Clare Satchwell, Vuzion Head of Product, writes …
At Vuzion, we’ve had a number of calls from partners, asking how best to support customers in the light of the challenges facing businesses due to the coronavirus outbreak.
It’s a fine line to tread, being careful to avoid exploiting a situation that is having a devastating effect across country boundaries, but being able to provide the answers businesses are looking for - because of course, it’s technology that can help businesses to keep running on a day-to-day basis.
The requirement for social distancing - whether resulting from a blanket government directive, or due to individual preference or need - will create immense pressure on organisations, with many fearing for the survival of the organisation itself in some cases.
But with today’s technology, the challenge of enabling home-working can be met. After all, businesses have been taking advantage of ‘remote working’ for a while now, and which encompasses home-working. It’s the idea of this being a situation imposed on the workforce, rather than one chosen for flexibility, or to meet other requirements, and perhaps the potential timescale involved, that is worrying businesses, and perhaps preventing them from seeing the ways in which to meet the challenge.
It’s at times like these that Office 365’s Microsoft Teams really comes into its own. The ability to chat, instant message, and voice call, ensures that colleagues can keep in contact. There’s no need to cancel meetings - these can move online - and file sharing features mean that nobody is without the documents and data they need, while access to the office tools on which everyone relies, is as if the workforce was in the office.
Remembering the human element
It’s worth remembering, however, that it isn’t just the technology access moving location. It is your customers’ employees moving base, and having to come to terms with a completely new way of working in some cases, and one that can seem strange and isolating. So, any messaging about the technology to support home-working, should perhaps include suggestions for customers to help making the transition for their employees as easy as possible.
Some good home-working tips include:
· Setting aside a specific area in which to work. This helps prevent overspill of work life into home life.
· Creating a routine. It’s important to keep to office timings, and for the employee to not feel under pressure to dip in and out of work out of hours, because work happens to be on the spot.
· Keeping focused on tasks - a short daily Teams meetings can help with this.
· Ensuring regular breaks are taken, and exercise - particularly in the fresh air, and which, with its change of environment, can help prevent the onset of ‘cabin fever’.
· Keeping up socially! Home-working can come as a shock, particularly for those unused to the concept, and who need that ‘good morning’ first thing, the midday chat in the kitchen, the discussion about what everyone’s doing in the evening. So, encourage your customers to put forward the benefits of keeping up the social contact. Yammer is a great channel for this.
For more information
If you’re receiving queries from customers about how best to implement a home-working strategy and would like some advice from Vuzion, do get in touch. We can help with advice and guidance on the solutions and services that are going to really help businesses in the challenging times that lie ahead.