If there is one thing we know for sure it’s that the pandemic has reshaped our workforce. In fact, TechCrunch cited that, “According to a new study for the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), 81% of small to mid-sized businesses expect more than a quarter of employees to work remotely most of the time, even when the pandemic is over.” The hybrid workplace is here to stay.
With fully remote or hybrid work options becoming the norm, organizations must be sure they have functional technology and strategies in place to support both employee and business goals. Is your workplace ready? Here’s 5 suggestions to help your workplace for the long-term:
Cloud-Based Services for Collaboration
With part of your employees working at home, some working in-office, and others working a mixture of both, workforces are dispersed. Because of this, work processes need to be digital and accessible from anywhere. ISG director Iain Fisher notes that, “By taking advantage of capabilities in the Cloud, organizations can ensure their employees can always access their work and deliver to the customer.” Varsity can help with easy access and secure connections.
Consider having your employees save their files to the Cloud. At Varsity, we offer OneCloud: a private, Cloud-hosting service to support a variety of needs. This service includes all of the infrastructure needed to support Cloud computing such as hardware, virtual machines, storage, and network resources. It also includes the management services you need to help manage, support, and scale-up any legacy applications your organization may be using.
Effective communication is key to success in the hybrid workplace. With in-person meetings a thing of the past, it’s important to have tools to communicate remotely such as video conferencing and chat technology. These applications can be used to share information across an organization, to support teams on a specific project, or to simply communicate with your customers. Microsoft Teams and Google Apps are well-known examples, and Varsity offers support and management for these leading applications. We also take it a step further to make sure your data is protected, since both M365 and G-Suite only retain your deleted data for 30 days!
Varsity also offers Managed Voice Services through VarsityVoice, which is a Cloud Hosted VoIP. Now without the need for expensive, traditional phone lines, we can offer voice services completely through the Cloud with no dependency on phone carriers, phone contracts, or physical hardware. Depending on your organization’s needs, you can also choose to keep some physical phones too. Is your current communication technology saving you time and money?
Performance Management Tools
The employee-manager relationship can be challenging to maintain in a remote environment; however, it is critical to ensure both employee wellbeing and work productivity. One may assume productivity would have decreased with the shift to remote work, but in fact, the opposite is true. A study by Stanford of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working from home increased productivity by 13%. While there are numerous other studies that support this finding, it’s important to have tools in place to monitor productivity remotely.
TechTarget states that, “Employees need clear goals and regular check-ins to ensure they are receiving timely feedback.” Technology is critical to support this. With Varsity, our team of professionals can support hybrid or fully remote workplaces. We also offer a variety of consulting services for your organization’s specific project needs.
Remote-access technologies are exposed to more external threats. Because of this, organizations need to have secure remote technology to protect their employee’s identities and company data. Organizations “should assume that malicious parties will gain control of telework client devices and attempt to recover sensitive data from them or leverage the devices to gain access to the enterprise network,” said the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
While this may seem frightening at first, there are ways to prepare. Varsity offers three levels of security that build on each other to support growth and greater impact. The first level is ThreatWatch Protect, which is a suite of protection services such as device encryption, anti-ransomware, advanced email security, and more. ThreatWatch Action is the second level and is perfect for organizations that require 24/7 monitoring. The top level is ThreatWatch Manage, which is intended for organizations needing to meet specific compliance requirements.
Additional IT Support
There’s no question that the shift to fully remote or hybrid working has posed many technology challenges, especially for nonprofits with constraints, costs, and inconsistences of an inhouse IT department. At Varsity, we strive to empower our clients to focus on their mission, rather than their IT issues. In addition to all the services we mentioned, Varsity can provide Cloud back up services and web app development too. Our IT services are endless, and we will always work tirelessly to identify the best ways for you to leverage your daily technology.
Are you still adapting to the hybrid workforce? Perhaps you have specific ways your organization has prepared for it? Feel free to share that insight with us below! If you’d like to learn more about Varsity and how our services can benefit your nonprofit, reach out to us.