You don’t need to work at an all-remote company to wonder how to connect your teams and your departments better. With the growing number of employees that work remotely; whether it’s because they are field-based or home-based, or well, anywhere-based it’s never been more vital to consider technology that enables remote working. Office work is something you do, not a place you go.
In the tech space, perhaps more than anywhere, we see a lot of companies where remote working is common (guess it’s because we often test out our tech developments on ourselves first!). Teams from Hubspot and Traitify to big players like Microsoft and Dell are experimenting with remote working arrangements and out-of-office-based hires to dial up business productivity while others have made ultimate workplace flexibility part of their business models. The shift towards mobility and flexibility is not only rippling through the technology sector, though.
It’s a Vital Part of Digital Transformation
Work-from-home policies are catching on across a variety of sectors. We’ve been lucky enough to observe this with our own customers who have upgraded business communications to boost employee mobility and accommodate remote working arrangements. After all, changing workstyles don’t fit with traditional workplaces anymore. Mobility and flexibility are by no means just a ‘millennial’ thing spurred by the expectations of a generation that values work-life balance and is at ease with digital technology. It is a question of productivity and business continuity. Particularly in times that we’re experiencing now, with Covid-19; a lot of businesses have had to accelerate rolling out technology that enables employees to work remotely.
Better Collaboration Across Virtual Meetings
Just because you’re working remotely or on the go, doesn’t mean you need to put your meetings and vital conversations on hold. Technology like Mitel’s MiCollab or Avaya Spaces means that you can set up video (or you can join with just audio if you prefer) conference calls. Share your screen to make notes, collaborate on documents and present findings all together, virtually.
Anyone working on-the-go can join the conference by dialling in, meaning that they can join the meeting without needing to have a stable internet connection, such as whilst on a train. With the addition of a MiCollab Client Softphone, you can enjoy the same intuitive communications management as you would whilst in the office. Simply make calls and search for the people you need to IM as you would on the desktop client you have connected to your handset in the office. Avaya Spaces is very similar to Microsoft’s Teams, you can simply download the mobile application and have all the functionality you would have on desktop.
Both solutions also have Instant Messenger (IM) capabilities. Perfect for when you just need to notify your colleagues of something quickly and avoiding the digital noise created by emails.
Sharing and Collaborating on Documents
No one wants to be saving and resaving many different versions of their edited work. There are plenty of solutions out there however that empower you share and collaborate on documents, in real-time. And no, you don’t need to be blinkered down the Microsoft route.
Recently launched, Avaya Spaces for instance, works very similarly to Microsoft Teams, it deserves to be in contention. You can easily share files with the rest of the team, work together and collaborate in the cloud. It will integrate with your Outlook or Google Calendar, plus Office 365, Microsoft Teams and Slack. However, Spaces is perfect for project management on its own. You can manage and assign tasks to different team members and track the progress to ensure that everyone is on task, even if they are working remotely!
Whether you’re working in the office, on the go, or working from home, a seamless call journey is vital. Both so that employees can easily communicate within the company and so your customers can speak with you.
Our new SIP platform, netX2 is vital for keeping your call infrastructure resilient and means you can easily redirect calls when working from different locations. Set up call flows all yourself, select from one of our pre-built template, or let us know if you’d like us to set them up for you. It’s quick and easy to direct any of your calls within the business or from external numbers to ensure the right person answers.
Keeping your Business Safe
One of the reasons the word ‘remote working’ might send shivers down your spine as an IT manager is the security risk. When you’re in the office, all the measures are already in place to keep your stuff secure, but when you want to roll out remote working, there’s one key technology that you’ll need to have in place.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure way of transporting private data across unknown networks. This makes it much harder for your employees to become hacked by ensuring that online traffic is encrypted. It’s important to enforce the same security standards at home as you would within the office. For instance, If you want to leave your desk at home, you should ensure your computer is locked, just as you would in the office. Keeping remote workers in the loop when it comes to phishing scams is also more vital. Avoiding link clicking in suspicious emails.
Making the Jump
We get it, switching to remote working is a big deal for some companies. However, the approach ‘but we’ve always done it this way’ will not help adapt and evolve your business during these challenging times.
If it’s one thing that Covid-19 has taught us, it’s that some businesses were not ready to respond to the government’s advice around working from home. They didn’t have the technology or policies in place and have had to (and still are!) seriously accelerate implementation, not just for their digital transformation but for the safety of their employees. The technologies we’ve mentioned in this article will mean that even when crisis strikes the businesses using them will remain productive, but most importantly, they will remain running. Remote working isn’t just vital for your employee’s wellbeing; it’s vital for business continuity.