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How COVID-19 has Put the Importance of a Digital Workplace in the Spotlight

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Naturally, COVID-19 has risen to the top of everybody’s minds these days. For those not directly affected by it, avoiding other people has probably made the most dramatic impact on their lives. To discourage the rapid spread, governments, schools, and businesses have encouraged as many people as possible to stay home. At the same time, a well-considered digital workplace means that lots of employees can still do their work even if they don’t go to work.

What Do Businesses Need for a Digital Workplace?

As the crisis has progressed, it’s easy to see that some businesses had prepared for a digital workplace better than others. For example, Google and many other large tech companies already had a strong culture of remote work, so the changes may barely impact business continuity. At the same time, you may have seen news reports that several large organizations, including big banks and even the federal government, had to struggle with increased network loads, prevent security issues, and tackle other problems.

As the name implies, a digital workplace depends on technology. At the same time, it’s more than just having technology but also using the best tech and business processes to enable employees to work from their homes. Some traditional businesses are still scrambling for the best ways to enable their employees to work remotely.

The Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM) said the best way to choose the right solutions for a digital workplace would begin by answering these three basic questions:

  • What information will employees need to do their jobs?
  • Where is this information currently stored?
  • Can employees access this storage remotely and securely?

Preparing Business Culture for the New Normal of Work-at-Home Employees

Even though working from home has grown more common in some industries, more traditional companies haven’t always kept up with this trend in the past. Traditionalists may have thought that allowing employees to work from home leads to wasted time because of distractions. It’s true that streaming services, social media, and even the fridge can tempt some people way from their jobs.

Still, plenty of studies have demonstrated that large companies have actually enjoyed productivity increases and other advantages when workers can enjoy more flexible workplace options. Other benefits tend to include lower attrition, fewer sick days, and improved morale. In surveys, a great majority of employees say that they would prefer at least some work-at-home options, and they may even trade higher pay for more flexibility. When working from home has become the only option for many businesses, it’s important to emphasize the benefits of a digital workplace to promote acceptance.

Businesses may need to come up with new standards to help ensure that employees adhere to governance and security policies. Especially with smaller companies, ad-hoc solutions — like file-shares and communication tools — often present tempting, simple alternatives to investing in new infrastructure. However, the implementations don’t always support the overall business goals. Instead, they may worsen the problem of shadow IT, with employees using scattered software and devices that IT knows nothing about and certainly cannot effectively administer or secure.

What’s the Best Tech for a Digital Workplace?

The right tools to enable your digital workplace can help you meet the demands of today’s stay-at-home orders and even to prosper in the future. Consider these aspects of new tools to make certain they will benefit your company now and later:

Digitize as much as possible

It’s past time to scan and store as many paper documents as possible. Of course, you should have a good document management system, so employees can find all the information they need to do their job.

Automate business processes

Again, smart information management tools will automate common business processes. That way, you can make workflows more efficient and reduce the chance of errors.

Uncover the best remote-access solutions

Typical home connections may not provide enough security for sensitive applications. In addition, consider which tools can provide you with the essential security you need. Keep in mind that cyber criminals know that many businesses have turned to solutions like Zoom and Dropbox, and they’re targeting them.

Your Effective Digital Workplace Will Help with More Than Just Today’s Problems

An effective digital workplace solution will help your business thrive during the current situation and, well into the future. An intelligent information management product like M-Files makes it easy to tag documents for searches. The system can also find documents stored anywhere and not just in one central repository. Automation features help establish workflows, track history, and catch data entry errors. They help improve efficiency, enable better decisions, and make auditing a breeze. Data owners can add rule sets that will only allow specific people various types of access to secure documents too.

With the cloud capability of M-Files, our clients have made a simpler transition to remote work without adding extra networking, storage, or other infrastructure just to handle an increase in remote workers. You can empower your workers to get their jobs done more productively than ever before when they work at home or return to the office.

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