Collaboration During Pandemics Through The Modern Digital Workplace

Collaboration during pandemics

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a huge global crisis and is growing at an exponential rate – with no signs of slowing down. As per recent reports, there are over 170,000+ confirmed across 100+ countries. And new cases are being reported every day!

Governments and organizations are taking immediate and drastic measures to contain it and ensure the safety of people. Many major companies including the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Facebook, etc. have been canceling their events and implementing travel restrictions and work-from-home policies.

Top virus experts also claim that the vaccine for this lethal virus is at least 12 to 18 months away.

Considering all this, it’s safe to say that enterprise leaders should not only prepare for the short term but also explore new capabilities that’ll transform how work gets done in the long term.

Even though the concept of remote working sounds simple, the preparation that goes into enabling it at a massive scale is no small feat.

So, how can organizations use digital workplace technologies to protect their employees, limit productivity losses and improve collaboration whilst ensuring security? Here are a few tips!

1) Take full advantage of a cloud-first approach

Even prior to COVID-19, many organizations globally have been swiftly adopting cloud collaboration tools to let employees work effectively in a remote environment.

However, for some companies, the shift to adopting a cloud environment can take time. If your company is one of them, now is the best and most critical time to deploy the required cloud tools immediately and pave the way for more effective ways of working.

Over the next few weeks, migrate your data and documents from local, on-premise systems to modern cloud-based applications. Cloud applications today support all your digital workplace needs – right from document creation, project management, app development, to real-time collaboration and many more!

Here are some important digital collaboration tools:

  • Productivity suites for knowledge sharing: Office 365 and G Suite
  • Video conferencing: Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet
  • File collaboration: SharePoint Online, Google Drive, One Drive
  • Communication tools: Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype For Business

Employees can access these tools at any time, from anywhere and via different mobile and desktop devices. They can find information and share knowledge with anyone in the company remotely.

Once you provide these tools you also have to provide the required training to maximize adoption.

Here is a success story of how we helped West Midland Fire Services adopt Office 365.

2) Modernize your intranet

The importance of communication during critical times can’t be stressed enough. If you’re still using a traditional intranet with low adoption rates, it’s imperative you switch to a modern one immediately. Modern cloud-based intranets are a great way to quickly send official announcements like alerts, precautions, personalized guidelines, updates across the organization. You can also use them to organize virtual town halls.

Since most intranets today come with their own mobile apps, you can send push alerts and notifications as well.

Employees will have a centralized location to find official announcements, connect with people, post updates and ask questions.

In addition to enhancing internal communications, modern intranets are also key to boosting productivity, engagement, and efficiencies – especially when people are working remotely.

For instance, an AI-Powered autonomous intranet like Mesh 3.0 helps you

  • Boost productivity by providing personalized content delivery based on user profiles, activities, geo, interests, etc
  • Reduce the time to find information by providing a cognitive search that connects all your enterprise applications
  • Improve employee engagement by giving recommendations on collaborating with the right people
3) Enable Seamless Networking

Your employees need secure and seamless network connectivity to work productively from home. Augment your existing traditional VPN tool with a new cloud-based remote access solution. This will enhance the remote working experience, productivity and security.

In addition, provide suggestions and educate employees on the best broadband and WiFi connectivity packages available near their homes. Provide guidelines on how they can customize their solutions to prioritize voice, collaboration and video traffic.

4) Don’t Ignore Security!

Ensure you’re not prone to security breaches when you’re taking quick steps for enabling seamless remote working. Here are some quick pointers:

  • Provide secure application access by deploying a Zero Trust network access model. Thereby you don’t have to rely on traditional unsecured VPN applications.
  • The usage of a variety of devices in not-so-secure locations demands high protection. Equip your Endpoint Management Detection and Response systems with automation and analytics to reduce the need for manual human intervention.
5) Empower your help desk to take high volume requests

Your employees are working remotely and trying to explore new tools and processes without any help. Needless to say, your helpdesk requests will skyrocket.

Here are our suggestions to tackle this situation:

  • Assess your current capabilities to troubleshoot and resolve requests remotely.
  • Ensure your self-service knowledge bases are fully updated and you have sufficient IT resources to meet the surging demands.
  • Equip your agents with a remote-assistance software as you cannot diagnose all issues in-person.
  • Implement easy-to-deploy self-service solutions like a chatbot that can resolve tier-1 and tier-2 issues without agent intervention.

Read more: How Can AI Bots Increase IT Helpdesk Support Efficiency?

We’re all in this together!

COVID-19 is fast-spreading and impacting economies across the globe. Given the uncertainty on when this disease can be contained, organizations should be well-prepared to ensure this pandemic doesn’t incur huge productivity and revenue losses. It could be exhaustive to ensure your workforce is efficient while remote, but with the right digital tools and processes, it could be simplified. Crisis times like this also demonstrate the competitive advantage a digitally-driven organization can have over the rest.

Acuvate helps organizations stay productive, agile, efficient and cloud-driven with our digital workplace solutions. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, We hold profound expertise in the implementation of Microsoft technologies like Office 365, SharePoint, Yammer, OneDrive and more!

You might also be interested in checking out our SharePoint-driven autonomous intranet Mesh 3.0 – an employee-centric and self-governed integrated intranet with intelligence infused using AI.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please feel free to get in touch with one of our digital workplace consultants for a personalized “remote” consultation.

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