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How IT Can Help in a Working From Home World

August 28, 2020 Collaboration and Productivity
Hunter Willis
By Hunter Willis

With remote working now the norm, the pressure is on IT teams to keep workers productive and informed. Technology now serves as the lifeline to keep businesses operational and IT teams must pivot from being reactive to proactive as a result.

Help Employees Get Work Done With Contextual Communication

The change starts with communication. Any communication between IT teams and end users must move from general guidance on how to  interact with technology to specific feedback and context to help people complete their actual tasks. Out of the box documentation or simple lists of steps to complete software tasks aren't going to cut it any more.

The increasingly sophisticated and rapidly evolving productivity tools organizations now rely on (Microsoft Teams probably just added five new features as I write this) make proactive communication all the more important. IT teams must work together to come up with guides, trainings, videos and other resources (feedback loops and community groups power users to name a few more) that help users get their jobs done in the most efficient way possible with the fastest time to value.

Don’t Underestimate End Users' Challenges

Technologists previously scoffed at the idea that a user wouldn't have time to learn how to use new tools. The thought being that if they took the time to learn, they would more than make up for the time lost in training through the automation, task reduction and other benefits the software would bring.

But irrelevant training sessions put a drain on employee time and focus. So it's up to IT teams and organizations alike to acknowledge that an investment in good contextual training can significantly reduce their burden on supporting users, and bring significant value for the entire organization.

IT teams should make this case to their stakeholders and plan time to tweak documentation, create feedback loops to better meet the needs of their users, and publish easily accessible resources for teams across the organization.

Better trained end users who understand the how, the why and the what’s in it for them are happier, more productive and more likely to obey the rules IT teams and organizations have in place.

Related Article: Looking to Build Resilience? Rethink Your Approach to IT

Approach Software With an Eye Towards Ease of Use

Looking forward, as IT teams consider purchasing software platforms and tools, or develop and tweak interfaces, ease of use and clarity of purpose should drive their decisions.

Tools exist to speed up collaboration, provide security features and add to productivity. This helps employees do their jobs more easily and makes it easier for IT to keep track of activity and information — all while meeting traditional and new requirements of organizational IT and productivity.

Related Article: The Sudden Move to Remote Work Unearthed Years of Bad Tech Decisions

About the Author

Hunter Willis is a product marketing manager at AvePoint and the president of the Richmond SharePoint User Group, MSCA O365. He has been in web development, SEO and social media marketing for over a decade, and entered the SharePoint space in 2016.

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