Extraordinary events have the potential to change company culture faster than any other action. A natural disaster or pandemic, for example, prompts organizations to quickly review or put in place new, out-of-office work processes and technologies to reduce employee productivity losses when self-, executive-, or government- mandated employee isolation is necessary.
There’s no silver bullet for changing employee experience when a disruption occurs. Yet organizations can make progress today that will improve how their employees work from home while accelerating enterprise-wide, remote-first goals with a digital workspace strategy.
Five IT Principles Driving Employee Experience
The steps leadership takes now to boost digital employee experience can quickly become the foundation for digital business or mission advantage later. That’s if IT and executive teams understand and agree on some basic, not necessarily new, principles:
Knowing what applications employees need
Applications drive modern business—from customer experience to supply chain operations. While many knowledge workers—those primarily working regular hours, from traditional office locations—may be well positioned for remote work because they primarily use popular productivity applications, others are not.
Desk-less employee populations, those in case work or hospitality, clinicians and technicians, for example, may report somewhere before moving throughout their days to accomplish tasks. If employees are mandated to work from home beyond a week or two, will the critical applications other than email that they require be accessible from everywhere without incurring risk to the business? Making a list and understanding the impact of each application’s use beyond the corporate network is imperative for both business and IT leaders.
Knowing where key applications and data reside
With a list of applications that each department or group considers mission critical in hand, IT staff can begin to assess where each application and its data reside—on premises in a corporate data center or in a private or public cloud—and all of the dependencies.
For example, traditional client-server, .NET, and Java applications are often tethered to corporate networks for data and are highly dependent on client configurations. In contrast, internal, browser-based applications have client-device portability, yet still rely on corporate network app servers for delivery. Most flexible, SaaS applications simplify delivery because there’s no dependency on the corporate network—unless IT has
already-established access controls that require devices to be on the corporate network to access them.
Knowing which devices will connect (corporate-owned, personal, or both)
Only after knowing what applications employees need and where data resides can IT and business leaders effectively strategize about what devices can and should be permitted to connect into the enterprise, and how. Corporate-owned laptops are often pre-provisioned with VPN connections to allow for mobility and application portability.
Yet if those devices leave the corporate network for extended periods of time, how will IT support management updates, patching, and policies that reduce enterprise risk?
And how should IT think about scenarios where it’s too late to provision new laptops and employees are forced to connect with personal devices—from smartphones and iPads, workstations and PCs—running a variety of operating systems and unsupported software? Knowing that devices might be exposed to malicious Internet attacks and then reintroduced to the corporate network is a headache that IT teams can prepare to prevent.
Understanding organizational collaboration and communication
In industries like information technology and increasingly financial services where an organization’s executives and knowledge-workers may already be accustomed to engaging with staff, colleagues, customers, and partners through online channels—from video conferencing to email and instant messaging—interruptions may be minimal.
However, when the need arises for the organization and all of its employees (e.g., sales, tellers, maintenance, etc.) to collaborate and communicate more extensively or all the time through software, downtime can occur as executive staff, department heads, and individuals take time to become familiar with new ways of working.
To minimize disruption, IT and executive leaders must come together quickly when a workforce is suddenly more distributed than ever to document the many ways day-to-day communications happen at jobsites, in banks, clinics, and elsewhere before being able to introduce new virtual workflows and processes to support working remotely.
Recognizing support will be an issue
Among the biggest work-from-home unknowns is what level of support employees will need, with which apps and from what devices, at what places and what times. IT and business leaders or teams can map current processes to discover the biggest gaps and work to close them before further disruption. This includes reviewing remote support ticketing options, self-service opportunities, staffing, and more.
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About NextPointe: NextPointe is a Boutique Business VoIP Service Provider based out of South Florida. We offer our Services in Miami, Broward, West Palm Beach, the Caribbean as well as the rest of the country. Why do we provide a better solution than other hosted VoIP competitors? First, our platform is based on the Cisco Unified Call Manager, this is the platform of choice of most Fortune 500 companies; our customers are getting a mature, reliable and feature rich platform. Most providers use a generic-open-source-based soft-switch that is focused mostly on a multi-tenant portal and a support of wider variety of IP Phones. Second, we only offer Cisco IP Phones with our service, that are designed and tested to work with the Cisco Unified Call manager meaning we will have very little compatibility issues and a ton of telephony features compare to our competitors that want to support any phone brand in the market; plus Cisco IP Phones are vastly superior in quality compared to any competitor at about the same price. And last but not least we offered tailored support to our customers, think like having a “telecom department” for your organization. This is the most important feature of our service; we don’t sent you to a generic portal for you to figure out the changes, or send you to an outsourced call center in India. You simply call, email or IM our team and we will make the changes for you and take the managing of the Phone Service out of your back so you can focus on your business.