How technology makes remote work more efficient and innovative?
The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought about fundamental changes in the way companies operate. First of all, we are talking about remote work. It not only requires employees to adapt to new conditions, but also leaders to ensure digital team management. The business environment is changing and long-term success requires an innovative holistic approach and investment in digital technology for seamless and effective teamwork.
The era of virtual team management
The weight of digital communications has grown regardless of an individual’s occupation. A year ago, many companies assumed that remote work would negatively affect team results, but the trend has been the opposite. 82% of CEOs said productivity levels are either stable or even growing.
At the same time, a new study from Microsoft demonstrates that remote teamwork can interfere with creative thinking, discourage innovative ideas. Without proper organization of talent management, employees feel more and more disconnected from their company, without working side by side, brainstorming becomes more difficult, new powerful ideas appear less often, and their implementation fades into the background.
When you lose touch, you stop thinking innovatively. You are not generating new ideas and groupthink is becoming a serious problem
— said Dr. Nancy Byme,
senior chief scientist at Microsoft
That is, employee productivity alone is no longer enough for a business to remain innovative.
Remote work as part of company’s culture
Full or partial refusal to work in the office is a new global trend. The next evolutionary stage in team management will be a hybrid work format. The Work Trend Index report proposes five strategic steps of transition to this mode.
- Invest in space and technology to combine the possibilities of the physical and digital world.
- Initiate projects that will prevent employee digital burnout.
- Create a team empowerment plan to provide more flexibility.
- Prioritize the social climate and corporate culture.
- Rethink approaches to interaction with the team to increase business competitiveness and attract the best talent to the team.
Searching for and implementing digital solutions that will help reorganize work in companies, meet the challenges of the “new normal” and create comfortable conditions for team collaboration and creative projects is becoming a priority.
Internal corporate portal – a single point of access to all information resources of the company and a space for virtual team interaction
Today, people rarely work on tasks that can be done completely on their own. We share information and documents, jointly initiate projects, collect data, draw conclusions and make decisions. The internal corporate portal helps preserve and support the traditional processes required for effective remote work.
The intranet is not a know-how, but a common communication channel. Today is the best time to transform it into a virtual office. This will help simplify communication between employees, promptly resolve work issues, quickly learn the news and provide everyone with access to working documents.
Effective informing, communication, and performing work tasks are the main purposes of a corporate portal.
During the day, an employee spends up to 20% of their working time searching for information “manually”: on the company’s servers, on the desktop, or asking colleagues. An internal portal makes it possible to consolidate all corporate information in one place, instantly publish and distribute news, reports and documents for work. Security policies and controlled role-based access ensure that information is stored reliably. Each department or project team can have their own website and document library, and access from any device and at any time enables to create a single information space for the entire team, enhances employee engagement and active participation in the life of the company.
Previously, it was faster and more convenient to get information “from hand to hand” or communicate informally with colleagues in the office. In remote mode, this has become not only difficult, but also ineffective.
The corporate portal allows you to quickly find contacts of colleagues who help solve specific work issues and tasks. The ability to share and edit documents online speeds up the process of approval and decision-making, eliminates the need for long emails or meetings, and saves time finding the files you need. Working in a single intranet simplifies the work of departments and project teams that have instant access to the necessary documents, can exchange relevant information and communicate live using secure chats, channels and video platforms.
Implementation of the portal solves the issue of transparent feedback and, thanks to surveying, helps “keep the finger on the pulse” by conducting employee surveys in order to respond in time to ideas and comments and maintain a culture of trust and openness.
- Task performance
With a personal account on the Corporate Portal, an employee can track the status of their tasks and projects, as well as set tasks or submit requests to colleagues. Depending on the functional features of the platform on which the portal is built, an employee can form requests, see the vacation balance, etc.
Digital workplace as the basis of company transformation
Digitalization of the familiar workspace increases flexibility of workflows.
The new realities of work require a revision of traditional approaches to organizing the workplace. Smart, thoughtful Digital Workplaces drive innovation and improve team efficiency.
The Digital Workplace concept allows employees to stay engaged in work communications from any device, anywhere, anytime. This requires a single point of access to the company’s information and communications ecosystem.
What does this ecosystem include today? Microsoft (Office) 365 users are familiar with its components. These are Outlook, meetings, chats and calls in Teams, plans in Planner, programs for any workflow in Power Apps, analytics in Power BI, documents of all formats in SharePoint. The entry point into such a virtual office can be a solution for saving time, security, unifying all communications and information – Microsoft Teams.
With secure access to essential business applications from a single program, employees can edit documents, communicate with colleagues, hold meetings, and view analytics. Company news, colleagues’ birthdays, organizational structure and everything that is on the corporate portal is also here, at a click away.
So, organization of the digital workplace provides smooth teamwork, which is one of the main factors for the company’s success in the “new normal”. Streamlined workflows replace routine, foster creative ideas and improve the efficiency of each employee and the entire team.