Remote Work is becoming an integral part of every modern business. In this blog post, Modern Workplace Consultant James Feuerborn speaks on how to enable remote work in your organization.
As a result of the pandemic, the nature of work fundamentally changed for many organizations. While things have begun to return to a degree of normalcy, industry research shows that remote and hybrid work is here to stay. Because of the rapid onset of the pandemic, many firms were forced to rush to deploy remote working solutions poorly optimized for their environment, which may not be sufficiently secure or responsive.
In this article, we’ll take a ground-up approach, providing an overview of how you should be thinking about your strategy for enabling or expanding your remote work efforts.
Enabling remote work doesn’t just mean letting your employees log in from home. At a minimum, it entails deploying the appropriate tools and processes that allow them to perform their duties efficiently and securely from any location. However, there are several domains beyond this that warrant consideration. When implemented properly, remote and hybrid work models can increase employee productivity and satisfaction, while maintaining appropriate oversight and security.
One way to think about it would be like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (see below). At its base, any remote work initiative needs to provide the employee with a device, have a way of remotely managing that device, configure a way for that device to connect to the company resources, and perhaps most essentially include the security tools necessary to prevent, monitor for, and minimize the risk of unauthorized intrusions.
Moving up from there, the next level would be addressing quality considerations. These are all focused around the end user experience. For example, just because an end user has a fast internet connection at home, doesn’t mean that performance will translate to a secure connection to your company’s infrastructure. Thorough testing should be done for all remote worker types to ensure any intra-company performance bottlenecks are identified and remediated prior to a large-scale remote work rollout. Additionally, equipping your employees with productivity-enhancing accessories like secondary monitors, keyboards, mice, and cameras, can significantly improve the remote work experience. On a related note, if you are considering a hybrid work environment, you should also conduct an examination of your in-office devices as well, so all team members have a rich digital presence.
At the top of the pyramid, you should start to take into consideration initiatives that are targeted at increasing employee satisfaction and engagement. One of the simplest ways to keep a team atmosphere thriving is to just get face time with the team. While it can be challenging during busy cycles, setting up recurring, casual, all hands calls with your teams to chat and vent about ongoing activities can be a significant morale booster.
Lastly, one other significant boost to morale is leveraging software that your organization may already have deployed (ex. Teams), to automate repetitive processes, or streamline collaborative processes. With Microsoft Teams and Collaborative Apps, you can streamline communications between team members, automatically handle simple tasks, and simplify much day-to-day work.
As you can imagine, the specific steps that any company needs to follow to enable, improve, or expand remote work depends heavily on the current state of their infrastructure. But in general, you should start from the bottom of the pyramid and work your way up. Ask yourself (or your CIO) things like:
Once these base items are addressed, you can move on to addressing quality considerations. Example questions in that domain would be:
Finally, when it comes to engagement and satisfaction, you should be asking questions like:
As you can see, enabling remote work is less like flipping a switch, and more like climbing a hill. As each chunk of improvements is identified, planned, and executed, your organization becomes more secure, efficient, and satisfied. That being said, it can be difficult to know what technology or initiative to tackle first. Fortunately, Avantiico’s Modern Workplace experts are here to help!
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