Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The new normal? 5 tips for a successful remote workforce

By Bob Davis, CMO at Plutora

It can be difficult to embrace change, especially when it’s forced upon you so suddenly, but making small technology changes in the daily running of things can help.

With this in mind, below are five top tips for organisations to best have a successful remote workforce.

  1. Ensure company-wide visibility

The impact of COVID-19 is changing our lives, and many of these changes are likely to stay with us permanently. Maintaining high-quality, efficient software delivery that delights customers and delivers value to the business has been dealt quite a blow with a suddenly mandated remote workforce.

What is needed is complete portfolio and pipeline visibility, smooth handoffs between teams, governance and compliance, and a system that facilitates collaboration, even in a distributed world.

Value Stream Management Platforms (VSMP) provide the foundation and visibility necessary to do just that. Visibility while working remotely during the COVID crisis and beyond is extremely important, especially if your development culture, like most, has been face-to-face.

People, process and technology all play a role in achieving this, and technology leaders should address them all now in order to succeed in the new world we are stepping into.

  1. Be vigilant around cloud security

As companies around the world face today’s unfortunate and uncertain reality a rapidly growing number of employees are joining the Work From Home (WFH) culture,” says Raif Mehmet,

AVP EMEA at Bitglass. “This means that the security of organisations is now at an increased risk of being compromised due to the heavy traffic flowing in and out of the cloud. Salesforce, O365, Confluence, and Slack are just a handful of apps out of the thousands that currently host their information in the cloud. As a result, organisations must become increasingly vigilant in regards to securing apps their employees may have access to. Company data can be remotely accessed from anywhere in the world due to the cloud, and ensuring that all sensitive content is protected is a forerunner in this battle of cloud security.”

  1. Think about utilising a Managed Service Provider (MSP)

One way to best ensure cloud security is by thinking utilising an MSP, as Richard Buxton, Director, N4Engage explains: “Deploying and effectively managing a remote workforce is a big task, and having the correct and all-encompassing strategy as support is paramount to success. Security concerns are a big factor for most companies, especially when it comes to setting up secure remote workforces in a crisis scenario. It can often feel rushed and unprepared.

“Utilising an MSP can be a big help, as it can alleviate all of the stress around this and ensure that every precaution is taken – even when things have to move very quickly. They are able to use due diligence to ensure that the solutions implemented are suitable and meet the compliance, security and reliability needs of the business.”

  1. Adopt a ‘cloud-first’ mindset

“Coronavirus is affecting many operational areas across all industries and organisations are making contingency plans to ensure business continuity in the event all of their staff are required to work from home,” comments Martin Taylor, Deputy CEO at Content Guru. “While at this stage that represents an extreme precaution, it may well prove necessary as the situation evolves.

“For those businesses still relying on legacy on-premises infrastructure, and particularly those that have been sitting on the fence for some time, Coronavirus could well act as the catalyst needed for change. With the likelihood of mass quarantine becoming a real possibility, it wouldn’t be surprising to see most contact centres start looking at how they can adopt a cloud-first approach which allows agents to work from wherever they are based, as a matter of emergency.”

  1. Embrace remote working

“The global community is facing unprecedented challenges, and they’re serving as a wake-up call of how truly interconnected we all are to each other,” concludes Nicole Sahin, CEO at Globalization Partners. “We can no longer close our eyes, our ears, or our borders, and pretend that what happens elsewhere has no effect on us.

“A global perspective increases the overall performance of your business by providing invaluable insights into local markets and inspires new ways to look at a given situation or problem. But it’s the combination of the two that gives your business a true competitive edge, and the added measure of resilience that can be invaluable to get you through these trying times.

Sahin rounds things off by saying: “When you build a team that’s located everywhere, there is no longer an ‘elsewhere.’ We are all in this together.”