Three ways to overcome the issues of a dispersed workforce

As organisations grow, they can often tend to spread out, with employees dotted around the country and even around the world. This can make it hard to accommodate employees’ needs and unique workstyles, as well as make everyone feel like part of the same team. Dispersed workforces can also soak up a lot of resources even just on basic tasks like keeping everyone in the team up to date with information. It can make collaboration trickier and more expensive, too.

Modernising the workplace can help organisations maximise the value and performance of their existing talent, facilitate strong teamwork and a feeling of belonging for all employees as well as make it easier to find and retain exceptional talent even in a competitive marketplace.

Here are three key ways organisations could benefit from a modern workplace to overcome issues arising from being geographically dispersed.

1. More effective and less risky collaboration

Maintaining network security is trickier when employees aren’t located in a single, easy-to-manage location. Giving staff secure access to documents regardless of where they’re working from is crucial for a modern workplace but it also requires a new approach to security. Modern workplaces don’t simply let employees email potentially-sensitive documents back and forth to work on them, because this creates a security weak spot that cybercriminals could exploit. Instead, a modern workplace solution provides a shared workspace where employees can securely access the documents they need and collaborate with colleagues in a protected environment.

Furthermore, in a modern workplace, security is baked into every technology solution from the ground up, overcoming vulnerabilities and strengthening the organisation’s security posture without adding complexity.

2. More connected and productive teams

Keeping teams connected on a personal and task-related level has, in the past, required colleagues to travel, sometimes extensively. This can drive up costs quickly as well as reduce employee productivity. A modern workplace should include collaboration and communication systems that keep people in touch easily. This includes video conferencing that can be set up and managed quickly and easily, and incorporates real-time chat and the ability to work on shared documents. It should also include enhanced collaboration tools that make it easy to get in touch with colleagues regardless of where they’re working. And, it could include a social networking-style tool that lets colleagues get to know each other on a more personal level.

When these things are in place, workers can dramatically reduce the amount of physical travel they do, which lowers costs as well as minimising the negative impacts of travel on their wellbeing and productivity.

3. Improved collaboration

It can be tough to collaborate effectively on projects when team members are spread out. It’s even tougher if employees rely on email and mobile phones to work on projects together. To make teamwork stronger, a modern collaboration solution is needed that unleashes their capabilities without putting barriers in the way of accomplishments.

This should include the ability to: securely share documents; manage projects with clear deadlines, milestones, and responsibilities; and remain in constant communication with each other. A solution that offers these features can also help overcome some of the hidden issues with cross-country and global collaboration such as scheduling phone calls around time differences and getting a timely response to queries and updates.

For growing organisations that are expanding their footprint beyond head office, a modern workplace is essential to overcome the natural challenges that come with being geographically dispersed.

James Pheiffer, solution specialist, Empired

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