5 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Remote Work Solution
Efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus have forced organizations everywhere to embrace a remote work culture – but not all were fully prepared to make that transition. Researchers from Gartner learned 88% of organizations have either required or encouraged employees to work remotely regardless of whether they feel sick or not. That number is impressively high considering, just last fall, a study from Owl Labs found only about half (54%) of employees worked from home at least once a month. However, there was a second statistic, buried further down in Gartner’s research, which really captured our team’s attention.
Gartner also discovered that more than 3-in-10 organizations have had to deploy new tools to enable remote collaboration. That’s a lot of organizations stuck trying to roll out new capabilities on the fly and under pressure. In the rush to keep users connected, organizations may not have time to vet solutions to their usual high standards. However, there are a few important points to consider when choosing a platform for remote meetings and collaboration.
- Security: Every platform out there wants to convince organizations that it’s the best and it likely has a crack team of marketers working to do just that. This can make it hard to separate the facts from the fluff, particularly for those in need of a quick decision. Still, security is one area where no one can afford to take a chance. Organizations should look for tools that use full encryption to protect audio and text conversations. Security features should be enabled by default and not things to be turned on later, as users see fit. Also, solutions should keep meeting IDs private to avoid drawing the attention of unwanted intruders.
- Compliance: Whether it’s GDPR or the CCPA or HIPAA, organizations in all industries have spent the last few years navigating increasingly tangled webs of regulations. Those protocols aren’t going out the window just because home offices have replaced traditional offices. Organizations will need to find a platform that meets the standards laid out by those regulations. This is another instance where marketing hype can lead potential buyers astray. IT would be advised to bring in subject matter experts from across their organization to ensure a solution can deliver as promised from a technological and a compliance perspective.
- Flexibility: Workdays and workspaces have been turned end over end in recent weeks. The ability to adapt to the changing needs of a workforce is an essential component of any collaboration and communication platform. For example, a solution shouldn’t lock users into one communication channel, like VoIP. Instead, it should leverage a combination of avenues for connecting separated workers, including VoIP, call back, etc. This allows employees to connect in the way that works best for them at a given moment.
- Privacy: What exactly is a prospective collaboration partner doing with the data traversing its network? Ideally, those communications – be they audio, text, etc. – will be free from outside eyes and ears. Some partners, however, may transmit that data to third parties for advertising purposes. This kind of relationship obviously could represent a major gap in both security and compliance. Before signing off on a solution, it’s critical to know how and where a vendor stores data and who – if anyone – will have access to it.
- Innovation: Remote work shouldn’t exclusively be a symptom of our current global crisis. Instead, it can offer long-term value to those that choose to make it part of their culture. As such, a platform should be invested in for the long haul. This solution should be ready to grow and evolve as the industry does, always looking for the latest way to improve the user experience. In recent years, organizations have seen the benefits of advances like transcription, digital assistants, intelligent noise suppression and others. Whatever platform an organization elects to go with, it should be one committed to constant innovation and improvement.
Next Steps: Achieve immediate and lasting results from remote work policies
Does your organization need a hand connecting a newly-disparate workforce? Arraya Solutions can help. Our team has the insights and experience needed to analyze your existing environment, learn your goals and help you plot the right path forward for your individual needs. Start a dialogue with our team today by visiting https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/.
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