With so many team members working from home, you need a platform that supports highly productive collaboration.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, about 18% to 30% of the workforce was working from home at least occasionally. That number jumped to almost 90% with the onset of the coronavirus.
Today, most companies are managing a blend of in-person and work-from-home structures while their employees are adjusting to new ways of doing business. With so many types of work environments and requirements, it’s crucial to have a robust team platform that ensures everyone can collaborate effectively.
Considerations When Choosing a Team Collaboration Platform
Here are the most important considerations to keep in mind when deciding on the best platform to support team collaboration:
A Secure Solution
Security is a huge concern when it comes to company communications. COVID-19 sparked a surge of interest in Zoom — the online meeting platform. But Zoom had a critical security flaw that allowed outsiders to hijack meetings, listen to private conversations, and display unprofessional content.
Zoom has since fixed the flaw, but not before thousands of privacy-conscious organizations switched to other platforms like Google Classroom/G Suite and Cisco Webex. The Webex user base more than doubled over two short weeks during the pandemic.
Adding to the already existing security issues is the fact that many families are now sharing access to a single device. The same computer a teenager uses to play Fortnite may also be used for their parent’s professional workplace communication. This opens the door for potential security problems. From the hassle of day-to-day security verification to the ongoing challenge of dealing with non-work-related downloads and content to name a few.
Considering all the security risks, many companies have decided to use cloud-based solutions that offer greater security for those who are working from home. With a secure cloud-based solution, the business IT network sits in the Cloud and receives constant security updates. It’s a centralized access point that requires user credentials and allows extensive security controls for remote workers.
Reliable and Scalable
Before settling on a platform give serious consideration to whether it can keep up with your organization’s demands and flexible work requirements, both now and in the future. Is the company behind the platform thriving or struggling? How much downtime are remote employees experiencing?
Particularly for growing companies, the dual issues of reliability and scalability are critically important aspects of maintaining business continuity. A rapidly growing company needs to be able to scale up without its system going down.
Imagine how the platform would handle a sudden jump in use. For instance, like what happened in the recent pandemic or what occurs during a company merger or acquisition. What if you added 20, 200, or 2,000 new employees all at once? Could you reliably keep them all collaborating and working productively? Can the platform handle it?
Network-based solutions are bound by their inherent physical limitations. When a network is designed for 200 remote users and is suddenly trying to handle 2,000, you’ll have immediate issues with scalability. Issues include dropped connections, slowness, downtime, lack of productivity, lost opportunities, and employee frustration.
But a cloud-based solution can support the weight and scale of any team size because it lives in a virtually limitless space. As you scale up, it expands to meet your needs. Plus, you only pay for what you currently need at any given moment.
Good Customer Support
It’s almost laughable to try to get someone from Zoom or Google on the phone quickly for customer support during a crisis. While every product should be user-friendly enough to perform without constant tech support, the reality is that most home office workers need support from time to time. Employees working remotely often need support at a moment’s notice to address urgent issues.
Do your online collaboration tools offer fast, friendly, and helpful customer support? Is it available 24 hours a day, every day, year-round? Consider whether your support options include the following aspects:
- End-user support including total infrastructure support and applications management
- Digital workplace productivity solutions and task management
- Collaborative governance
- Management of your devices and environment
- Company-wide support without unworkable restrictions and exceptions
Easy to Use?
Finally, consider the issue of user-friendliness. A poorly designed collaboration platform will create endless headaches for your team. Choose something intuitive with only a moderate amount of staff training. And if more training is necessary, make sure there’s an option for arranging it online for people working from home.
Ideally, your platform would also address the issue of job satisfaction and contain built-in methods of soliciting and acting upon feedback. This is an important part of customizing your solution. It will also increase productivity for your business and ensure it continues to serve you well.
For more information about collaborative work-from-home solutions, connect with ATSG. We offer smooth cloud migration and business continuity services for companies that need to facilitate working from home without a break in productivity.
ATSG — Transforming the Customer Experience Through Tech-Enabled Managed Services
Today’s choices for mobility, cloud, infrastructure, communications, applications, and operations are mission-critical for small, mid-sized, and large enterprises alike. ATSG, Inc. is leading the transformation into Technology-Solutions-as-a-Service with our tech-enabled managed services portfolio and a commitment to technology innovation, operational excellence, and client intimacy.
Recognized by industry leaders and industry-leading publications, ATSG has over 25 years of operating history delivering exceptional customer experiences that directly result in competitive advantage, cost-savings, growth, and improved operational efficiencies.