How to work while social distancing

Maintaining productivity in an age of remote workers

by Rich Shaw Jr. AT&T - Vice President - Voice & Collaboration

For more information and resources to help keep your teams productive during the unpredictable, please visit AT&T Business Continuity.

The “office” landscape has changed dramatically in just a short time due to COVID-19. A large number of businesses have responded by asking large portions of their workforce to work remotely. With this new paradigm shift, companies may have concerns about whether their employees will be as productive.

Despite concerns about a drop in productivity, according to Indeed, 57% of employees think they are more productive when they work from home. A study by Stanford University found that workers were 13 percent more productive when working from home. With this kind of boost, teams should be able to maintain typical productivity levels even if they are down a few staff members.

Even with improved productivity, do employees have the right tools and are businesses in a position to handle a sudden increase of remote workers? Do they have the technology and systems in place, as well as policies and guidelines, to engage strong communication?

At a bare minimum, employees need a laptop or desktop computer, connectivity, and a phone. They also need access to the corporate network, preferably as secure as it is when they’re in the office.

But employees will also need to be able to not only email and call one another, they need to be able to communicate and collaborate as effectively from home as they do in the office. To stay productive, employees need:

  • The right tools in place such as audio, video, and web conferencing capabilities, so they can be “in person.”
  • Chat and presence functionality to check availability and communicate on demand without picking up the phone.
  • Highly secure shared workspaces and file sharing capabilities to access, work on, and store important files and information.
  • The ability to access these tools from virtually any location and on any device.

Taking it one step further, businesses need to consider whether they have the network infrastructure in place to support those employee needs, including:

  • Remote access tools to allow employees to access the corporate network
  • Flexible bandwidth options to scale to support additional access
  • Security tools like user authentication to reduce the risk of unauthorized network access

The present disruption doesn’t have to threaten your business’ productivity. As we’ve seen, the technology is available to deliver remote workers highly secure connectivity and collaboration resources. Adopting the above recommendations will enable you to evolve and thrive during a challenging time.

Visit our Business Continuity site to learn how you can help your teams stay productive.