The challenges of remote work
In the early months of the pandemic, remote work was an emergency measure for a crisis situation. Everybody understood that, and everyone made allowances. Bolting on a video conferencing tool to your normal IT stack was a perfectly reasonable solution to a temporary problem.
But if you’re adopting hybrid or remote work for the long-term, emergency measures are no longer enough. Remote workers need to be able to work as effectively from home as they can from the office, all the time. Customers will no longer accept Covid as an excuse for poor communications or inefficient customer service.
Adopting permanent remote work creates real challenges for businesses, including:
Staff need to be able to make and take professional business calls from anywhere, and contact colleagues at any time and in the way they want. Your old communications system might not support either Unified Communications (UC) or full “work anywhere” functionality.
A major anxiety for businesses is how well teams will cooperate when their members are no longer in the same physical space at the same time. How do you replicate formal meetings and informal watercooler chats? Sometimes inspiration is entirely serendipitous, the result of two (or more) colleagues talking informally over coffee.
Sending employees home and letting them get on with it is a potential security nightmare. Will you let them use their own devices, and their own internet connection? How will you monitor the software they’re using to make sure it meets your security guidelines? For that matter, how do you ensure they’re regularly backing up data and staying bang up to date with patches and upgrades?
When your teams are in the office, you can easily monitor how quickly calls get answered and stay abreast of the progress of customer service issues. But how do you make sure customers are being promptly and properly served when teams are at home? Remote and hybrid working can’t be allowed to undermine your reputation for keen customer focus.
Can staff do everything at home that they can in the office? It’s not just about communication, it’s also about productivity. Can they access all the tools and services they need, or will projects get delayed by out-of-date applications that don’t integrate with other office systems.
These are some of the main challenges businesses face when switching to permanent remote and hybrid working models. But there is an answer. Cloud connectivity solutions are designed to let your employees work from anywhere, with no loss of effectiveness. In the next section we’ll discuss what those solutions can do.