For many companies, providing remote access is no big deal. At Shopify, for example, about half of its roughly 4,000 employees in Canada were working remotely even before recent developments. But other organizations with little to no experience enabling and empowering work-from-home employees are now, suddenly, having to cobble together plans to ramp up their tech capabilities.
Productivity and engagement gap
Many companies are now in uncharted waters. New challenges abound. It’s one thing to connect with staff members working offsite via phone and email, but another thing entirely to ensure they are happy, engaged, connected and as productive at home as they are in the office.
The situation is also stressful for employees, especially those who have never worked from home before and are finding it difficult to maintain focus in an environment typically associated with leisure and relaxation. Also missing is that daily face-to-face contact that is such a vital cohesive element for teams.
There are ways to close these gaps. The first is to set goals for remote work. Doing so involves asking a number of key questions, including:
- Who needs to be on site and who doesn’t?
- What rules need to be put into place from Day 1?
- How will we monitor productivity and work quality?
Answering these and similar questions about employee availability in a work-from-home plan provide companies a rough blueprint, and a starting point from which to attack more specific technological questions, such as:
- How can we have regular (even daily) video team meetings?
- How will we track the progress of tasks and projects?
- How do we ensure our staff members can concentrate on their work at home?
Many organizations will find that the answers to a lot of these kinds of questions lie not in their people (most of whom are ready, willing, and able to adapt to their new work reality) but in the technologies they adopt. Jabra solutions, for example, are purpose-built for just the kinds of challenges so many companies are now facing.
Not a risk, an opportunity
Anyone who considers working from home en masse a risky proposition, or even impossible in terms of productivity, should read about entrepreneur Sid Sijbrandij, who built a billion-dollar business in which all 700 employees work remotely. Sijbrandij’s company, GitLab, is proof positive that with the right technology and management focus, working from home is far from something to fear or resist, and can in fact bring enormous success.
The right solutions for the times
Jabra unified communications tools are an excellent way forward for companies looking to enable remote staff in two key areas:
- Focus – Jabra Evolve is a range of headsets offering best-in-class noise cancellation to aid concentration in noisy remote work environments – and exceptionally high-quality sound for better communication.
- Collaboration – Jaba PanaCast is a powerful communication and collaboration tool for both employees in-office and those working remotely — the world’s first intelligent 180-degree Panoramic-4K plug-and-play video conferencing solution.
Jabra solutions are tailor-made for businesses facing a future in which more professionals will be working from home. Disruption being constant now, the future belongs to businesses that invest in technology that will keep employees enabled, engaged, and productive no matter where they are, and for many years to come.