Posts tagged remote working

Coronavirus Highlights Value of Remote Work

With the recent news of the coronavirus dominating world headlines, this is a good opportunity to evaluate your company’s emergency plans. We’ve already seen the effects of the virus, also known as COVID-19, on the global markets. On Thurs, Feb. 27, the Dow fell almost 1,200 points, its highest one-day point drop in history. Much of that is being attributed to the effect of the virus on supply and demand. As a result, some of the largest companies in the world are restricting their employees’ business travel while also allocating more resources for virtual work

At around the 3:40 mark of this TechCrunch podcast, the speakers discuss Zoom and its ascent in price from the low $70s just a month ago to reaching over $120 in early trading on Friday, Feb. 28. That notable rise is occurring as video conferencing has become not just attractive but necessary. The TechCrunch discussion notes a number of major conferences – including Facebook’s F8 – that have been cancelled out of caution against the coronavirus.

Whether the cause is a virus, natural disaster, or some other disruptive event: How you will handle interruptions and minimize a negative impact to your business?

Uninterrupted Workforce Collaboration

Branch office locations need to function even if a main office is closed, and employees need a reliable, agile collaboration environment to enable them to work from home without missing a step.  AVI-SPL’s digital workplace solutions can ensure your workplace has the collaboration tools to handle any challenge and keep your talent and operations connected even amidst a crisis like the one we’re currently facing. 

By deploying a solution such as Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex Teams, your workforce can continue to communicate regardless of distance or time zone.  These platforms also provide video conferencing to enhance the collaboration experience.  Popular cloud-based solutions like Zoom and Pexip can be easily integrated with these collaboration platforms.

A Better User Experience of Collaboration Technology

Some offices may have to close because of an event like the coronavirus.  But that circumstance only underscores the need to support those offices that are still open for business. AVI-SPL Symphony enables you to keep your operations functioning and your workforce productive – even when some of them can’t be at the office.

You can remotely monitor and control all collaboration technology from any of your locations. By leveraging Symphony, either as a managed service or Symphony as a Service, organizations can manage their meeting scheduling and launching. They can also monitor their meeting health status while it’s in progress by monitoring connection status and giving staff the information they need to provide in-meeting support without being in the room. You will know what rooms and devices are ready for use and can make fixes before the participants are impacted.

Be Prepared – And Reap the Benefits at the Same Time

Digital workplace collaboration can’t just be part of a contingency plan in the face of rare – we hope — emergencies. This is the way we work today, and it’s a big reason why companies can so easily expand into locations and markets and attract the talent that drives their success.

How can you ensure that your investment in collaboration is having the desired impact? The key is having the data. AVI-SPL Symphony provides tactical and strategic business intelligence through analytics as customized insight through Build Your Own Reports. You can then make informed decisions about room construction/repurposing, technology refreshes, and addressing issues like technology adoption.

Not only will you gain more insight into your environment, but AVI-SPL digital workplace solution deployments will help your organization save time and money.  In 2018, Forrester Consulting’s “Total Economic Impact of AVI-SPL’s Digital Workplace Solutions” found a meeting productivity increase worth $11.9M over three years for a large enterprise organization, and savings of 122,500 hours per year due to meetings that start on time.  In an uncertain economic environment, these savings will help your organization maintain its agility to meet the ever-changing climate.   

While we all hope that no emergencies ever impact our offices, events like the coronavirus bring into sharp relief the value of collaboration technology. Build your digital workplace, and your company will have more than a set of just-in-case tools; it will be equipped to compete in today’s business environment by empowering your people to share the ideas and create the value that leads to growth.

October 7 Begins Work From Anywhere Week

Starting next Monday (October 7), Logitech, which specializes in solutions for workplace collaboration, is leading a week-long campaign that promotes the ability to work from anywhere.

To spread the word about Work From Anywhere Week, Logitech recently teamed up with Laurel Farrer, founder of the Remote Work Association, for a webinar on the benefits and barriers to remote working.

Farrer defined remote work as any situation where, instead of regularly commuting to a centralized location for work, you work from home, a cafe, the train, or wherever you can optimize your productivity. She shared statistics that reveal nearly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged in some level of remote work, and 90 percent of workers say they would work remotely at least once a week if they could.

Farrer also shared:

Five benefits of remote working, most of which factor in business and health concerns

  1. Streamlines operations and helps businesses and communities grow because they can easily extend their presence to different regions. 
  2. Develops workforce equality.  People get equal opportunity to produce great work regardless of their location, age, gender, and other factors that may lead to discrimination. 
  3. Diffuses the war on talent. Companies can access talent wherever it happens to be and leverage geographic regions for their benefit. 
  4. Eliminates commutes, which lessens wear on our transportation infrastructure and addresses environmental concerns.
  5. Strengthens the work-life balance. Remote work means less stress and more time for one’s health and relationships.

Barriers to remote work 

Farrer noted some of the obstacles to implementing a successful remote work policy, including:

  • Managers who haven’t been trained on how to adjust to managing remote teams.
  • Remote workers not having the resources they need to do their jobs.
  • Information security risks. By establishing policies and expectations, companies can ensure that remote workers are aware of what they need to do to protect sensitive work-related information.

Conversation starters for adopting a sustainable remote work initiative

  • Are workers empowered to design, control, and troubleshoot their workflows?
  • Do workers have access to all the tools they need to stay productive?
  • Are company policies for off-site staff legal, fair, secure, and sustainable?

Jenn Jakubowicz, Logitech’s channel marketing manager for video collaboration, then offered Logitech’s plan for inspiring that conversation she covered:

Technological ingredients necessary for remote work:

  • High-speed internet
  • Collaboration software (Microsoft Teams, Zoom)
  • The right user tools (Logitech webcams and headsets)

Logitech’s work-from-anywhere campaign, which runs October 7 – 11, includes infographics and social media banners that share a positive message about remote work. I’ve shared one of those infographics in this post. Follow Logitech’s Twitter account as well as the hashtags #WFA and #WorkFromAnywhere to keep up with next week’s promotions, information, and inspirational ideas.