We’re living and working in uncertain times. There’s no getting around it: a large number of your users may well need to work remotely at very short notice. Here are five remote working best practices that will maximise your organisation’s workspace agility.
It feels like a long time ago that remote working was viewed as something merely to be tolerated. Today’s forward-thinking organisations have embraced agile working practices, expanding the workspace far beyond the confines of the traditional office. Many of these organisations have reaped the benefits of increased productivity, staff satisfaction, and customer brilliance. Which is great! But for those organisations that have been slower off the mark, remote working is developing from a ‘nice to have’ into a mission-critical necessity.
You don’t need us to spell it out for you – any look at the news will tell you we’re living in uncertain political, economic and social times. Your organisation may well, for any number of reasons, need to mobilise a significant remote workforce that will maintain productivity and customer service even when working away from the office for an extended period of time.
If the idea of half your workforce needing to work from home tomorrow is keeping you up at night, then fear not – help is at hand. In this blog post we’ll provide five remote working best practices that will maximise your organisation’s workspace agility and ensure you continue to operate successfully, come what may.
1. Get the Technicalities Right, and Running
This is extremely important! Ensuring you have the technical capabilities in place to enable your employees to work in an agile way is first and foremost – a must if you are considering your organisation’s remote working capabilities.
If you are reviewing your agile working offering, you’ll need to ensure that you have hardware, laptops, phones and mobile phones for your employees to work from. As part of our inductions for new starters at Six Degrees, we ensure that hardware and software is set up so our people have the necessary access straight away. If your users are working on their own devices, do they have the right security protection and the right access to the required servers and software to carry out their roles?
Once you’ve got your hardware, software and servers ready, have you considered what might happen if your server or software access drops out? If your employees can’t work, what will happen? Having a service desk for your applications and servers will ensure you are always up and running, and any problems are rectified for employees as quickly as possible.
2. Enable Seamless Collaboration
There is a misconception that agile working makes users more isolated and less collaborative. This can be the case if agile working is implemented poorly. In fact, collaboration can be enhanced by the many communication methods available within the modern agile workspace.
The latest communication and collaboration technology allows users to work in a manner that’s most appropriate to their immediate requirements. It empowers users by recognising that they need time to communicate and collaborate, but they also need time to concentrate and contemplate.
At Six Degrees we work with leading cloud vendors like Microsoft, 8×8 and Citrix to collaborate effectively internally and externally – regardless of device or location. Not only does this enable efficient service delivery, but it also means that internal messages from our CEO and our People team are communicated live to all of our users, regardless of their location.
3. Outline the Boundaries
If you are taking steps to enable your agile workforce, do you have the right permissions and culture in place? It’s important to communicate your agile working policies across your organisation. It’s even more important to promote productive agile working and outline your expectations to employees. Are your employees encouraged to email around the clock? Or is your expectation for your employees to do the job in hand, but you actively promote a culture where around the clock ‘always on’ working is neither expected nor necessary?
Also think about different workstream needs. All project phases have their own unique requirements that need to be addressed. But, an agile workspace solution should also be seamless and continual. Simplicity is key – users should be able to access the tools they need, when they need them without unnecessary complexity, and with a consistent user experience throughout.
4. Review and Evolve Your Agile Workspace
As organisational requirements develop and new technologies evolve, you will always need to evaluate your agile working practices. Do you need more equipment, a larger server, a new application, or new policies in place to optimise work-life balance for your employees across your organisation?
5. Always Keep Mental Wellbeing in Mind
The latest agile working technology offers us a myriad of possibilities to communicate and collaborate. However, the ‘always-on’ working culture that today’s technology facilitates can have a detrimental effect on our ability to focus and take time to look after our mental wellbeing. Fortunately, there are steps we can all take to improve our mental health in the fast-paced workplace of today.
Importantly, you should consider the impact your out-of-hours emails and messages have on others. Many of us habitually check our emails during the evening and weekends, but our time away from the office is essential to helping us relax and recharge. Do you really need to send that email tonight, or can it wait ‘til the morning? Set clear boundaries, and remember that ‘out of office’ really does mean out of office – those emails, meetings and tasks will still be there when you get back.
Enhance Your Remote Working Capabilities
The way we work is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Adopting an agile workspace will help you improve employee wellbeing whilst meeting today’s complex organisational challenges and global needs head-on, driving competitive advantages and empowering you to achieve your organisation’s strategic goals.
Six Degrees’ Agile Workspace services allow you to transform your customer experience through smarter, faster technology solutions that enable your people to be at their very best, wherever they are. To learn more about how Six Degrees can help your organisation enhance its remote working capabilities, get in touch with us.
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