Blog / Leadership & Transformation

Remote Work Tools for Managing Distributed Workforce

As remote work and tools to carry it out as efficiently as possible are a trendy subject on everyone's lips, we bring you this article on solutions for the distributed workforce.  Remote work, work from home, telecommuting, distributed teams—regardless of the name it dons, finding new solutions for work outside of the traditional office parameters is dominating nearly every conversation around workplace design. Although it boasts a number of benefits for employers—such as lower spend on office resources and a more motivated team—remote work opportunities may become an essential part of a business’ benefits package if they are looking to attract the best of the best. Already, over three-quarters of US workers prefer to accomplish pressing tasks outside of the office, and a staggering 82% would be more loyal to their current employers if given the opportunity to work remotely. Telework is also redefining the relationship between workers and the tools they use, as technology becomes arguably the most essential component of remote work setups. Any communication, collaboration or information sharing you do with your distributed team requires the aid of technology. This means the efficiency of your off-site work campaigns is only as successful as your ability to digitally transform your existing tools into remote-capable alternatives. Keep reading below to learn more about the latest remote work tools and how they will impact your distributed team dynamics.Satisfying the needs of your existing customers and attracting new prospects is imperative to sustainable business practice, regardless of whether your employees work from home or in a shared office space. So how is it that businesses are able to offer remote work opportunities for their customer success teams while simultaneously providing a customer experience that encompasses every touchpoint? The answer lies in translating your current customer strategies into ones that are both portable and optimized for omnichannel CX. These two methods are the only ways to ensure a strong connection to customers, no matter your physical proximity to one another. While in the past, your customers may utilize only one device or touchpoint to interact with your business, new retail purchase pathways reveal that the average shopper utilizes nearly six unique touchpoints and multiple devices before they’re ready to check out. The modern consumer enjoys a multitude of options when they want to engage with a brand—including messaging a site’s chatbot, emailing a company representative, engaging with a business’s post on social media, calling a support line, and much more. Omnichannel support not only allows shoppers to connect with you from any of these touchpoints, but it also lets them switch seamlessly between multiple channels during the purchase journey. Couple your omnichannel CX modeling with a fully-functional distributed customer success team, and your organization will be able to field customer inquiries from countries, time zones and markets around the world. Perhaps the best example of a CX tool that ticks both the omnichannel and remote work boxes is a centralized, cloud-based contact center. Because everything from pending calls to pre-existing customer information is powered through the internet, your team is no longer restricted to working through a local network of office phones. Instead, this technology allows its users to send and receive calls, text messages, emails and social media DMs through a broadband or wireless internet connection.Cybersecurity is an essential practice for any organization with a digital presence, but its importance is only heightened during distributed work. Perhaps your employees are accessing confidential company information through a personal laptop, or their days outside of the office might include connecting through their local coffee shop’s unsecured, public Wi-Fi. Either way, remote working environments are known to create new avenues for hackers and scammers to breach your digital defenses when businesses aren’t careful with the remote software they download or able to monitor each employee’s online activities. Unfortunately, cybersecurity is no longer a concern that is exclusive to large corporations or institutions that in the past were primary targets for cybercriminals and malware. Nearly half (43%) of all data breaches prey on small businesses, and with many SMEs now able to work from the comfort of their homes, these numbers will likely continue to balloon without the right precautions in place. Although a comprehensive online defense strategy is much larger than just one tool, a solution that many smaller businesses, especially, overlook is a remote-based VPN provider. VPNs take the security of your employees’ work devices one step further than strong passwords or multi-factor authentication by securing your connection to other networks via the internet. VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, offer an abundance of benefits outside of remote work environments, like the ability to stream new shows that are available outside of the country where you are based. But VPNs also allow their users to remain anonymous by cloaking their actual location and concealing other company data that could put your business’ privacy at risk in the wrong hands.By integrating the right combination of remote work tools and resources within your distributed workforce policy, you’ll not only provide an environment that is conducive to the best work your team can output, but also one that is customer-centric, efficient and secure.

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Zigurat Global Institute of Technology