By Indrajit Belgundi, Senior Director and General Manager, Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies, India
In 2009, Dell Technologies established the Connected Workplace program to give employees the flexibility to choose a work style that best balances their professional and personal commitments. Over time, it has become a core component of our culture, and we’ve learned a few things about creating a mobile, collaborative and flexible work environment. With a vast majority of our global team working remotely in some capacity, here are 12 tips from our experience over the past decade:
1. Start with a strategy that puts employees first: Identify the unique personas within the organization. Use it to build profiles that have associated resource requirements for the right set of applications, data and devices each employee persona needs to be productive.
2. Assess the current technology footprint: Provide the right technology – devices, peripherals, applications, security and connectivity – to enable workers to collaborate regardless of where they are.
3. Simplify IT consumption: Deliver quicker, more efficient services using automation and self-service to provide a faster way for employees to consume IT. For example, modernize the delivery of hardware to end-users, through self-service or with apps and settings that are pre-installed.
4. Incorporate security as an integrated part of your business strategy: The approach to security should be one that is resilient, intelligent, and automated with security built-in. Security needs to be connected to the people, processes and technologies behind an organization.
5. Secure the full stack, from infrastructure to applications to operations: It is important to simplify and orchestrate IT infrastructure and security policies so that the data and IT assets are secure, protected and available. This includes password management policies, data classification rules, and using a secure VPN for remote network access.
6. Enable secure collaboration and communication tools: These should be tools that can be used anywhere, anytime on any device, providing effective capabilities for conferencing and collaboration whether in the office, at home, or on the go.
7. Partner across the organization when defining policies: People are the backbone of an organization and it is important to ensure the protocols, policies, processes and infrastructure exist for teams to have the tools they need to get the job done.
8. Prepare leaders and listen to employees: Equip leaders with information and coaching to support their teams and help them feel more connected. Listen to employees to understand what’s working for them and what needs to be adjusted to be more productive or supported out of the office.
9. Facilitate seamless communication: This includes guidance on setting up a home office, VPN, connectivity tools, platforms and equipment. Consider offering courses for organizing your remote workspace, building relationships virtually and communicating remotely.
10. Provide flexibility and choice in the physical space design: No two office spaces are identical. It is important to design the office space with facilities that fit the needs of the workforce and the business.
11. Consider the connection with virtual workers: Employees need spaces that will complement their interaction with their virtual colleagues. This may mean more and smaller conference room spaces that are equipped to easily enable the use of collaboration and communication tools.
12. Minimize emotion by rooting the decisions in data: As remote working might be a cultural shift for individuals or the organization, it is best to use the power of data analytics to drive decisions. Partnering with other parts of the organization to look at trends like when and where people are logging into their systems, how frequently on-campus spaces or services are utilized, can be useful.
A combination of these will help enterprises attract and retain the best talent, protect the health and safety of team members, and balance the need to help customers and keep the enterprise running.