Finding your vendor for work from home tech
While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for building the most productive team for the new work age, it’s hard to overlook the value of remote working opportunities. According to some studies, around 90% of remote workers say they’re either just as productive or more productive working remotely than when they’re in the office.
What’s more, around 84% of remote team members feel working remotely helps preserve good mental health – to the point many would even take a pay cut to work from home.
However, for companies and individual employees to unlock the benefits of remote work, they need access to the right technology. Specifically, remote teams need software and hardware to boost the employee experience.
With so many vendors available to provide home-working opportunities today, it can be challenging to know where you should get started. That’s why we’re here to help.
Empowering today’s remote workers requires an investment in various pieces of technology. You’ll need networking tools like SBCs and SD-WAN connectivity to ensure your team members can securely and efficiently access your communication tools and software. You’ll also need to think about hardware, software, and specialist services.
To start comparing vendors, you’ll need to think about all the different kinds of tools you’ll need, including:
Once you know what your work-from-home strategy requires to empower your teams, ask yourself whether you want a company capable of offering you an all-in-one package or whether you want to mix and match solutions from different vendors.
When deciding what vendor you need to work with for your work-from-home technology, it’s worth looking at the investments you’ve already made into your communication stack. For instance, what kind of software are your employees already comfortable using?
Suppose your team members were already using Microsoft productivity tools before they went remote, or they have a long history with Cisco technology. In that case, it makes sense to look at work from home technology from Microsoft or Cisco. The less work your employees need to do to get used to new tools and new forms of training, the better your adoption rate will be.
If you want your team members to be able to take the desk phones, webcams, and other devices they’ve used in the office home with them, you’ll also need to ensure any new software you’re investing in will work well with this existing hardware.
Remote employees and work-from-home staff members won’t have access to the in-house IT support and guidance most traditional employees expect. With that in mind, it’s essential to ensure your vendor will help you to put the employee experience first.
When looking for the best vendor for work-from-home tech, consider the preferences of your employees, as well as how easy it might be for them to adopt and start using this new technology. Do the vendors you’re thinking of working with offer things like training sessions for team members who might need help getting started with a new tool or UC system?
How easy is everything to use if you’re investing in new hardware? Can your employees join a meeting at the touch of a button or start a conversation with a voice command powered by an AI smart assistant? The more streamlined the whole experience can be, the more likely your teams are to be as productive as possible when working remotely.
When you’re shopping for technology to support a remote team, it’s important to remember the basics of keeping your team secure and streamlined. Speak to your vendor about the kind of support they can implement to keep your team members safe when they’re connecting to cloud technologies from a distance. Are communications naturally encrypted from end to end?
Your vendor should be able to give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing all of your communication solutions are compliant with the standards relevant to your industry. At the same time, they may even be able to offer extra tools and features to protect your home workers. For instance, two-factor authentication can be extremely useful for team members who want to ensure other people can’t access their accounts on a shared computer.
Suppose your teams are going to be logging into private environments and dealing with customer or business data from a distance. In that case, you may also need to look into things like Session Border Controllers or SASE technology for securing connections on the “edge” of your network. At the same time, make sure you can control elements of your communication strategy remotely with comprehensive administrative access controls based in the cloud.
Currently, many companies are still in the initial stages of transitioning to a new age of remote work. This means you may need to make several changes to your strategy over the years. Some companies will have their entire team go fully remote, while others will need to build a more flexible hybrid environment for communications.
No matter how your landscape changes, your vendor should be able to scale and adapt with you to suit your evolving needs. This also means it’s worth working with a vendor capable of helping your business innovate over time.
For instance, does your current UCaaS solution provider offer VR and XR connectivity access if you want to host meetings in a virtual world for future team members? What kind of tools do they offer when connecting mobile devices with 5G, empowering staff with AI assistants, or connecting IoT devices?