situation.