RingCentral: Tips for Maintaining a Distributed Workforce

Many companies, particularly in tech, have announced a shift to remote work.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

August 19, 2020

5 Min Read

The world has changed and work has changed. Now, businesses must enable and support an increasingly distributed workforce.

And the need for a distributed workforce won’t end when offices finally reopen.

With a constant need to maintain work-life harmony, how do we reimagine the technologies and strategies we need to enable this new world of work? How do we match the need for security, scale and manageability with the right tools to support collaboration, productivity and culture, wherever your workforce may be?

During a Channel Partners Virtual presentation titled “The Future of Work is Anywhere,” Sept. 10, Anand Eswaran, RingCentral‘s president and COO, and William Moxley, its chief product officer and SVP, will address the issues around distributed workforce.

They’ll discuss how to embrace the future of work now, examine the latest strategies and demo the latest solutions transforming business.

RingCentral’s Anand Eswaran is one of dozens of industry speakers who will “take the stage” at Channel Partners Virtual. Our online trade show is Sept. 8-10. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind event. Register now!


RingCentral’s Anand Eswaran

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Eswaran provides a sneak peek of the information he plans to share with attendees.

Channel Partners: What are some of the issues that can arise while trying to support organizations’ need to work from anywhere?

Anand Eswaran: Back in March, the world embarked upon the biggest remote-work experiment ever, overnight. We leveled the playing field for everyone, whether it be career progression or day-to-day opportunities for workers.

Proximity bias disappeared. Now, everyone in a meeting has the same screen real estate, no matter what your experience, seniority or personality type. I bring this up because in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, the concerns were different. Many thought the biggest issues would be a decrease in productivity or a less engaged workforce.

But in most cases, that hasn’t happened; in fact, just the opposite. Instead, the issues have centered around things like:

  • How do you keep IP safe when using disparate communications channels?

  • How do you ensure privacy and security?

  • Or, how do you protect a business when employees are unknowingly using unsecured networks?

The issue has become security. And for now, that’s where we’ve seen companies require the most support when moving their workforces online.

But, in the future, we are moving to a hybrid workforce — one where some employees are in an office while many continue to work from home. Chances are we’ll see new issues emerge, or old ones amplified to a larger scale. Chief among them, the same issue that remote workers have always faced: How do you maintain the same level of visibility that an in-office employee can achieve?

The level playing field is going to disappear once more, so we need to prepare. How? By deploying technologies that keep people connected, that help them progress in their careers wherever work may find them.

CP: Does technology play a big role in supporting a distributed workforce? If so, how?

AE: Absolutely. Businesses have always had employees at different locations and in different time zones around the globe. With that, there has always been a need to drive collaboration and productivity regardless of location. But with the current crisis, businesses have shifted entire workforces to remote work. So technology – particularly …

… cloud communications – has become critical to business continuity. A platform such as our own is no longer a “nice to have” — it’s now a “must have.”

A modern communications infrastructure serves as a foundation. It drives productivity from any location, on any device and across any mode — especially during uncertain times.

CP: How do you best ensure security, scale and manageability in a distributed workforce?

AE: With remote work, a mental shift can occur in terms of security best practices. In a public space or a semi-public space – like in a physical office – we typically practice good security hygiene. We log out, we don’t share passwords, we don’t have bank accounts open, etc.

When we switch from working at the office to home, we need employees to bring those good habits with them. We need them to be aware of their surroundings. We need them to be aware of what they share on their screen during a meeting, for instance.

With video meetings now the norm, provide a set of best practices for employees, customers and partners. Use a meeting password. Lock the meeting once in progress to keep unwanted visitors away.

CP: Why will this need for a distributed workforce continue even after offices reopen?

AE: Many companies, particularly in tech, have announced a shift to remote work. Some have even added “forever” and “permanent” to their language. So it is safe to say the hybrid workforce is here to stay.

Businesses, particularly those quick to adopt high-quality messaging, video and phone platforms, are reaping the benefits. For the employer, distributed workforces have shown surprisingly high levels of productivity. They’re seeing longer periods of sustained focus among employees. Some have even seen the elimination of silos that often exist in multinational or multiregional companies.

For the employee, there is increased flexibility, and more time with family and loved ones. They can be productive and plugged in on their own terms. For some, there is even less stress, as factors like lengthy commutes have disappeared.

Drawbacks do exist — overworked and fatigued employees, for one, as some struggle with work-life balance and harmony. It’s not an exact science. Sustaining benefits is something everyone is trying to master — in real-time. The commitment from businesses to remain remote does foster innovation. Platforms like ours can amplify the best aspects of distributed workforces while eliminating or reducing the drawbacks.

CP: What do you hope attendees learn and can make use of from this presentation?

AE: The remote-work experiment is far from over. The world has changed and so has the future of work. Organizations must be willing to reimagine the technologies and strategies required to enable their new, hybrid workforce.

The intent of our presentation is to help you – and the companies you support – understand what tools are available to foster collaboration, productivity and culture, wherever work may find you.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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