As businesses around the globe rushed to move their employees to remote work amid the COVID-19 quarantine, it was at first unclear how everything would come together. With a workforce suddenly separated from their traditional physical workspaces without warning, logging in virtually to attempt to work from home for the first time, leaders and their teams knew they would need to quickly learn to communicate and collaborate in ways they never imagined before.
It was time to sink or swim, and there was a realization that to thrive, businesses would need to go beyond simply having adequate tools and technology. Many brands realized the need for a robust managed digital workspace solution, to effectively overcome the challenges of remote working.
Remote modern workforce challenges often begin with inefficient collaboration and disjointed file sharing, which can cause delays in the development and implementation of ideas and solutions. When file sharing is unreliable, it can be difficult for teams to work together. Poor file sharing access leads to inefficient co-authoring and strained workflow. It’s even more difficult if outside contributors, such as vendors or freelancers, need to be included in document creation and review.
Many brands have realized the need for a robust managed digital workspace solution, to effectively overcome the challenges of remote working.
Having dispersed resources adds another layer of confusion. IT support often becomes overwhelmed with a pile of tasks. A lack of a centralized information hub can make it impossible for workers to be self-sufficient and troubleshoot basic needs on their own. Plus, as many businesses were in the middle of hiring for open positions pre-coronavirus, the onboarding time for remote workers increased exponentially.
As employees strive to make the best of a challenging situation by implementing solutions of their own, there may now be an inconsistency across the organization. While good intentioned, this can create additional hurdles for both team members and customers. The implementation of a digital workspace, like Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, does not effectively support an organization’s needs without proper management of the environment, best practices adoption and complementary services.
Whether it’s disjointed collaboration and file sharing, lack of a centralized information hub, inconsistency in tools being used or unsecured chat applications, many companies discovered that a one-size-fits-all approach using digital workspaces didn’t resolve these issues. Unfortunately, in some cases, issues were made worse, as teams quickly realized their digital workplace solution instead led to a variety of issues – causing delays in productivity and frustration for both internal teams and customers. This is why proper management and governance is crucial post digital workplace implementation, to not only effectively address the issues of a modern remote workforce, but also continuously support ongoing success long-term.
Teamwork makes the dream work
An effectively managed digital workspace approach aims to help organizations fully capitalize on the ROI of a properly managed remote work environment to:
- Increase employee productivity.
- Improve collaboration across the organization.
- Enable innovation.
- Reduce the costs of collaboration.
- Accelerate decision-making.
- Improve the customer and employee experience.
With streamlined access to a variety of benefits, managed digital workspace services can help organizations empower employees to overcome obstacles in the new, modern workplace. With employees being able to take advantage of superior time management outcomes and more efficiently manage their workloads, internal and external goals will be more effectively met. This means a more positive experience all around for management, employees and customers.
Remote modern workforce challenges often begin with inefficient collaboration and disjointed file sharing, which can cause delays in the development and implementation of ideas and solutions.
The following are some noteworthy stats from a recent Forrester study about the benefits Microsoft Teams can deliver when properly managed and governed:
- Saves employees an average of 4 hours per week
- Facilitates a 17.7% decrease in time-to-decision outcomes
- 88% of users report ease of communication through secure and private avenues
- 9% fewer meetings scheduled, and 17.3% fewer emails sent, leading to a more productive workforce
What to look for in a managed services provider
Business owners need a managed digital workspace solution that helps employees derive maximum value from their digital workspace, effectively collaborate with teammates, and deliver high-quality service to customers. In order to accomplish these goals, leaders should look for managed services that provide features and benefits to bolster four key areas:
Organizational—Effective team collaboration via a digital workspace enables an organization to culturally transform. This leads to higher employee retention and stronger talent acquisition, encourages community and social engagement and offers better operational agility.
Business owners need a managed digital workspace solution that helps employees derive maximum value from their digital workspace, effectively collaborate with teammates, and deliver high-quality service to customers.
- Cultural—This is a time when it can be incredibly difficult to maintain a company culture, both internally and externally. A managed services provider can share an approach for improving employee sentiment, helping to gather insights and employee recommendations, collect customer feedback and drive innovation/ideation measures.
- Individual—Each employee should feel the effects of a digital workspace tool in their own workflow. The managed services provider should enable the use of modern tools, improve employee morale, increase employee productivity, promote stronger employee engagement and drive idea generation.
- Tangible ROI—Businesses should be able to see return on investment in the form of positive customer experience impact, cost savings (e.g., voice infrastructure and video conferencing), higher revenue per employee, data security and governance improvements, process simplification and the ability to retire legacy systems.
Connecting a remote team
The recent surge in work-from-home teams doesn’t have to leave companies struggling to connect employees remotely. A comprehensive managed digital workspace solution from an experienced managed service provider will provide much needed governance, even for companies that are already utilizing an advanced tool such as Microsoft Teams.
Superior document management and sharing, streamlined communication, and an overall organizational plan will drastically improve employee productivity and customer satisfaction when these programs are selected, customized, and implemented alongside an expert. Expect managed digital workspace services to grow into an in-demand offering, as more companies embrace remote work both during and after the current global pandemic.