How to remain efficient and productive when working remotely

Many companies understand the importance, or at least the utility, of cloud platforms and have migrated a great deal of their systems and applications there. Some have digitized processes as a way to save time and money and help move staff to more productive tasks. In these cases, employees are comfortable working and accessing information on the cloud.

“That’s really helped them minimize the loss in productivity or efficiency that companies with only on-premise systems likely experienced when, suddenly, their workforce was compelled to work remote,” says Sudhir Achar, CEO of EOX Vantage.

Still, there have been snags making the transition to an almost entirely remote working situation, some of which could have been avoided by the implementation of a tested business continuity or disaster recovery plan.

Smart Business spoke with Achar about the tools companies can use to stay productive and efficient as they switch almost entirely to a remote work environment.

How do business continuity and disaster recovery plans play into the move to a remote work environment?
The beauty of having a business continuity plan or business disaster recovery plan is you’ve already simulated what your processes and the roles of essential people look like if business is disrupted by some type of disaster.

That positions a company to be at least 75 to 80 percent prepared to cope with a disaster, at least in terms of moving their operations to a remote work environment. Testing validates whether the continuity plan that is in place, as well as its contingency plans — plan B and plan C within the business continuity plan — is effective or it needs a tweak . That level of preparedness is really valuable.

What the pandemic has revealed about these plans is that companies, if they have a plan at all, often put it together and never battle test it. This pandemic is showing many that they have a plan in name, but not a plan in practice.

How do companies determine what tools and remote support should be in place to facilitate remote work?
Ideally all employees will be working from dedicated company laptops. There are also endpoint solutions that will filter out all malware and ransomware from all the incoming and outgoing traffic. There should also be remote desktop connection software installed on all laptops in case any technical support is needed. And IT personnel should be available by phone, email and chat tools that instantly connect employees with IT support to resolve simple issues. For many companies, a lot of this security software and IT support is already in place, which means the transition in this time of disruption has been fairly seamless.

What benefits does an enterprise operating system offer remote teams? 
An enterprise operating system is a collaboration tool that gives teams visibility in terms of all the data coming in and out, as well as transparency in terms of the quality and timeliness of deliverables. It keeps projects in front of everyone’s eyes so they can see both progress and changes, and that helps people stay on track.

Enterprise operating systems also offer integration with other applications such as chat, video conferencing, project management or just basic timesheet features. All of those combined in one platform can be a really powerful business continuity tool. Working remotely means you can’t just pop your head over the cubicle wall to talk to someone.

Enterprise operating systems give visibility into what people are working on and how things are progressing. You can see what tasks are being assigned, their timeline and progress, and have a way to give real-time feedback. CRMs, similarly, offer a way to monitor client contacts and how things are moving through the sales funnel.

With so many people working from home, it’s important to have the tools that can make remote work easier while keeping productivity and efficiency as high as it was in the office. Businesses that find themselves struggling to transition to a remote work environment are hopefully more willing now to explore ways to digitize processes and adopt software that can keep everyone, regardless of where they are physically, in the loop.

Insights Digital Transformation is brought to you by EOX Vantage