Remote work has been on the rise in recent years. From 2005 to 2017, the number of remote workers in the U.S. increased by 159%. Today, nearly everyone is working from home in at least some capacity.
Companies that held on to traditional models of employees reporting to a local office are finding that just as much can be accomplished from home. Therefore, there's a strong chance that we'll see a permanent shift to working from home for many organizations.
Companies that shifted their workforces to work from home did so in less than ideal circumstances. While many organizations are functioning well with remote workers, there's still a lot that can be done to increase productivity and make things easier on employees. If you're interested in helping your customers get the most out of their remote workers, here are some solutions you can offer.
- Monitors—Employees working from a 14-inch laptop screen will be more frustrated and less productive as someone using dual 27-inch monitors.
- Videoconferencing equipment—Low-resolution video and poor audio are standard for many ad hoc video conferences from home. Investing in microphones, speakers and webcams can significantly improve the quality of a call and reduce frustrations resulting from poor audio and video.
- Headsets—If employees are using softphones, they really should have access to a high-quality USB headset that offers noise cancellation and perhaps even wireless capabilities through Bluetooth.
- Collaboration software—While using some free version of a chat platform might be getting your customers by, they could probably benefit from a true unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solution. UCC solutions will allow your customers to set up groups of people by department or project. They will also include chat, voice and video communication methods. File and screen sharing are built-in. With the right UCC solution, remote workers will feel like they're still working together in the same office.
- Ergonomic desks and chairs—Organizations with remote workers might be at higher risk of workers' compensation claims. Consider that remote workers probably aren't using vetted chairs and desks designed to reduce ergonomic injuries. Speak with your customers about distributing office chairs to those working from home. It might also be wise to purchase or distribute ergonomic desks or add-ons that allow employees to stand throughout the day. Look into Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for best practices and advice for your customers.
- Windows Collaboration Display—If you have customers with a heavy Microsoft technology foundation, it might make sense to invest in a Windows Collaboration Display for those who remain in the office. These large format interactive displays include a built-in camera, microphone and sensor hub for peripherals. More importantly, they are built to work seamlessly with Microsoft 365 collaboration tools.
These are just a few examples of how you can help your customers with their remote workplace obstacles. Asking what challenges they face could uncover opportunities you've never considered. For assistance in bringing pro AV and collaboration solutions to your customers, contact Tom Jones
, Ingram Micro's pro AV expert.
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