By: Damian Diaz on March 10th, 2020
Scaling Work-From-Home Capabilities For Your Employees
As we see companies, event organizers, and local governments preparing for the for the likelihood that the coronavirus outbreak will continue to spread, several tech industry leaders and local governments have already begun telling employees to work from home. Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, and Google have all made public announcements and informed their employees to work remotely in an effort to do their part in preventing any further chance of outbreaks in their offices and communities. We are also seeing state and local governments declaring state of emergencies in places like Washington State which has been the most severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. New York and Austin, Texas have additionally declared their own states of emergencies respectively, and in Austin, canceling that city's largest event, SXSW, which was scheduled for March.
It is clear that as this virus spreads, more and more people will be working remotely or from home offices. The questions is:
Are businesses prepared for this adjustment and do they have the right technology in place to manage a remote workforce?
Technology's Role in Managing Remote Employees
Technology will no doubt play a decisive role in facilitating communication, collaboration, and helping remote employees complete daily tasks. Success hinges on management implementing the right tools for remote employees to get the job done. For companies who aren’t already working with a remote workforce, the challenge will be identifying and implementing solutions in a timely manner that are effective and provide the functionality needed to maintain continuity for a business.
At IO Integration we have extensive knowledge and expertise at working remotely and supporting globally distributed workforce's, and we are here to help organizations identify the most effective solutions to get a remote workforce up and running quickly with the right technology. We are recommending that customers address the most critical aspects of their business as it relates to collaboration, maintaining continuity, and keeping projects moving as your workforce transitions to working from home. Technologies to help achieve these goals should include:
Most companies already have technologies in place for corporate communications. These systems incorporate phones, including voice over IP and mobile, email, a chat platform, and video meeting/conference solutions for face-to-face meetings. These essential tools address the basic communication requirements for every employee.
Creative Operations and Work Management
The technologies used in creative operations are often different from those used throughout the rest of an organization. Implementing the right technology stack with marketing and creative teams will impact how effectively these employees can collaborate from remote locations. Thousands of products exist to handle all of the various creative tasks, still, there are core pieces of technology that establish a foundation for remote work environments and the most important objectives for creative production teams will be to:
- Digitize your work process
- Schedule your remote workforce
- Access your work and production content
- Keep your work in progress organized, in a central location and not on your users' desktops
- Track versions with change logging
- Collaborate, communicate and deliver to your clients
Provide Visibility Into Project Collaboration
Marketing and creative work are deadline-driven, so there must be visibility into each project: What stage has it progressed to? Who is currently working on it? What is the task's time burn rate? And more. A work management solution should be in place to answer these questions, provide clear windows into all projects and, push work efficiently through production. When questions arise, managers should be able to check the system, see where the issue is, and take appropriate action to keep projects moving.
Provide Access to Data and Content
Production personnel need fast, secure access to all marketing assets including, images, documents and work-in-progress content, with the ability to control versions, collaborate and update. An ideal situation for remote Access to this data is ideally set up for remote workers in a secure cloud environment to maximise throughput and control versions.
Effectively Manage Time for Remote Workers
Time is money and is the basis for how most creative teams set their pricing or calculate their internal budgets. By knowing how remote employees spend their time, managers have a better comprehension of what motivates and keeps workers engaged. Having effective systems in place helps managers understand how each team member works and how long tasks take. With this information, managers can create realistic deadlines that work for all team members. Managers also gain the ability to estimate costs for future projects more accurately.
While it is likely impossible to completely negate the business impacts of current and future natural disasters, having plans in place to allow your team to work safely at home is important to your success. Having the technology and policies in place to respond to these unexpected and rapidly evolving situations not only protects your team members but demonstrates to your clients that you have forward thinking policies in place to meet your deliverable time lines.
If your organization is currently planning to have more staff working from home during a global health crisis, contact IOI Integration to learn about our fast-track solutions that can be implemented quickly.
Contact us today for a quick evaluation to identify your remote workforce requirements.
About Damian Diaz
Damian Diaz has been in the Marketing & Creative Operations Technology space since 1999. With experience in marketing, sales, and the tech side of the business, I have watched the industry evolve from its infancy in print centric technologies to the enterprise marketing solutions we see today. As a Director of Global Marketing, it is my goal to deliver relevant content, events, and experiences to inform, educate, and entice those interested in marketing and creative operations technology solutions.