Considerations for enabling longer-term remote working
If you’re looking to successfully activate remote working for the longer term, your organisation is going to need an ecosystem that facilitates a digitally-led approach. To achieve that, there are four important areas you should be considering:
1) Technology – arguably the most important area of consideration, your technology choices are going to be the make or break point of your remote working setup. The infrastructure, the physical devices and the digital tools you choose for your workforce all need to be designed with flexibility in mind.
And that doesn’t just mean switching from restrictive desktop devices to a fleet of laptops. Imagine you work in the legal professional or in education, the very nature of your day-to-day work means that having access to an enterprise-quality print and scan device could become as important a requirement as having a laptop – whether that’s in the home or in a coworking space.
Really think about what simple fixes can support your team in getting the job done and get comfortable with cloud-based services. The more user friendly you can make your remote workforce tools, the more responsive your team will be and the less likely you’ll be to face the costly pitfalls of your employees merging their work technology with consumer-focused solutions.
And don’t forget maintenance and servicing. Strong connections back into your IT department are a must for ensuring appropriate updates and patches are applied at the right times.
2) Collaboration tools – working hand-in-hand with your chosen infrastructure and devices are the tools you choose to process your business critical information. No matter how collaboration-ready you were before the current climate, one thing we can be certain of is that having a robust information management solution will become an essential feature in any successful remote working framework.
This is where cloud solutions can really benefit your business. You need to take the time now to review the system you currently have in place - especially if it was a case of using whatever you could get your hands on in an emergency – and look for a solution that will meet all your workflow and security needs for handling your business information.
You’re also going to need to instigate training programmes to help future-proof your team. The sooner you get them on board, the sooner you can see the full value of your investment.
3) Bridging the gap between paper and digital – while it’s easy to talk about slotting in a cloud solution to activate a remote working team, what if you’re still in the early days of your digital transformation and rely heavily on paper processes? Have you been struggling under lockdown conditions, unable to access files and start digital workflows?
Every business is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all here, but you need to start by looking at a strategy to get you from where you are now to where you want to be and assigning an appropriate timescale. The key is not to panic and feel pressured for time. The reality is that you’ll need to balance legacy infrastructure and the blend of paper and digital processes you already have, so focus on this being a smooth integration, not a rip and replace job.
4) Delivery – if we consider that information is the heartbeat of every business, then the ability to efficiently harness its flow across input, transfer and access is a clear reflection of what a successful organisation looks like. In a time where continuity is key, you can see why combining the right technology, collaboration tools and productive management of document processes is so critical for your business.
Give your employees a robust, user-friendly setup and the gains in productivity and impact on the bottom line are simply unrivalled.