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Mitigating the 3 biggest modern workplace IT challenges

Are you using Microsoft Modern Workplace in your organization? Then you have already accomplished a significant milestone. Users of the Microsoft 365 suite have been integrating programs into their workflow for years. Microsoft offers comprehensive solutions with this suite. In any case, this is not an overnight process but rather a process that takes time to complete. Despite the transition to the Modern Workplace, you will still face three challenges and learn how to master them.

Why are modern workplaces with Microsoft quickly forgotten?

A decentralised workplace is strongly associated with Microsoft Modern Workplace. Before last year, the Corona pandemic left it up to individual companies to decide how to implement the concept. Today, it is commonplace to work from home. Microsoft 365 provides a wide range of tools for this purpose that is not harmful to collaboration in the digital workplace but raises it to the next level. Microsoft Modern Workplace should be optimized on many levels after its initial implementation, according to the 80/20 rule. Data protection, performance, and collaboration are among the most critical areas of improvement.

1. Data protection is a necessity as well as risky

In recent years, the protection of data has gained increasing attention. As a result, those responsible for managing a Microsoft Modern Workplace will face new challenges, particularly as they transition to home offices. Keeping personal information and company data secure can be achieved by making employees aware of the importance of data security. To ensure your data is protected in a decentralised Microsoft Modern Workplace, we would like to outline six points you should think about.

  • Keeping your screen system locked: Leave your screen locked when you leave your device to prevent third parties from seeing or accessing it. 
  • Keeping intact with the professional conversation: The subject of data protection is not discussed in phone or video conferences with third parties. Employers should be particularly attentive to outdoor areas, such as the terrace, balcony, and garden, as well as other residents and visitors to their own homes. 
  • Option of workplace: An employee’s work device must not be visible to third parties. Computer screens in the office shouldn’t be given windows or doors, for instance. The use of privacy films can provide an additional layer of protection to the user, especially when working in public or if it is not possible to place the working device in an appropriate place. Additionally, the workplace must be secure outside of working hours. The office should be locked, and all documents must get locked in a filing cabinet or similar container. Work devices are to be secured with a password or other authentication protection. 
  • Devices for work: Employees should use a business-related end device to avoid mixing private and corporate data and data security. Employees should not be required to use their personal devices in their homes and vice-versa. The business network should be accessible through an encrypted VPN connection. Communications should be encrypted end-to-end, and devices should have regular security updates. 
  • Technical environment: Users of USB sticks and WiFi networks should be trained about their risks. Avoid using private USB drives, and set up strong WiFi passwords. 
  • Data backup/ security: Microsoft Modern Workplace requires regular data backups. Establish a plan and implement it. This usually means storing data encrypted on a local data carrier, but in recent years, data backup has moved to the cloud. Whether data is backed up on-premises or in the cloud, encryption is essential. Cloud connections are to be secured with strong passwords and ideally with two-factor authentication. After someone leaves an organisation, it is essential to decide what to do with their data. All drive data containing company details or personal details should be encrypted to ensure data security even if the device is stolen. 

A Modern Workplace must consider many aspects of data protection. As a result, employees are often not adequately aware of the risks associated with handling data, making sensitisation, education, and appropriate technical precautions essential to ensure data protection and data security.

2. A change often affects performance.

Adapting to change is always a challenge. A Microsoft Modern Workplace is a step up from a traditional workplace. Performance may temporarily deteriorate when work processes change, new programs are implemented, and a decentralised work environment. Use the following tips to prevent the situation from happening.

Infrastructural compatibility is imperative.

The biggest concern when it comes to performance in a decentralised workplace is the technology infrastructure. In the office, the company controls the infrastructure, but the situation is very different at home. It often turns out that home office Internet connections are a bottleneck even with adequate end devices.

Calls go unanswered, video conferences fail, and data transfer is slowed. A miracle cure is not available here – solutions depend on individual circumstances and must be tailored accordingly. Wireless Internet is generally slower and less stable than wired Internet. A detour via the power line via DLAN may be an alternative if a direct connection to the router is impossible. A WLAN repeater or a change in the frequency range can improve bandwidth and connection speed for devices connected via WLAN.

