Our CEO Mark Walton recently featured as a guest on an episode of the CX Files podcast. You can follow the link to listen to the entire conversation, but Iâ€™d like to follow up on one of the areas that Mark discussed with the podcast host, Mark Hillary. This was around the technology required to make work-from-home (WFH) really operate effectively.
Mark explained that a remote and distributed team can be connected using tools such as Microsoft Teams, but you still miss out on the dynamics of being together in the office. Even something as simple as an agent waving to a team leader to indicate that they need help is more complex, unless you have tools that can build these bonds and reinforce teamwork. You need comms that are always on, not just for meetings.
Our platform, called LiveDesk, delivers an always-on digital workplace for homeworkers as well as office-based workers that are â€˜on the same work missionâ€™.
If you think about twelve people working on a team in the office then they are probably all seated close together – perhaps on a long table or pods that are next to each other and clustered in one physical space.
Twelve people working remotely is slightly different – itâ€™s harder to think of them as a team. It feels more like twelve people working alone in their own little silo.
This is where LiveDesk helps. Itâ€™s always on and creates a virtual workplace where everyone within the distributed team can work together in a single place. Your managers are there, all the subject matter experts are there, you can access the IT and HR teams there, and you can also use the same tool to chat socially with colleagues. It truly is a virtual representation of the office. It brings the entire team together.
SensÃ©e team members use (at least) two screens. One is for their main work tasks, such as the CRM or contact handling system. Another is for LiveDesk. This means that their communication platform is always running and always visible.
When the Covid lockdowns started in March 2020, many companies sent their employees home and asked them to continue working remotely but without this kind of communication infrastructure. Calls on Teams or Zoom are usually pre-arranged meetings, not like calling across to a team member and asking if they can help you with a customer question – right now!
LiveDesk allows team members to work remotely without many of the problems experienced by companies forced into homeworking during lockdown. Â Such as the sense of isolation and inability to have more casual meetings and social interactions without first needing to book calls.
Add in the SensÃ©e TeamTonic solution, which enables flexible working by allowing people to self-select the shifts they work, and one is looking at a comprehensive environment that supports an improved better work-life balance as well as supporting a work environment that is as close to the office as possible when working remotely.
In many respects, itâ€™s easy to make a case for saying that work from home using LiveDesk and TeamTonic is preferable to working in the office. You donâ€™t need to commute or handle the distractions that are normal in an office, and you may createÂ a better work-life balance.
In addition, and what’s often overlooked, is that you can also establish a really strong sense of teamwork and an ability to talk to anyone whenever needed. Remote teams can be every bit as tight as office-based teams – you just need the right communications and scheduling platforms to make it happen.