The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about fundamental shifts in how organizations view their workforce and where they work from. Flexible work schedules are here to stay, and the physical workspace is now only a small aspect of most company’s overall workforce.
Today’s businesses are adopting hybrid work models, in which their employees are splitting their time between working remotely and working from a physical office.
In fact, a survey from Gartner found that 82 percent of company leaders intend to permit remote working at least some of the time as employees returned back to the office after the first lockdown of the pandemic in 2020.
Nearly half (47 percent) said they intend to allow employees to work remotely full time going forward. For some organizations flex time will be the new normal, with 43 percent reporting they will grant employees flex days and 42 percent stating they will provide flexible hours.
Commenting on the results, Elisabeth Joyce, Vice President of Advisory in the Gartner HR practice, said: “The question now facing many organizations is not how to manage a remote workforce, but how to manage a more complex, hybrid workforce. While remote work isn’t new, the degree of remote work moving forward will change how people work together to get their job done.”
It’s not just the pandemic that is forcing companies to adapt to this new way of working. The hybrid work model provides a plethora of opportunities for employers. Done right, the hybrid work model allows organizations to better recruit talent, improve employee experiences, create a more productive workforce and achieve innovation.
Yet to ensure your employees are productive and able to collaborate with their team members while working from home, it’s essential that your business evaluates its IT infrastructure to support a ‘work-from-anywhere’ workforce.
In this blog, Genesis Integration has listed 10 technologies that your remote workers need in order to effectively work from home (or anywhere):
1 - Instant messaging
When your employees aren’t located in the office, there are no water cooler chats, there are no sporadic team meetings in the boardroom and there are no trips to grab a bite for lunch. Instant messaging is important as it enables your staff members to connect in real-time, no matter where they are working from. This promotes employee engagement, fosters closer relationships and allows staff members to collaborate on projects.
2 - Cloud technology
Long gone are the days where files are saved on physical hardware. Your team must now be able to seamlessly access and share files in real-time. Cloud computing allows your business to recreate your work environment in a virtual space, meaning your employees can access their work from wherever they are and whatever device they are using. All they’ll need is an internet connection and a login to the platform.
3 - Project management tools
Project management tools are useful when your employees are all located in the office, but they’re even more important when your team is working from different locations. Using project management tools to assign team members to tasks, set due dates and update progress will ensure your employees have complete visibility of their work. This empowers them to keep track of projects remotely.
4 - Hardware
Speaking of physical hardware, your employees are going to need either a desktop or laptop to work from when outside of your office. It’s important for security reasons that they don’t use their personal devices, as this could leave your company’s data vulnerable to cybercrime. Invest in a laptop or desktop for your remote workers, and ensure that all the technology they’ll need to perform their job is installed on it. This will help boost productivity levels.
5 - Video conferencing solution
AV and collaboration has long been a crucial component for any successful business, yet this requirement is magnified with a hybrid work model. Communication and collaboration is an important business practice, even more so for teams that are located in different locations. That’s why it’s important to use video conferencing solutions, such as Zoom or Pexip, to encourage both formal and informal communication between your employees.
6 - Cybersecurity tools
Cybercrime is a costly error for those who fall prey to it. Securing your business when all your employees work out of the same office and from the same WiFi connection is challenging enough, but operating a hybrid work model makes this even more complex. To ensure your remote employees, and your company data, is protected make sure your remote workers are set up with tools such as a virtual private network (VPN), antivirus software and two-factor authentication.
7 - Time management tools
Time tracking is an important aspect of improving the operational processes of your business. Tracking time will help you to make good business decisions in regards to deliverables, resource management and the productivity of your employees. These tools become even more important when your team members are located in different locations. As you track time you will be able to make better business decisions that improve productivity and drive client satisfaction.
8 - VoIP technology
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) allows employees to access phone calls from anywhere, as long as they have a mobile device and an internet connection. Employees can use VoIP to answer and make phone calls, send instant messages, teleconference and much more. With VoIP your clients or team members will never have to wait hours for an employee to contact them back, since they’ll be available no matter where they are working from.
Are you interested in learning more about the tools and technologies that will support a successful hybrid workforce? Contact Genesis Integration today. We have years’ of experience implementing AV and collaboration tools that boost communication, collaboration and security for remote teams.