The notion of the traditional workplace has been evolving for a decade now, but 2020 has seen a forced acceleration in changes to how, where and when people work. What lessons have we learned from this rapid shift to a hybrid workforce?
Some background: In 2019, only 7% of US employers made work from home (WFH) options available to most or all of their employees. In March 2020, that picture changed overnight as the global lockdown hit. Here at OpenText™, over 95% of our employees shifted to WFH in the course of one week.
It’s been an interesting case study to observe how business operations and individual workers have adapted and performed outside the structure of an office. At OpenText, we’re able to say personal productivity and organizational performance actually increased in many functional areas. The dedication and skills of my co-workers can’t be overlooked here, but a large part of the reason is OpenText’s long-standing commitment to providing remote workers with the tools they need to work anywhere.
Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.
What we’re seeing across our thousands of global customers is that every measure of success in this new work model is hugely dependent on effective information management―how content and data are ingested, identified, stored, accessed, secured, shared and used.
Remote and dispersed teams need simple access to accurate information from a wide variety of sources to be able to collaborate, innovate and move forward. And they need to do it while adhering to corporate and industry governance requirements.
We’re also seeing that even the most advanced information management is only beneficial if remote workers have the tools to be more self-managed and self-contained. They need to be able to use their laptops or mobile devices from anywhere and have instant, secure access to the information they need, no matter where it’s been created or stored.
Screen flips, multiple log-ins, gatekeepers and emailed queries don’t work in this new equilibrium. Productivity requires a new approach to technology and infrastructure where workers no longer have to worry about accessing all this information from multiple systems and sources; it’s simply available to them when they need it, surfaced automatically based on activity.
Seamless, secure access to information across disparate systems—this is the future of information management and the foundation to success within a new workforce model.
Focus on quick wins
This might sound like a massive undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Content services technologies are the key to providing that level of information accessibility, process continuity, collaboration and governance.
Focus on areas where you have a specific issue and build on or maximize existing ECM investments. As you move beyond the four walls of the traditional office, it is vital that your content management platform integrates with the lead applications that drive processes like CRM, ERP and others. This enables classification, analysis and governance policies to be applied to content and data as it is created, and it allows that information to be extracted and distributed across the organization.
For example, many organizations use Microsoft Teams to collaborate and share content across distributed functional groups. They also probably use applications like SAP or Salesforce as well, resulting in disparate sources of information and silos that can be confusing and difficult to access. Is everyone looking at the most recent version of a document? Is legally defensible governance being applied to all this sharing and collaboration?
A content service application like OpenText™ Extended ECM for Microsoft® Office 365™ integrates Teams activity into your central content management platform. Centrally defined governance rules can now be directly applied to content created in Teams. And that content can now be connected to relevant information within SAP and Salesforce. Teams users can have the information they need from these applications surfaced directly into their Teams group. Information sprawl and remote access to systems is no longer a problem. Employees can access relevant information from leading business applications in one familiar, user-friendly interface.
Learn more about how OpenText Content Services can provide a platform for a more agile hybrid workforce as you invest to recover.