With many remote workers expected to continue doing so even after businesses start returning to the office, decision-makers will need to carefully examine the capabilities of their organisations to deliver on the requirements of such a digitally-driven environment.

A comprehensive approach built on the pillars of communication, access to information, connectivity, sharing and collaboration, and training on maximising the effectiveness of the accompanying solutions, is therefore critical. This ensures that all the elements needed for people to work optimally from home are in place.

Having recently gone through such a process where Vox moved 1 700 employees to a digital workplace within the space of two weeks, the company understands the complexities associated with enabling such a strategy.

In our experience, it is not about selecting one technology over another but having the insights into how best to focus efforts on integrating everything into a viable business approach.

Built around connectivity

Underpinning this is the expected increase in demand for Fibre to the Home (FTTH) installations. Employees need faster and better Internet connectivity if they are to be productive. However, end-users have often been left frustrated by some of the complexities associated with a home installation.

To simplify this, Vox is selling FTTH bundles directly to the corporate. This means the company can now provide Fibre access to its employees giving them a reliable foundation on which to access cloud-based solutions.

Digital workers can also use their Fibre to make business calls, a significant cost-saving in challenging economic conditions.

It can be further enhanced through innovations such as the Vox Vobi mobile softphone app that empowers users to make and receive calls from their mobile phones over the Vox network. By forwarding calls from an existing PBX extension to Vobi, employees can be reached wherever they have connectivity.

But access is just one piece of the infrastructure puzzle.

Vox provides complete managed IT support, so all the hardware needs of employees are taken care of when working from their home offices. Part of this entails digitising the work environment. For example, requiring someone to sign a document used to mean having it printed, signed, scanned, and submitted. Using the right tools, this can all be done digitally in a timely and resource-efficient manner.

Being productive

With the connectivity, support, and access to the Cloud addressed, a business can turn its focus to optimising productivity. The Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365) line of subscription services is a case in point.

It includes well-known applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint. More recently, attention has turned to another of its bundled offerings – Microsoft Teams. This is an integrated collaboration platform that incorporates chat, video, and audio meetings, file storage, shared files, calendars and apps, and collaborative editing.

Through these (and other bundled solutions), Microsoft 365 delivers a comprehensive value proposition for the digital workforce. But this means little if its deployment is not done correctly and employees cannot get the best value from their solutions.

Vox can assist in every step of the deployment, and supplement that with extensive online training. Take Teams as an example. Most people use it for video conferencing or to make audio calls. Yet, it also enables the co-authoring of documents in a team environment.

The Vox training is designed to unlock all the potential of these applications to help drive a culture of digital working. Encompassing webinars, introductory videos, and FAQs, the training is designed to provide a deeper understanding of the products employees use daily.

Licensing support

Given the current global crisis, Microsoft 365 has become part of the Microsoft free licensing programme for the next six months. This gives business access to all Microsoft 365 solutions online including Teams.

In other words, what would ordinarily only be available from the business edition of the productivity suite can now be installed for free. With its proven expertise of Microsoft deployment, Vox can assist the business with implementation and optimising the environment according to its requirements.

Remote working will be part of the new normal as the business landscape evolves. How prepared the organisation will be to deal with it is dependent on the steps it takes today.