Remote work has generally been approached as a nice-to-have rather than a need-to-have. Many companies, for example, have used limited remote work as a strategic way to reduce real estate costs and employee travel expenses rather than a mainstream or permanent work option. A recent study found that prior to COVID, only 19% of business leaders had a remote work strategy in place.
Enter 2020 and suddenly 88% of organizations around the world found themselves mandating or encouraging employees to work from home. And for many companies, it was an awkward transition. Assuming full-time remote work would be a temporary arrangement, they turned to quick fixes and bandaid approaches that only met their most immediate remote work needs.
As we close out the year, it’s become clear that office centricity is a thing of the past. Several large companies such as Dropbox, Microsoft, and Twitter announced plans to let employees work remotely permanently, pandemic or not.
Even for companies transitioning back to the office, the way business gets done has changed and remote work will be a key piece of most organization’s long-term technology strategy. Many employees are happier and more productive working from home. And rethinking the physical office space—for example, reducing square footage and utilizing flexspace for intentional collaboration—can bring companies some unexpected benefits.
Whether your employees are coming back to the office now, later, or never, here are some ideas to help you transition your short-term remote work fix into a long-term, sustainable strategy.
Define Your Business Objectives and Your Employees’ Needs
While many companies have experienced cost-savings from remote work, investing in remote technology that doesn’t meet the needs of your business or your employees can end up costing you extra money instead. So how do you decide what remote technology solutions are best for your company? Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What features do your teams need to be productive?
- Are you only connecting with internal teams or do you need to collaborate with clients and external teams, too?
- What functionality do your teams already have, and what additional functionality do they need?
Understanding what your teams already have—and what’s missing—will help you choose the tools that will improve your productivity and your bottom line. And whatever tools you settle on, making sure they all work together is a key part of the process.
Define Collaboration Technology You Need
A successful long-term remote work strategy depends on choosing a video conferencing platform that provides all the functionality and tools your teams need. This process might also involve standardizing hardware across multiple conference rooms and adding to or adjusting your existing hardware so it can handle more than one use.
Common onsite meeting room technology that can enable collaboration—either full-time or as part of a hybrid model—includes:
- A room computer
- Touch screen control panel
- A projector or flat panel display
- Video conferencing system
- Audio conferencing system
For remote workers, common collaboration tools include:
- A laptop
- Web cam
- Video conferencing software
Improve Employee Productivity with the Right Support for Remote Work
Once you have the tools for remote work, you need to offer the right support so employees can use those tools easily and reliably. This is especially useful when a broad coalition, including the HR team, facilities team, and IT team might all be part of managing your remote work technology.
If remote work is new to your employees, provide them with a checklist of things they should do to prepare for a video conferencing call or other remote collaboration. Preparations employees should make include:
- Test their internet connection
- Check that they have the correct video conferencing app to join the meeting
- Confirm they’ve selected the right microphone, speaker, and webcam
Check out this blog for more tips on video conferencing etiquette.
Most companies are aware of their onsite technology issues—– everyone knows if the conference room audio is scratchy or too soft, for example—– but they need help understanding why it’s happening and how to fix it. AV Solution’s AVos all-in-one controlled room solution can increase productivity, eliminate IT support calls, and deliver a consistent experience for every meeting.
Build a Long-Term Remote Work Strategy with the Right Technology Partner
At AV Solutions, we take the time to listen and understand your business needs and the problems you are trying to solve before we recommend a solution– not the other way around. Our goal is to make sure every solution we suggest ties into the goals and objectives of your business, and your employees.
Are you ready to talk about your remote work needs? Get in touch with AV Solutions today.