Navigating through the digital workplace isn’t always easy, especially in a changing world.
Globally, companies have been heavily affected by the pandemic in various ways. As a result, many organizations had to change the way they operate.
The status quo of everyone working in the office, no longer made sense to everyone. Remote work environments quickly became a necessity for many organizations.
So, the digital workplace landscape changed. And, it do so in a hurry, before many businesses were truly prepared to do so.
The Necessity of Change
During the worst of the pandemic, it’s estimated that 70% of full-time workers were working from home. Yet, in spite of the waning pandemic, remote work is still very much a reality.
According to the survey, 92% of employees now expect to work from home at least one day a week. In response to this transformation, companies have had to rethink the tools and policies they use. Many have also had to completely revamp their work processes. For a hybrid team to function, they had to switch to a cloud-based digital workspace.
This transition has brought newfound benefits, such as:
- Lower costs for employees and employers
- Better employee work/life balance
- Higher morale
- The same, or even improved productivity
- More flexibility in serving clients
But, the transition to a digital workplace has also brought challenges and risks. These include:
- Vulnerable networks and endpoints
- Employees feeling disconnected
- Communication problems
- Difficulty tracking productivity and accountability
- Increased risk of data breaches
In fact, 20% of organizations experienced a breach during the pandemic due to a remote worker.
Overcoming the challenges and reaping the benefits takes time and effort. It also often takes the help of trained IT professionals, so you avoid costly mistakes before they happen.
Below are five of the biggest company mistakes that occur when building a digital workplace. For the statistics, we referenced IGLOO’s State of the Digital Workplace report.
1. Poor Cloud File Organization
In a virtual workflow, files are stored in a cloud environment that is accessible from anywhere.
While it’s an incredible system, an unorganized cloud storage environment is a problem. Employees may have difficulty finding the files they need.
It’s already become a big enough problem that approximately 51% of employees avoid sharing documents with colleagues because of it. They either couldn’t find it, or thought it would be too hard to find.
It’s notable that this is the highest percentage yet recorded for this stat in the IGLOO report. That means that this problem is getting worse.
So, what can you do about it?
Some tips for making shared cloud storage files easier to locate are:
- Keep file structure flat (2-3 folders deep)
- Create a consistent hierarchy and naming structure
- Don’t create a folder for fewer than 10 documents
- Archive and delete older files monthly to reduce clutter
2. Leaving Remote Workers Out of the Conversation
No one enjoys hearing people start talking about something in a meeting and then realize they have no idea what they are talking about. Too often, this means there was an important piece of information they missed in an earlier conversation.
The challenge of in-person vs. remote communication has not yet been overcome by many companies.
To put things in perspective, almost 60% of remote workers say they miss out on important information.
So, what’s going on here?
Well, it’s usually because colleagues first discussed it face-to-face, often without giving it much thought. Remote workers suffer from inefficiency when in-office workers make decisions without considering them.
In order to change this culture, managers and bosses must lead the way. It may take some time to change old habits, but mindsets can be adapted to be more hybrid-friendly.
3. Not Addressing Unauthorized Cloud App Use in the Digital Workspace
Unauthorized cloud app use (also known as Shadow IT) was already a problem before the pandemic even existed. As people began working from home, the problem escalated.
Often, when people work from home, they use their own devices.
Over half of employees (57%) use an unauthorized app at least once per day. This can have a variety of negative effects on organizations when this happens.
Some of the risks of shadow IT include:
- Data leakage from non-secured apps
- Data privacy compliance violations
- Redundancies in-app use that increase costs
- Unprotected company data due to a lack of visibility
- The employee leaves and no one can access the data in the unauthorized app
4. Not Realizing Remote Doesn’t Always Mean From Home
Employees who work remotely aren’t always connected to Wi-Fi at home.
It’s also possible for them to work from airports, hotels, a family member’s home, or even a local coffee shop.
Data breaches often occur when companies fail to protect company data used by remote employees (again, think of that stat mentioned above: 20% of organizations suffered a data breach due to a remote worker!)
It is well known that public networks are prone to “man-in-the-middle” attacks. When a hacker connects to the same public network, they are able to access it. It is then possible to access other users’ data transmissions over that network by using different types of software.
It’s advisable to use a business VPN for all remote work situations. VPNs are fairly inexpensive and easy to use.
The employee simply enables the app on their device, which then reroutes their data through secure, encrypted servers.
5. Using Communication Tools That Frustrate Everyone
Are virtual meetings giving your team problems?
As many as 85% of remote workers say that they’ve had 1-2 meetings interrupted by technology. Sometimes it feels like you can hardly have a virtual meeting without someone having a technical issue.
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. This facilitates a smooth experience.
Don’t rush to use just any communication tools.
Take your time and test them out. Get help optimizing settings to improve your digital workplace. Additionally, ensure your remote team has tools to foster smooth communications.
This includes headsets, VoIP desk sets, webcams, etc.
Boost the Productivity of Your Hybrid Office
It’s not always easy to adapt to changing environments.
It becomes even harder when forced changes appear without warning, leaving you with little time to adjust.
But, as difficult as it might seem, rushing blindly into new areas can leave you vulnerable and exposed.
So, what should you do?
Your employees are going to work remotely, to some extent, and you still need to keep your business safe.
Simply contact us at 412-349-6680, or fill out the form below, and our security and IT experts will gladly outline your options and best solutions.
Why put off the safety of your digital workplace any longer?