If employees do not use Microsoft Modern Workplace but relatively private devices, then at least suitable accessories are provided. For video and telephony to function correctly, every employee should have a webcam and professional-grade audio. Using digital methods of communication makes collaboration easier.

A smooth transition to Software as a service

A Microsoft Modern Workplace offers excellent performance because the Software is offered as Software as a Service (SaaS). Cloud computing means that Software is hosted in the cloud, and all users need is a web browser to access it. Using SaaS to set up and maintain an organization’s Software saves resources and eliminates lengthy transitions. SaaS solutions are ideal for the home office since they require very little local hardware; even older and weaker end devices can use SaaS solutions without any issues. Typical training requirements for the Microsoft 365 suite of applications are eliminated because the browser versions are similar to the desktop versions.

3. Collaboration remains the key to success.

It is necessary to rethink traditional work processes and communication in a decentralized workplace. On the other hand, this also allows the company to improve processes and establish new workflows. Microsoft Teams, one of the core features of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft’s Modern Workplace, is at the heart of every successful business.

Teamwork as a hub

The Teams application allows your employees to communicate and exchange information, coordinate appointments, collaborate on documents, and much more. Guests also get added to Teams, enabling freelancers and even clients to become more integrated into the work process. Access to teams is possible both from mobile devices and from stationary workstations.

People can collaborate simultaneously on documents using the familiar MS Office applications integrated with Teams. Teams make new approaches to teamwork possible.

Get more done with empower®

Empower® can help you increase productivity and collaboration for your employees using Microsoft 365 products. Empower® add-ins facilitate centralised access to presentations, documents, and related resources right within Office applications. Centralised management ensures that all employees are up to date, regardless of their working device, and obsolete files are a thing of the past.

You can access PowerPoint presentations and the company library directly in Microsoft Teams when you have the empower® suite installed. It is easy to enhance existing workflows in your Microsoft Modern Workplace since the suite integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 applications. Join empower® now to make teamwork in your company even more robust and more efficient with NSWIT.

Mastering the challenges of the modern workplace

It has been shown that when switching to a Modern Workplace, there are a few things to consider. Particularly when it comes to data protection, performance, and teamwork, details get easily overlooked. Consequently, we’ve provided you with information about what to watch out for and how you can take advantage of these changes. Enhancing productivity without interfering with existing work processes is possible with empower®.

Business leaders: recommendations

In the future, business leaders should consider investing in – or at least investigating – collaboration and productivity tools for their teams. In addition to offering an impressive level of efficiency and security, Microsoft 365 is also incredibly affordable. These services can be provided as a service, including file storage, email, websites, workflow, security, laptops, and cell phones. Data loss prevention can be accomplished. Everything gets managed. In terms of safety and efficiency, going down that road checks off so many things.

Additionally, consider whether your employees’ home internet services need to be upgraded based on their roles. You don’t want upload speed problems to hamper production. Remote workers may not be aware of their actual Internet speeds.

Streaming content was designed to be downloaded to homes, not the other way around. The bandwidth used for downloading is ten times higher than that for uploading. There are a lot more things that we now do that require data uploads. It’s possible to hold two simultaneous video chats or VoIP calls on a home network; more than that, and the system might crash. In homes where people work from home, and family members do online learning, networks may get strained. The result is a strain on the internet service that everyone shares.

That problem gets solved. Earlier, we mentioned adding a second communication line and a device to combine and balance traffic over two internet connections. Furthermore, this can be useful if one of the internet service providers goes down. Rather than being stranded, you can still access the second working link. Some roles, such as customer service or executives, may benefit from never-down redundancy. Our recommendation is to upgrade your home internet service to the maximum bandwidth available in your area instead of doing that. Consider reimbursing remote workers a portion of their home internet bills. The employee incentive can be marketed as a cell phone stipend. The stipend may be offset if you don’t use the office space and services these employees aren’t utilising.

Modern workplaces have undoubtedly changed. Thanks to technology, collaboration, communication, productivity, and security are all enhanced through the ability to allow for it and maximise it. Hence, we advise business leaders to embrace flexibility and invest in technologies and management services to continue growing and thriving.

If you are willing to take up the necessary changes for your business with managed IT solutions or Office 365, do connect with us, we are eager to assist with you the required transformation and transition towards the modern technology alliances.