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Was collaboration on your goal list for 2020? If it wasn’t, it is now. The fresh threat of a new health pandemic has technology organizations and leaders asking employees to pull their travel schedules till the spring and work remote whenever possible. In the wake of the Coronavirus, spacious, open floor office plans are potential breeding grounds for rampant contagion.

Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and a host of other tech employers are making their connected workplace real and mandatory. Even IBM is requiring remote work in the wake of the Coronavirus after suspending work from home for some American workers a few years ago.

“We’ll probably never be the same. We’ve gotten a lot of positive reactions to going in this direction in terms of putting our safety of our employees first. Some other companies might be willing to take that leap.”

Jennifer Chrisite, Head of Human Resources, Twitter

And it doesn’t end with the enterprise—colleges across the country are bootstrapping online learning and collaboration resources to avoid disrupting curriculums and midterms. 

Right now is a big moment for working remote. Prices for teleconferencing tools like Zoom and Skype are rising to the occasion and will continue to surge if this healthcare crisis does. 

With productivity levels and the quality of life of your workforce hanging in the balance it’s time to escalate your collaboration strategy. Our collaboration experts realize architecting your connected workforce sounds intimidating, maybe even overwhelming when your timeframe is accelerated and so much is at stake. That’s why we pulled together a few best practices—to keep your team productive, engaged and healthy—and fast track your connected workplace.

1. Try a VPN test run.

Even if you’re still feeling out the impact of COVID-19 on your business and workplace as it unfolds, you can prepare with some basics. Take a cue from Amazon who recently asked employees to test VPNs, (virtual private networks) to prep for a mass open office exodus.

With VPN, employees can securely access shared files wherever they are. But what about communication?

2. Take face-to-face online.

Maintain your momentum and morale with meaningful interchanges. With millennials dominating more than half of the workforce, no one is a stranger to video chat anymore. Having video conferencing solutions gives team members the ability to maintain deep connections and meaningful interactions—no matter the distance.

Video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom meetings enable users to alternate between eye contact and shared screens to sync on spreadsheets and shared goals.

3. Commit to unified communications.

Make collaboration a constant without any communication gaps. Having a unified communications platform is mission critical to keeping interactions between employees seamless across calls, video conferencing and messenger. 

With a unified communications platform, employees can see if and when colleagues are available. Unified communications empower productivity by enabling uninterrupted collaboration. And, the right UCaaS strategy connects all the systems that power your organization to keep them working together in real time.

4. Make work calls flexible.

Don’t get hung up with legacy phone systems. Having the right phone systems keeps your team members connected with each other and with your clients. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions like Ring Central and cloud-based communications empower productivity wherever team members are. Added bonus? You can stop maintaining dated equipment and shift gears to a BYOD (bring your own device) strategy if it fits your long-term goals.

5. Move with speed, precision and support.

Odds are if you’re still reading this blog, you’re looking to implement your collaboration strategy stat. That means perusing case studies, weeks spent comparing solutions and scheduling demos, and finding the solutions that integrate organically. And with a fresh sense of urgency and community-spread cases in states like Washington and California, you might not have time for that.

Rushing your team doesn’t position your organization for a smooth and painless transition, and can take them away from support and digital transformation initiatives.

Partnering with a managed services provider focused on collaboration can empower your team to have the best end results without putting the burden back on them at an already stressful time.

A collaboration partner can guide your entire strategy based on business needs and compatible technologies to outlast this healthcare crisis.

Protect your workforce.

Let’s talk.

Our collaboration experts care. We’re here to quickly and safely guide you to a secure, remote environment. Please don’t wait for the situation to escalate, demand is high, contact us now.

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