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Give your end users the right tools to succeed

Starting a new job is scary but starting a new job during a pandemic and needing to be remote from day 1 is entirely different – 3 months in and it could not have gone better!

How? Collaboration – brought to life by technology.

It is safe to say that the way some of us work will have changed for good. Remote working was always an option for many, but for most it was just not possible – or did not seem like it would be on a large scale and for an extended period.

 

 

With the outbreak of Covid-19 and the necessity to stay at home, this changed the working day for many people. No longer are hoards of people standing on the train platforms or queuing in traffic at rush hour, navigating their way into the office to sit at their desks and have face to face meetings. Life has changed dramatically. Yes, the ‘norm’ will continue for those who are required or prefer to work within an office environment, but for the masses, home working is the new ‘norm’. The era of ‘work from home, or anywhere for that matter’ has truly come to life, but have businesses really thought and understood the impact it has on their end users and are they setup for that shift?

Companies invest a lot of time, resource, and cost on IT infrastructure, including in-house servers and storage, cloud-based infrastructure, and database applications.  But how much resource goes into making sure end-users have the correct tools to maximise their productivity? And what training is provided to enable end-user collaboration and understanding about how to share documents across the company in a safe and secure manner.

I started a new job during lockdown and had to convert my spare room into a full-time office.  And to be honest, it was stressful.  As with starting any new job, I didn’t know any of my new colleagues, but most importantly, I didn’t know how I was going to access the systems I was going to be working on.  How would I get to know names and faces, or the best way to fully immerse myself into a new culture?

 

 

I was apprehensive as to how I would first get ‘up and running’ but I need not have worried. Hardware was shipped directly to my home address so that I could begin remote working. It had been built by our in-house engineers to the specification I required and was good to go as soon as my laptop was powered. Along with the laptop I received accessories I required such as a mouse/headset and smartphone with MDM (Mobile Device Management), meaning all applications were an extension of my laptop. The process couldn’t have been slicker and was a real testament to the Managed Services company I’d just joined.

Once I had powered up my laptop, my next worry was my internet connection; was it going to be good enough to handle my data and voice traffic? And how was I going to be trained on the applications that I had sat in front of me? 12 weeks in and things could not be going better!

We are a Microsoft house and the functionality of the applications I have access to is fabulous. We use Microsoft SharePoint to store relevant documents and house internal information; and use Teams daily for calls, meetings, instant messaging and sharing documents.

 

 

Using an application such as Teams has meant that the number of emails I was sending has decreased, and negated the need for sending large, bandwidth-heavy files via Outlook. Collaboration can happen at the click of a button and the ability to spin up a video call from an instant message is seamless, and most importantly intuitive – so no lengthy training required! Documents that I send are also stored securely, along with message conversations saved for future reference too.

Having mirrored applications on my mobile has also meant that I can seamlessly transfer from my laptop to mobile should the need arise, so not only am I successfully remote working, I also have the freedom, ability and security to work outside the confines of my home thanks to MDM.

Collaboration and technology really are the key to success.

Sarah Lambert-Gibbs

Jul 20, 2020

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