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Picture: SUPPLIED/CITRIX/GETTY IMAGES
Picture: SUPPLIED/CITRIX/GETTY IMAGES

Working remotely can bring unexpected challenges for employees. Companies that take steps to minimise those challenges will benefit from a thriving remote workforce instead of one that is just getting by.

It is generally acknowledged that a company’s response to the pandemic will go through the below three phases. Business leaders will now need to formulate a remote-work strategy.

Picture: SUPPLIED/CITRIX
Picture: SUPPLIED/CITRIX

The key aspects of this strategy are to understand the full benefits of remote working, ensure an alignment between IT and HR, and then adopt a technology platform that will enable the anticipated future state.

Beyond the bottom line

Remote work can be good for a company’s bottom line. It can save on costs, like absenteeism, infrastructure, office leases, travel expenses, and turning on the lights. However, to get the most from remote work, organisations need to look beyond the bottom line and see the many ways it can benefit the company. Creating a strategy designed for those reasons will help boost its effectiveness.

Remote work: the numbers are strong

  • R34-trillion — economic gains from untapped talent pools; 
  • 69% of remote workers report an increase in productivity and focus;
  • 83% of remote workers say they have a better work-life balance; and
  • 214 estimated tonnes of reduced carbon emissions (CO2) annually.

Alignment between IT and HR

It’s important to make sure there’s alignment on policies and procedures for remote work across all of businesses’ executive teams and lines of business, especially critical when it comes to IT and HR. IT will need to implement the technology to support remote work initiatives and HR will need to enforce any related policies.

Remote work is a dynamic process that requires buy-in from employees and managers at all levels to be successful. Creating guidelines to standardise policies and procedures around remote work will create consistency, help manage expectations, and minimise friction between those in the office and those off-site.

Clarifying expectations will set teams up for success

Establish factors such as:

  • which roles can work remotely;
  • length of time employees can work off-site;
  • set hours employees need to be accessible; and
  • processes and best practices for optimising efficiency.

Adopt technology designed for what is ahead

As Meerah Rajavel, Citrix senior vice-president and chief information officer says, the digital environment needs to compensate for the physical efficiencies that can be lacking in a home environment.

It is with this imperative in mind that Citrix conceives solutions that enable employees to access their corporate applications, files and data securely without forcing them to use cumbersome VPN solutions. By embracing a digital workspace which has intelligence built into it, and which leverages performance and security analytics from the cloud, companies can ensure that employees’ experience at home can be just as good as if they were in front of their notebook in the office.

A secure digital workspace allows you to:

  • sign on once to the workspace and then have the workspace sign you into all the applications within the workspace. No need to try to remember 15 different passwords;
  • simplify everyday tasks with a personalised information feed, virtual assistant and automated workflows;
  • reduce context switching and minimise unnecessary distractions;
  • empower all employees with self-service and customisable tools;
  • improve the employee experience, regardless of where the applications are hosted — whether in the cloud or in your own data centre. Simple and fast is what is required and expected;
  • guarantee a high-quality connection even if a 3G or less connection is being used;
  • support a zero trust framework to ensure maximum security; and
  • support multiple device types and allow for bring your own device.

Click here for more information about remote work from Citrix, and to register for a webinar on digital workspaces with intelligence to be held on the July 8 2020.

This article was paid for by Citrix.