Digital collaboration underpins virtual, mobile and remote working
Many people whose work used to be done in the office now work some or all of the time from home or other remote locations, such as co-working spaces. In a survey, 65% of employees said they'd like to continue working remotely in the future; and 33% said they'd like a hybrid work arrangement. Businesses are overwhelmingly in favour: 80% of European employers saying they plan to maintain work-from-home policies post pandemic.
A critical success factor for remote and blended working styles is providing the right digital tools for communication and collaboration. Relying on paper documents and email can make information access and sharing difficult and add delay to processes like authorisations that require multiple signatures. Information security can also be put at risk if documents aren't properly controlled and managed. Teams may also struggle to work efficiently if they don't have a virtual workspace where everyone can come together and collaborate in real time.
In addition, organisations are recognising the importance of extending those tools to employees whose work doesn't take place at a desk in front of a computer. These are typically front-line roles: mobile workers in areas like field sales and operations, transport and logistics, and domiciliary care; or roles performed in locations like factories, warehouses, retail outlets and construction sites. The right technology can make it easier to schedule jobs, submit timesheets and reports, and keep everyone engaged with the business.
Konica Minolta research shows that setting up a suitable infrastructure for virtual and collaborative working is the top internal digital transformation challenge for organisations. In many cases, a patchwork of technologies may have been implemented over time that can't be integrated. In other cases, employees may be using unauthorised software tools to fill the gaps. Fortunately, integrated technologies and services exist that can be deployed to meet the collaboration and communication needs of remote, mobile and frontline workers.
Setting up a suitable infrastructure for remote working is one of the top challenges for SMBs
Source: Digital Transformation Study, Konica Minolta & Keypoint Intelligence, 2022
Benefits of collaboration and communication
The increasing demand for flexibility dramatically changes in our working routines: employees demand the possibility to work remotely, while collaboration across teams, departments and companies requires a new approach to work – and dedicated support of digital collaboration tools.
Communication and collaboration are important for maintaining connections between people and ensuring decisions are made based on the right data. When people work in a remote, mobile or otherwise dispersed way, organisations need to provide tools for effective communication and collaboration to avoid risks such as:
Misunderstandings or delays to projects through poor communication
Key project information being lost if chats and messages can't easily be stored like other project resources
Employees using unsanctioned apps and tools that may bring security risks
Difficulty communicating organisation-wide messages
Limited opportunity for the organisation to collect and benefit from shared knowledge
Decisions being made based on incomplete or out-of-date information
Improving communication and collaboration depends on giving everyone the tools they need to get on board. For knowledge workers who may be dispersed across sites or working remotely, that may mean making it easy for them to access the content they need or connect with colleagues. A project team will need a centralised workspace to manage tasks and documents and keep everything on track. Frontline and mobile workers may need access to job schedules and other information on a mobile device. With a solution like Microsoft 365, you can provide each role with access to the applications they need to work more productively and efficiently.
With Microsoft 365, Konica Minolta enables smart and connected working in the cloud — from empowering team members to work simultaneously on documents regardless of time or place, to enabling individuals to connect in real time. As a Microsoft Global Managed Partner, Konica Minolta is working with Microsoft to accelerate organisations' digital workplace transformations, with effective communication and collaboration a cornerstone of our approach.
The way we work in a professional environment has fundamentally changed in the past years. It has seen the rise of a new star: collaboration. The share of the total working time that full-time office workers spend in virtual or digital collaboration has doubled in less than a decade from a mere 7% in 2013 to 14% in 2019.
Elajo is one of Sweden’s leading electricity, mechanical engineering and energy companies, offering broad expertise and a knowledgeable staff of close to 900 employees.
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