5 Crucial Mistakes Businesses Are Making In The Digital World

The pandemic has been a reality that companies around the world have shared. It required major changes in how they operate. 92% of employees expect to still work from home at least 1 or more days per week post-pandemic. This transformation has forced companies to rethink the tools and policies they use.

The pandemic has been something big that companies around the world have shared. It required huge inherent changes in how they operate. No longer, did the status quo of working from the office all week make real sense. Many organisations had to quickly evolve to working through remote means.

During the peak of the pandemic, it’s estimated that 70% of full-time workers were working from home. Even now that the pandemic has hit a new waning phase, remote work is still very real. 92% of surveyed employees expect to still work from home at least 1 or more days per week.

This is especially important for areas such as Mount Isa or Gladstone. There are some incredible remote workers in different cities around Australia (or maybe even the world). Are you really doing your business a favour if you've limited yourself to your town?

This transformation has forced companies to rethink the tools and policies they use. Many have also needed to completely change up how they work. Which means, they've had to switch to a cloud-based digital workspace to enable a hybrid team. 

This transition has brought newfound benefits, such as:

  • Lower costs for employees and employers
  • Better employee work/life balance
  • Higher morale
  • The same or improved productivity
  • More flexibility in serving clients

But, the transition to a digital workplace has also brought challenges and risks. These include:

  • Vulnerable networks and endpoints
  • Employees feeling disconnected
  • Communication problems
  • Difficulty tracking productivity and accountability
  • Increased risk of data breaches

20% of organisations experienced a breach during the pandemic due to a remote worker. 

Overcoming the challenges and reaping the benefits takes time and effort. It also often takes the help of a trained IT professional to avoid the most costly mistakes.

Below are some of the biggest company mistakes when building a digital workplace. For the statistics, we referenced IGLOO’s State of the Digital Workplace report.

1. Poor Cloud File Organisation

When companies go virtual for their workflows, files live in a cloud-accessible environment. If those cloud storage environments aren’t well organised, it's a problem. It can be difficult for employees to find the files they need. The last thing you want is leaving time and productivity on the table.

About 51% of employees have avoided sharing a document with a colleague for this reason. They either couldn’t find it or thought it would be too hard to find. It’s notable that this is the highest percentage recorded for this stat in the IGLOO report. Meaning that this problem is getting worse. How do you think your cloud organisation is?

Some tips for making shared cloud storage files easier to locate are:

  • Keep file structure flat (2-3 folders deep)
  • Create a consistent hierarchy and naming structure
  • Don’t create a folder for fewer than 10 documents
  • Archive and delete older files monthly to reduce clutter

2. Leaving Remote Workers Out of the Conversation

No one likes to hear people start talking about something at a meeting and realise they're lost. They missed an important piece of an earlier conversation. Many companies haven’t yet overcome in-person vs remote communication challenges. 

In fact, nearly 60% of remote workers say they miss out on important information. This is because colleagues first communicated it in person. Efficiency suffers when in-office workers make decisions without regard for remote colleagues. Communication is crucial for a business at the best of times, let alone in more difficult scenarios.

Managers and bosses must lead the way in changing this culture. While old habits do take a while to change, mindset can transition to be more inclusive of the hybrid world.

3. Not Addressing Unauthorised Cloud App use

Unauthorised cloud app use (also known as Shadow IT) was already a problem before the pandemic. That problem escalated once people began working from home. Which is often using their personal devices. 

Over half (57%) of employees use at least one unauthorised app in their workflow. When this happens, organisations can suffer in many ways.

Some of the risks of shadow IT include:

  • Data leakage from non-secured apps
  • Date privacy compliance violations
  • Redundancies in app use that increase costs
  • Unprotected company data due to a lack of visibility
  • The employee leaves and no one can access the data in the unauthorised app 

4. Not Realising Remote Doesn’t Always Mean From Home

Remote employees aren’t always working from home, connected to their home Wi-Fi. They may also be working from airports, hotels, a family member’s home, or local coffee shops. 

Companies that don’t properly protect company data used by remote employees, can be at risk of a breach. Public networks are notorious for enabling “man-in-the-middle” attacks. This is where a hacker connects to the same public network. Then, using software, can access data transmissions from others on that network.

It's advisable to use a business VPN for all remote work situations. VPNs are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. The employee simply enables the app on their device. The app then reroutes their data through secure, encrypted servers. If we're following the 80/20 rule in regards to safety, this is the 20% that supplies 80% of the benefit.

5. Using Communication Tools That Frustrate Everyone

Are virtual meetings giving your team problems? As many as 85% of remote workers say that they’ve had 1-2 meetings interrupted by technology. It’s getting so you can hardly have a virtual meeting without someone having a technical issue.

Communication is the oil that makes the engine of a digital workplace run. Effective cloud-based video calls, audio calls, and chats depend on the right technology. This facilitates a smooth experience.

Don’t rush to use just any communication tools. Take your time and test them out. Get help optimising settings to improve your virtual meetings. Additionally, ensure your remote team has tools to foster smooth communications. This includes headsets, VoIP desk sets, webcams, etc.  

You could also argue that you need to use similar apps or ones that can integrate. Are you mixing Google Suite apps and Microsoft software so often your team have to have multiple tabs open at one time? K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Boost the Productivity of Your Hybrid Office

Hopefully these tips have given you some insight into some issues you need to address.

Reach out today to schedule a technology consultation. We can help you improve the efficiency and productivity of your digital workplace.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press. 

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