The Right Collaboration Tools Are Key to Effectively Working from Home
Various studies have shown that knowledge workers, managers, and executives spend about 80 percent of their time collaborating. That’s 32 hours out of the standard 40-hour workweek. The time is split among reading and answering emails, talking on the phone, and attending meetings. It likely does not include the impromptu conversations that take place when an employee stops by a coworker’s desk.
One could argue that we spend too much of the workday collaborating, leaving precious little time for actual work. But that’s not the point. Knowledge workers need to share knowledge and work together on complex projects that involve multiple roles and disciplines. Whether it’s 32 hours a week or merely 20, collaboration plays a key role in getting things done. What does that mean now that millions of Americans have suddenly begun working from home to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic? The answer is simple: Remote workers need technology tools that enable them to communicate and collaborate effectively.
Remote Collaboration Trends
Many organizations are well-aware of this fact, particularly those that have locations across the country and around the globe. Rahi Systems has offices on five continents and relies heavily on collaboration tools to bring our teams together.
Work-from-home strategies are also a growing trend. A recent study by IWG found that more than two-thirds of professionals worldwide work away from the office at least once a week. Remote work can reduce workforce costs while enhancing employee retention and talent acquisition. Employees working from home can be as productive and engaged as their office-bound counterparts if they have the tools they need.
Remote collaboration in and of itself delivers key business benefits, including increased productivity, enhanced customer service, and better decision-making. A new report from research firm Techaisle finds that organizations that lack collaboration tools are finding themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
Choosing the Right Tools
There are a lot of collaboration tools on the market, and many service providers are offering extended free trials during the pandemic. With so many options available, which ones do you choose?
At Rahi, we standardized on the Zoom platform several years ago. There are a number of features that make Zoom our preferred platform:
- HD audio and video help ensure high-quality meetings and presentations, even with hundreds of participants.
- There’s no passing control of the screen back and forth — multiple participants can share their screens simultaneously and annotate documents.
- Collaboration tools, including group chat and file sharing, are built-in, and you can easily escalate from chat to a one-on-one or group call.
- You can easily record meetings in the cloud for sharing with team members who are unable to attend. Integrated, searchable transcripts make it easy to find the content you need.
- All communications are protected by 256-bit TLS encryption, and users can control how people join meetings and share information.
Individual users can sign up for free, but it’s better to adopt Zoom as a standard across the enterprise. That helps to optimize your subscription and to prevent users from adopting “shadow IT” solutions that lack the features and security you need and create a fragmented collaboration environment.
Zoom is extremely popular — it has become the platform of choice as organizations retool their operations to support remote workers during this pandemic crisis. If you’re looking for a long-term, strategic approach to collaboration, Rahi can help you take full advantage of Zoom.