5 Mistakes Businesses Make in their Digital Workplace

Covid 19 was a reality check for companies around the world that have developed a new way of working, the “New Normal.”

This required major changes in the way we all run our businesses on a daily basis. The status quo, where everyone works in an office, no longer makes sense for everyone. Many businesses have had to quickly transition to working remotely and maintain that way of working in the future. Onyx IT has helped many customers with this task and continues to do so today.

During the worst of the pandemic, an estimated 70% of full-time employees worked from home. Remote work remains a widespread reality. 92% of workers surveyed expect to work from home at least one or more days per week.

This “new normal” has forced companies to rethink the solutions, tools and strategies they use. Many have had to completely redesign the way they work. They have had to move to a cloud-based digital workspace to enable a hybrid team. This has other benefits beyond the ability to work remotely, read our post on Cloud reducing your carbon footprint.

This transition has brought new benefits such as::

  • Lower costs for employees and employers
  • Better work-life balance for employees
  • Higher employee morale
  • Same or higher productivity
  • More flexibility in customer service
  • This approach can lead to better employee retention

However, the transition to a digital workplace also brings challenges and risks;

  • Vulnerable networks and endpoints
  • Employees feeling disconnected
  • Communication problems
  • Difficulty tracking productivity and accountability
  • Increased risk of data breaches

20% of organizations experienced a violation during the pandemic due to a remote worker.

Overcoming the challenges/risks and reaping the benefits takes time and effort. It also often requires the help of a trained IT professional to help you avoid costly mistakes. This is where Onyx IT stands out with its proven experience to provide the above benefits while helping mitigate risk and overcome the challenges some companies face.

Below are some of the biggest business mistakes when building a digital workplace. For the statistics, we referenced the State of the Digital Workplace report from IGLOO.

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1) Low File Organization in the Cloud

When organizations go virtual with their workflows, files reside in a cloud environment that they can access. If these cloud storage environments aren’t well organized, it’s a problem. It can be difficult for employees to find the files they need. This leads to frustration and lost productivity.

About 51% of employees haven’t shared a document with a colleague for this reason. They either couldn’t find it or thought it was too hard to find. It’s worth noting that this is the highest percentage recorded in the IGLOO report for this statistic. This means that the situation is getting worse, not better.

Some tips to make it easier to find shared cloud storage files are:

  • Keep the file structure apartment (2-3 folders deep)
  • Create a consistent hierarchy and naming structure
  • Don’t create a file for fewer than 10 documents.
  • Archive and delete older files monthly to avoid clutter

2) Keep Remote Workers Out of the Conversation

No one likes it when you start talking about something in a meeting and then realize you’ve lost your way. You missed an important piece of information or an earlier conversation. Many companies haven’t yet solved the problem of communication between face-to-face and remote workers.

Nearly 60% of remote workers say they’ve missed important information. This is because their colleagues communicated it in person first. Efficiency suffers when office-based employees make decisions without regard to remote workers.

Managers and supervisors must take the lead in changing this culture. It may take time to change old habits, but the mindset can be changed to be more inclusive of the hybrid world.

3) Not Addressing Unauthorized Cloud App usage

Unauthorized use of cloud apps (also known as Shadow IT) was a problem even before the challenges created by the pandemic. This problem escalated when people started working from home. In most cases, they used their personal devices to do so.

Fifty-seven percent of employees use at least one unapproved app in their workflow. When this happens, organizations can suffer in many ways.

Some of the risks of shadow IT include:

  • Data leakage from non-secured apps
  • Data breaches due to unsecured apps
  • Breaches of data protection regulations
  • Redundancies in app usage that increase costs
  • Unprotected corporate data due to lack of visibility
  • Employee leaves and no one can access the data in the unauthorized app

4) Remote Working Is Not Only Working From Home

Remote employees don’t always work from home and are connected to their home Wi-Fi. They can also work from coffee shops, airports, hotels, a family member’s home, or a co-working space.

Companies that fail to protect corporate data used by field workers run the risk of a security breach. Public networks are notorious for enabling “man-in-the-middle” attacks. In this case, a hacker connects to the same public network. He can then use software to access data transmissions from others on that network.

It’s advisable to use an enterprise VPN for all remote work situations. VPNs are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. The employee simply activates the app on their device. The app then redirects data through secure, encrypted servers.

 

5) Communication Tools Might Frustrate Your Coworkers

Are virtual meetings causing problems for your team? No less than 85% of remote workers say they’ve had 1-2 meetings interrupted due to technical issues. You can hardly hold a virtual meeting anymore without someone having a technical problem.

Communication is the oil that makes the engine of a digital workplace run. Effective cloud-based video calls, audio calls, and chats depend on the right technology.

Don’t rush to use any old communication tool. Take your time and test it under the guidance of an experienced IT company like Onyx IT. Get help tweaking the settings to improve your virtual meetings. Also, make sure your remote team has tools that enable smooth communication. This includes headsets, VoIP desktops, webcams, etc.

Increase the Productivity of Your Hybrid Office

Onyx IT can help you improve the efficiency and productivity of your digital workplace. We work with clients every day who’ve embraced this new way of working. If you’ve employees working from home and haven’t taken the time to properly design the framework, you may be putting your business at significant cybersecurity risk.

If you’d like to talk about your telecommuting efforts, schedule a technology consultation today.

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Article used with permission from The Technology Press.