Over the past several years, practices all over the world have faced the same reality – the pandemic. With it came major changes with how businesses functioned and operated on a daily basis. Having everyone on site was not always a possibility and remote work often became necessary.

At it’s peak, it is estimated that the number of full-time workers who were working from home had risen to 70%. Even though we are no longer at it’s peak, the remote work force is very much a reality, and one that will be here to stay for quite some time.

Because of this transformation in the workplace, practices have been forced to re-evaluate and re-think the tools and policies that have been in use. On-site only shifted to a hybrid, digital workforce that pushed many functions into the cloud.

Many benefits arose from this shift, including:

  • Lower costs
  • Better employee work/life balance
  • Higher morale
  • Improved productivity
  • More flexibility in serving clients

However, the shift also brought with it several challenges and risks:

  • Networks and endpoints becoming vulnerable
  • Feelings of disconnect rising among employees
  • Communication issues
  • Productivity and accountability becoming difficult to track
  • Data breaches becoming a greater risk

did you know that during the pandemic, 20% of organizations experienced a breach?

Reaping the benefits while overcoming the challenges requires both time and effort. But you are not alone. Seek out the help of an IT professional to avoid making any costly mistakes.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when building a remote workforce. For the statistics, we referenced IGLOO’s State of the Digital Workplace report.

1. Disorganized Cloud File Storage

Going virtual with your workflow means your files become part of a cloud-accessible environment. Making it easy for employees to find what they need in this cloud environment is important. Keep it well organized. Don’t let this become a problem as it will kill efficiency and productivity.

Approximately 51% of employees have avoided sharing a document with a colleague because they were unable to find it, or felt as though it would take too much time to do so.

So make sure files are easy to find. Consider these tips:

  • Keep a simple file structure (2-3 folders deep)
  • Be consistent with your hierarchy and naming structure
  • Do not create a folder for less than 10 files
  • Reduce clutter by deleting/archiving old file each month

2. Not Communicating With Remote Workers

Not one of your employees would appreciate being in a meeting and realizing that they have no idea what the conversation is all about. The in-house vs remote worker communication challenge is real, and one that needs to be addressed. Don’t let them feel lost. Keep them in the loop.

Nearly 60% of remote workers say they miss important information because they are left out of important conversations. Business efficiency will take a hit when in-office employees come to important decisions without taking into consideration their remote colleagues.

Management must lead the way in changing this attitude. A change of mindset will go a long way in transitioning more effectively to a hybrid workforce.

3. Cloud App Use Left Unmonitored

The use of unauthorized cloud apps (also known as Shadow IT) has always been a problem, even before the pandemic. However, with the rise of the remote workforce and the increased use of personal devices for work purposes, it has became a bigger problem.

Over 57% of employees use at least one unauthorized app in their day to day tasks. This is a risk and can affect your business in many ways. What are some of the risks of Shadow IT?

  • Data leakage due to unsecured apps
  • Compliance violations/data privacy issues
  • Redundancies in-app use that increase costs
  • Lack of visibility leading to unprotected company data
  • Following employee termination, nobody can access the data in the unauthorized app

4. Not Understanding that Remote Doesn’t Always Equal “From Home”

Employees that work remotely aren’t necessarily working from home. Remote work can take place in numerous settings including airports, hotels, family or friends home, coffee shops etc.

If you do not take the time to properly protect the data that is used by your remote workforce, you increase the risk of a data breach. Public networks are a famous breeding ground for “man-in-the-middle” attacks. This is where hackers connect to the same network and intercept data transfers from others that are on the same network.

It is strongly advised to use a secure VPN for all remote work. They are far from being complicated to implement and allows for a secure, encrypted connection to your valuable company data.

5. Using Frustrating Tools

Communication is crucial for a digital workspace so don’t rely on tools that are going to create more confusion than productivity.

Issues with online meetings? It happens quite often. Upwards of 85% of remote workers say their meetings have been botched up by technology. Feel like it’s getting to the point where you cannot have a meeting without wanting to pull your hair out?

the bottom line is that effective communication depends on using the right technology – whether that be for video calls, audio calls or even chats. Your goal is to have a smooth and efficient communication experience.

So don’t jump the gun and use any tool. Trial them. Test them to see if they are a good fit for your needs. Optimize the settings to improve the experience for your business. Make sure everyone has the right hardware (web cams, headsets etc) to help foster better team communication.

Boost the Efficiency of Your Digital Workspace

Improve the efficiency and productivity of your hybrid team. No need to be left wondering how. Reach out. We can help.