Leadership Strategies

Jumpstarting Collaboration in the COVID-19 Era

Explore seven ways to accelerate and support collaboration across your remote workforce in the face of COVID-19 with IDC.
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New ways of working have allowed conferencing and team collaboration solutions to vociferously jump to the front of the “must have” business solutions line.  Jumpstarting this effort may seem daunting, but we can help.

The rise in the individual’s technology savviness and expectations around employee experience creates a challenge for the enterprise; they either invest in robust, consumer-like communications and collaboration technologies or risk having workers introduce their own solutions to be connected and productive. To combat that risk, the first step is to enable people with technology to do “people things” — and feel connected to each other and the business.

Here is a quick checklist of ways to jumpstart collaboration in your business:

  • Identify short-term and long-term victories. What challenges will the collaborative applications rollout solve, and how will that be measured? In urgent times, it could be as simple as getting people connected from home and being social and productive with access to the systems and documents needed – and that is a “win” that matters.
  • Empower people to do “people things” — move conversations, even “watercooler chat”, meetings, and work into a collaborative stack that centralizes persistent chat, meetings, documents, team collaboration and file storage. Extra points if they are integrated to provide a seamless work environment.
  • Don’t assume they know to set the privacy on video chat. If you cannot create a default profile from the admin setting that turns on privacy features, create an easy to follow chart – easy even for non-technical people – to turn on the needed privacy settings.
  • Set borders: security, governance, and compliance. Know your security, governance, and data compliance requirements across all your offices. Vendors have made it easier to learn their compliance details.
  • Determine whether collaborative applications meet the needs of the users and/or are easy to use. Most collaborative applications start as “unauthorized” IT, according to IDC research. Identify if any workers are already using collaborative applications, and learn what features they are using and how they help them work. This is a huge time-saver, as these employees have already had wins and losses you can learn from.
  • Think about the pressure on your infrastructure. With users working from different locations, trying to access different systems and communicating with internal and external stakeholders, organizations will need to prepare for the pressure this activity will place on their existing infrastructure.
  • Collaboration is a culture — not just IT. Now that you are doing more online, people need to be assured that they can join, share their best ideas, and even talk about outside of work topics in appropriate groups. These “watercooler conversations” that allow people to be social become more important when working remotely.

Empower people to be people first and remove any friction points to securely collaborate. The more they feel connected to each other paired with the integrations of their core tools, the more productive your workers will become, even when navigating the new work from home challenges.

Learn more about building a culture of collaboration, including guidance on which technologies should be adopted first with IDC’s Jump-Starting Collaboration in the COVID-19 Era. Details on collaboration culture can also be found in IDC’s Nine Cultural Collaboration Accelerators.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting the global economy at nearly every level. Anticipate market challenges and keep business moving with IDC’s extensive COVID-19 research and advice.

Megha Kumar, IDC Research Director, Software and Cloud Services, also contributed to this article
Wayne Kurtzman

Research Director, Social and Collaboration