2020 was a busy year for business collaboration. Many of us had to urgently accommodate remote working, whether we wanted to or not. Collaboration was on everybody’s lips: Will we still be able to collaborate when working from home? How can our business ensure collaboration and productivity in this uncertain time? And as we look towards the new year, these questions haven’t gone away.
With that in mind, we’ve provided our top three collaboration trends in 2021 and some tips to help you prepare for this year—as well as answer those important collaboration questions with ease.
Trend 1: Remote working is here to stay
As we move into 2021, organizations will continue to work remotely, and research suggests that remote and hybrid working will become a mainstay of the business landscape even in the post-pandemic world. According to Gartner, the research company, 82% of business leaders intend to permit remote working some of the time (in a post-pandemic scenario), and almost half (47%) said they intend to allow remote working on a full-time basis. That means for organizations of all sizes, establishing mobile working infrastructure is not just essential in the short term but is something to consider on a longer-term basis as well.
Tip for 2021
If you want to get the most out of your employees while they are working remotely, you should consider how to create the right support system. This goes for now in a time of uncertainty but is also good practice for a potential future where you have a remote working cohort, or when hiring remote workers.
To do this, establish an employee database that introduces each individual, their role, their core working hours and any other relevant information. Implementing self-created ‘user manuals’ for employees can be very effective at establishing how employees prefer to work. This can help boost productivity and avoid miscommunications and other difficulties that come with working in different physical locations. You could also begin the day with a video conference with your team or department and run through your priorities for the day. Just these two acts will help keep everyone on the same page when it comes to projects and expectations and will set a strong foundation moving forward.
Trend 2: Security will become even more of a priority
Keeping data secure is always a priority, but with the expansion of remote and hybrid working, CIOs have been forced to put a lot of their energy into staying secure against evolving threats. This is set to continue in 2021 as many businesses will operate with a hybrid mix of physical office space and a remote workforce. With organizations planning for large parts of their workforce to have at least the option of remote working in the future, business leaders are looking at security plans that provide their organizations with robust protection, better compliance, and greater overall efficiency for their operations.
Tip for 2021
You should consider creating and applying a “zero trust” framework across your technology environment, to ensure the right levels of security for your data as your employees work from different locations. We’ve put together a webinar on this security best practice to help get you started.
Trend 3: Simplicity will be the key to productive collaboration
As reliance on remote working has skyrocketed, vendors and organizations have been working hard to replicate the traditional methods of communication across teams and departments. The informal chats that produce so much of what’s great about sharing an office can be difficult to replicate online. In 2021, collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams will continue in their attempts to make the user experience as simple as possible to cultivate a less formal way to get people together for spontaneous collaboration.
Tip for 2021
Prepare your business for long-term remote working by investing in the right capabilities. You should try to consolidate as best you can by choosing solutions that easily fit into your current technology environment, instead of lots of different apps for different functions. Microsoft Teams, for example, is not only perfect for video conferencing but is designed to be a complete collaboration solution for your business. If you have already invested in Microsoft productivity solutions such as Microsoft 365, you’re well placed to accommodate remote working smoothly, without upsetting your levels of productivity.
Putting our collaboration trends in 2021 to good use
Accomplishing a successful collaborative working environment in 2021 requires a knowledge of these trends and the right solutions to bring your organization together. There are several ways of achieving this, but using Microsoft technology, including Microsoft Teams, is by far the easiest and most efficient.
With Teams, you have a meeting platform that already integrates seamlessly with your Microsoft 365 environment—sharing documents, syncing your calendar, and keeping up with company news. By positioning Teams as the anchor in your remote working strategy, you can cultivate a culture of spontaneous collaboration to replace what we miss from the physical office space.
How Worksighted can help
At Worksighted, we enable our customers to achieve a digital workplace transformation, with Microsoft Teams as the centerpiece. Whether you’re in the office, working from home, or operating a hybrid workplace, Teams is a formidable solution that enables your business to achieve its goals. And in 2021 we’re striving to help you succeed and achieve even more.
If you would like to get your business set up to make the most of 2021 or learn how to use Microsoft Teams more effectively, get in touch with the Worksighted team today.