Following the sudden shift to remote work for many businesses in 2020, organizations are planning to spend even more on communication and collaboration tools in 2021 to support their remote workers.
That’s because remote work is here to stay. A survey from Pew Research Center found that more than half of respondents (54 percent) want to continue working from home “all or most of the time” when the coronavirus outbreak is over, while a third say they want to work from home “some of the time.”
The survey goes on to state that online communication tools have become a “vital part of the workday” for those working from home.
Roughly eight-in-ten adults who are working from home all or most of the time (81 percent) say they use video calling or online conferencing services like Zoom or WebEx to keep in touch with co-workers, with 59 percent saying they often use these types of services.
Some 57 percent say they use instant messaging platforms such as Slack or Google Chat at least sometimes (43 percent use these often).
In fact, most teleworkers (65 percent) who at least sometimes use remote technologies such as video conferencing or instant messaging say these online tools are a good substitute for in-person contact.
The ongoing need for communication tools will see companies boost collaboration spend in 2021
As the need to support a remote workforce becomes more important, so does the requirement to drive up IT spend. In fact, figures from a Nemertes Research survey of 528 businesses found that 62 percent of companies planned to increase their overall IT spending from 2020 to 2021 - with only 7 percent planning to decrease spending.
With companies planning on continuing work-from-home strategies, collaboration spend was at the top of the list:
- 52 percent of companies plan to increase spending on video meeting apps.
- 45 percent of companies plan to spend more on team collaboration tools.
- 45 percent of organizations plan to spend more on cybersecurity as well.
What collaboration technologies are needed for successful remote work?
If you are planning to increase your company’s spend on collaboration technologies in 2021, we’ve created a quick snapshot of the top communication tools you need for a successful remote workforce.
Video conferencing: To replicate the conference room in your office, whether it’s for meetings with clients or collaboration between colleagues, your remote workforce will need web conferencing technologies that enable them to work together. Platforms such as Zoom or or Skype allow for longer and more detailed discussions between you remote team members.
Team messaging: Since your remote workers can’t meet in the office in person, it’s important to provide a way for them to deliver instant feedback and collaboration. This helps them collaborate on tasks and work seamlessly on projects in real-time. Team messaging applications such as Slack or Microsoft Teams can help here.
Unified communications: Unified communications, commonly referred to as UC, is a tool that unifies your company’s business processes with communication tools such as instant messaging, email, VoIP and video conferencing. It’s a way to centralize everything your remote workers need in one seamless platform - which can be accessed no matter where they are.
Project management: Keeping your remote team organized, on track and working towards the same goals while they are outside of the office is crucial. Project management platforms, such as Teamwork or Trello, allow for each team member to have complete visibility into their current tasks and how they tie into the larger projects and business goals.
Want to learn more about building a successful remote work strategy for your business here in Ontario? Contact the OT Group today. Our team of IT infrastructure and technology experts would love to answer any questions that you may have.