Workplace change has never been faster. With technology more than ready to support remote and modern workplaces, the scene was already set before 2020. The lockdowns that Covid-19 brought upon us created the perfect conditions for workplaces to be jolted into a new mode of operation. While many are returning to offices, flexible and fully remote work is suddenly on the radar more than ever before.
Whether shifting out of their physical premises or implementing a hybrid model that combines remote work with time in the office, this is a new world for many – a world that requires a different lens on both company culture and technology.
How do we ensure employees are supported to work efficiently wherever they are?
Is it possible to retain the collaborative nature of an office, in a remote environment? Should we be letting employees use their own devices at home? What tools do we need? What security considerations do we need to think about? How do we make sure our team is productive, with a good work-life balance?
Once you start down this rabbit hole of questions the challenge can seem daunting. Many have taken this challenge head on and dived in, however research is revealing many employees report feeling burned out or disconnected.
Network quality and security may have been found lacking.
While some of the challenges organisations encounter with remote work are solved with strong, empathetic leadership, many need to be supported by the right technology solutions and expertise. For example, you need to have an appropriate security framework for your remote workforce ensuring they are authorised, authenticated and continuously validated to access your network and data, providing you the confidence that your data, your most valuable asset, is secured.
How technology helps maintain culture during change.
Technology plays a crucial role in reinforcing and maintaining your company culture. With staff working remotely, they must be provided with effective tools to maintain communication with their peers and stay connected to organisational changes. Microsoft has a suite of intuitive and intelligent platforms that assist hybrid working and keep organisations connected across multiple locations. Lexel has the expertise to ensure these global platforms are effectively implemented and operated in the New Zealand environment.
Microsoft Teams is a one-stop hub for modern and traditional forms of workplace communication. It facilitates instant messaging and video calling, enabling you to talk to colleagues quickly. Microsoft Teams integrated calling also allows your team to call standard phone numbers, locally and internationally, providing seamless communication.
It also means meetings have never been easier. Video call straight from your desk, or Teams can link up to the camera, speaker and screen hardware in conference rooms. Integration with Outlook and the broader Microsoft suite makes it feel second nature to use, helping to minimise the impact of change.
SharePoint empowers teamwork and collaboration with customisable team sites for every sized project team, department or division. Files are saved to the cloud and can be worked on by multiple users at the same time – inside or outside your organisation. It also supports an intranet to keep staff updated on what is happening within the company. With the right guidance and framework in place, it is easy to transition onto SharePoint from existing file systems and document repositories.
The security question.
As we outlined above, the big concern we hear from organisations is around security. It’s understandable. In an office, you have control of the network, devices, with a degree of supervision and support to help your team work securely and appropriately.
If your team is suddenly spread across multiple home or public wifi networks, potentially hundreds or thousands of kilometres away, some aspects of security are at risk. This doesn’t mean remote work is inherently insecure. It just requires a different approach, and access to the right tools and expertise.
An experienced technology partner will take you through a review of your security, identifying and implementing opportunities for improvement. In addition to the hard, technical solutions, the impact of operational security should also be addressed, by training your team to be aware of security implications and practises.
The big picture.
Embracing new technology needs a strategy that meets the needs of your business, including organisational culture, security, BYOD policy, technology adoption and change management.
Lexel is well placed to assess your organisation’s readiness to migrate to the cloud to build a secure, remote or hybrid work environment. We’ll provide you with an understanding of the return on investment, the benefits, costs, timelines and associated risks. We’ll also help you use technology to maintain a strong, collaborative and capable culture – the backbone of any organisation.
For a personalised discussion on how you can modernise your business with Microsoft Cloud solutions, contact the team at Lexel.
For more information about Lexel’s Microsoft Cloud solutions, click here.