Sergey Zarubin, Communications Manager for ONLYOFFICE, discusses how software can support remote collaboration as the nation works from home
With the mass disruption that COVID-19 has made to lifestyles globally, businesses have had to adapt at breakneck speeds to remote working solutions.
For some, who already utilise cloud-based collaborative systems for their workforce, this adjustment period was relatively easy.
However, 51% of business leaders feeling that a shift to cloud computing, as workforces turn remote, has saved their business this year – many of those being new customers forced into a change of working ways. There is a need more than ever for team collaboration software solutions to help businesses continue to thrive.
The benefits of remote working spread across the full business, however there are specific solutions and technology that can support different aspects.
For the individual
Although flexible working and the ability to work from home may be usual for most (especially by now), but at the beginning a lot of businesses and therefore employees would have to adapt to having their office being their home.
It is important to help employees adjust with how to spend their time in a balanced way without the distractions around the home. Not just for the business but also to ensure that the work and home life for employees don’t merge and team members end up working way past the usual office hours.
This is where time tracking solutions come in, which can help gently push employees to become more productive and manage their tasks in an efficient way. These tools can lead to process analysis and new techniques introduced to help time be managed more wisely. Latest time tracking solutions can also help automate routine tasks such as reporting, leaving extra time for more important jobs.
For the business
Remote collaboration has become an essential requirement as the world adjusts to a ‘new normal’ way of working. Cloud computing, including storage and file management, allows whole teams to collaborate within shared documents, correcting each other’s mistakes, making suggestions through comments and so on. All of this is done in real time thanks to online document editing tools, which makes tasks simple regardless if working solo or as a team. Imagine if instead you had to wait for each team member to make their individual changes – it just wouldn’t work in this new remote way of working.
This collaboration can be extended to outside the core business team, say for clients. Clients can be given access to certain documents for their review and feedback, speeding up approval processes and the like. Many clients may be concerned that due to remote working productivity or service level may reduce. By implementing new online solutions and sharing with them can be a good way to show them otherwise.
For the team
Remote employees often lack real face-to-face communication with their teammates. For those who rely on in-person interactions to get their job done, working from home can be really stressful and sometime lonely.
Modern technologies can help remote employees stay connected with their teams in different ways to manage these stresses and help improve mental wellbeing. Apart from traditional emailing, there are messaging apps that allow you to stay in touch and exchange messages with your teammates from anywhere in the world. You would have also seen the huge rise in video conferencing tools, that allow remote teams to get together and hold online meetings, plus social events. More importantly, some solutions offer both video conferencing and chat messaging making online communication within remote teams as easy as possible.
For the future
It isn’t just businesses that have been forced to adapt to remote working, however. With the UK and the world seeing new lockdowns being implemented, many schools and universities are having to turn to remote learning to ensure their students are still receiving the education they need and deserve.
Conferencing software, cloud computing and collaborative documents have become a vital resource to ensure our future generation of workers continue to learn during a time when in-person lectures or classes are simply not possible.
In summary, there are many software solutions out there that can help businesses and education organisations run smoothly whilst also supporting staff and teams to stay connected, productive and ultimately collaborative. By combining different tools and solutions you can find what works for your business and your team to ensure that this period of working from home is as seamless and rewarding as it can be.