Although we are all getting used to working from home now, there are still a few issues around it such as IT support and video sharing fatigue. As it’s going to be a while before we’re allowed back to offices full time– or ever, for those of us who like working from home for at least some of the week – Rob Carmichael, Collaboration Specialist at Avaya, has the following tips on how to get the best experience from home.
According to some reports, there has been a 37% increase in the number of full-time people working remotely. This has led to a communication shift with people relying more on video conferencing apps, which saw a record 62 million downloads in one week during the peak of the pandemic. However, new technology means new problems. In a recent survey, 32% of 300 US business leaders reported having employees facing difficulties in adapting to the new communication tools. Many business leaders struggle to implement a collaborative workplace strategy as new operational or technical issues arise every day. Adding to this, more employees are experiencing video conferencing fatigue making it hard to consistently remain engaged online.
Improving at-home productivity should be easy and there are 5 points to be considered when trying to maximize the digital working experience through collaborative workstreams:
1) Zero-hierarchy communications
The unrestricted access to information between team members is crucial in implementing a successful workstream collaboration. Missing out a meeting due to health issues is a common scenario for most employees, however, working remotely can make it harder to catch up with what was discussed.
Enabling the free flow of data between all team members has become easier than ever with the help of video conferencing apps. Meetings can now be recorded, and documents can be stored in the cloud, making information accessible in a more efficient way.
2) Immersive collaboration
Collaboration needs to be done throughout the workstream at every step. The complexity of tasks has changed during the pandemic, with new emergencies arising each day. Keeping track of meetings, messages or upcoming tasks is now more essential than ever. By fostering an immersive collaborative approach and app integration, all team members will have access to data in one single place in the cloud.
3) Hyper-fast decision making
Ever wondered how much time is being wasted while switching between apps? Communication sprawl can lead to slower replies and fatigue among employees, while being an operational nightmare for the IT department. The solution is providing employees with a unified and intuitive user experience. Integrating other business cloud apps on a single platform will facilitate fast-decision making, while empowering the collaborative workstreams.
4) 24×7 Follow the Sun Work Model
Working at home is already a significant challenge for most companies but working in different time zones might seem impossible. Having an international team can translate into higher costs, connection and reliability problems. Participating in a meeting with up to 61 participants or the ability to connect video calls to the closest large screen TV has become a reality with the help of cloud. The latest innovations in hardware and software have succeeded in making the video conferencing experience as close as possible to being in the same room with your international team members.
5) Passionate, Empowered Leaders
Without team lunch breaks or in-office Christmas parties, working remotely has left employees feeling alone or demotivated about their work. Leaders have been trying to mitigate this issue by taking advantage of video meeting platforms to organise quizzes, live Q&As or virtual fitness sessions. All these features can bridge the gap between teams, allowing leaders to positively improve the wellbeing of their staff.
The Post COVID-19 scenario
Workstream collaboration, whereby employees are empowered to communicate through the integration of chat, video, and meetings with business workflows and external applications, will have a positive impact on wellbeing and productivity and will be largely adopted by 2022 according to Gartner. But employees need to have the basic digital dexterity to make a smooth transition to the WSC model. One of the most important lessons the pandemic taught us is to nurture workforce digital resilience by creating an engaging and intuitive digital workplace, boosting digital dexterity.
Having the right communication tools is not enough. Making the best out of your remote working experience can only be done by having the right approach when it comes to using them – moving away from the idea of ‘just’ video meetings to collaborative workstreams.