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A Guide to Remote Work during COVID-19 | Constellation Research by Dion Hinchcliffe

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A Guide to Remote Work during COVID-19 | Constellation Research by Dion Hinchcliffe

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Slides from my webinar today exploring how to avoid disruption in digital employee experience and maximize effectiveness as many of us suddenly become remote workers. Covers remote work foundation, line of business apps, comms and collaboration systems, digital skills/training, and shifting to a culture of distributed work.

Slides from my webinar today exploring how to avoid disruption in digital employee experience and maximize effectiveness as many of us suddenly become remote workers. Covers remote work foundation, line of business apps, comms and collaboration systems, digital skills/training, and shifting to a culture of distributed work.

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A Guide to Remote Work during COVID-19 | Constellation Research by Dion Hinchcliffe

  1. 1. © 2010-2020 Constellation Research, Inc. All rights reserved. @dhinchcliffe @ConstellationR A GUIDE TO REMOTE WORK DURING COVID-19 1 What Your Organization Can Do to Ease the Impact of Coronavirus on Workers DION HINCHCLIFFE (@DHINCHCLIFFE) VP & PRINCIPAL ANALYST CONSTELLATION RESEARCH ZDNet Executive Fellow, Tuck School of Business dion@constellationr.com MARCH 11TH, 2020
  2. 2. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe A Global Crisis Has Come • The situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing day by day, even hour by hour • Businesses, schools, and other organizations are being impacted by a steady stream of new cases • Plans for response are hard to create in this very dynamic environment • Coronavirus is leading to mandatory work/learn/etc. at home policies around the world • Organizations must take rapid — and often dramatic — action to avoid disruptions and significant hits to productivity / customer experience • Here are the key first steps…
  3. 3. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Challenges of Coronavirus for Workers • It is unclear how long the crisis will last • Worst case is probably home quarantines that may last months • Getting and keeping workers productive is a challenge, especially for: • Workers who were not already working remotely • Organizations that have never had remote work as a policy or reality • Ramping up remote work, deploying supporting technologies, building the skills, and shifting culture to make it as productive as in-office work
  4. 4. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe The Four Strategies for Remote Work • Strategy 1: Create a safe and effective foundation for remote digital access. • Strategy 2: Provide access to productivity, line of business applications, and communications/collaboration tools • Strategy 3: Develop and cultivate effective remote working skills. • Strategy 4: Proactively foster a remote working culture and mindset.
  5. 5. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Now for a Brief Advertisement for Usability • Despite amazing advances in consumer tech world, most orgs don't emphasize the importance of simplicity and usability • Solutions most often chosen by those that tick all the technical boxes and/ or is the most trusted/cost-effective • But if you want your investment in remote work to pay off, spend real time on usability • Recommendation: Pay special attention to whether the average worker will be easily able to use your solution, as tools for digital access span the range of complexity and user experience • Recommendation: Put a strong emphasis on tools that are simple, straightforward, and "just work." • Recommendation: Do rapid lab testing of remote work scenarios + configuration with all your leading worker personas • The risk in not doing so is quite significant: • Support costs for remote work will simply be higher, with less to show for it in terms of preserving productivity, as workers spend more of their time getting the solution to work • Despite this, most orgs won’t do this because they are not accustomed to doing so
  6. 6. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe #1: Digitally Enable Remote Work • For workers to effectively work remotely they need the following digital foundation: • Internet access • Device(s) • Secure access to company IT resources • Pro tip: Essential accessories that maximize the experience
  7. 7. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Internet Access • Many workers have good high speed Internet access • But a surprisingly significant number still don’t, especially in rural areas • Compounding the issue is that entire families are now working/learning from home or soon will be • Creates significant challenges for video meetings in particular • Recommendations: • Baseline what your workers will need and verify your capacity and their (#RemoteWorkCheckup) • Provide a simple way for a worker to test if they have enough bandwidth, then multiply for number of people at home • Be prepared to offer hotspots and/or stipends to upgrade connections • Advise workers to hold voice-only meetings • Anecdote: Even residents in Silicon Valley are telling me that two people at home can’t video conference at times.
  8. 8. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Devices for Remote Work • Sufficient devices will be the largest single issue and costliest remote work issue for some organizations • Particularly those who haven’t been remote working • Organizations must quickly assess if they can effectively secure worker’s own devices (laptops, tablets, and phones) for use of apps and local storage of data • Otherwise rent, lease, buy what workers’ need • And do it quickly, the daily cost of inactive or ineffective workers is very significant
  9. 9. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe The Great VPN Question • For most of the era of remote work, the virtual private network (VPN) was needed to safely connect remote workers to internal IT assets on-premises • Organizations that have largely moved their IT to Software-as-a-Service (online apps) or the cloud will have much less impact when shifting to remote work • There are a kaleidoscope of options available for VPNs and the issues are complex, especially for large organizations that have limited or no VPN access today and suddenly need it • Recommendation: Avoid a VPN if you don’t need it, there are now faster, simpler options
  10. 10. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Some Leading, Secure VPN Options Number of IP addresses: 30,000 Number of servers: 3,000-plus Number of server locations: 160 Number of simultaneous connections: 5 Country/jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands 94-plus countries 3 months free with 1-year plan Number of IP addresses: 40,000-plus Number of servers: 1,300 Number of server locations: 60 Number of simultaneous connections: 10 Country/jurisdiction: US $3.99 a month and $48 a year Number of countries: 29 Number of servers: 1,500 (1,200 virtual) Number of server locations: 200 in 73 cities Country/jurisdiction: US $40 for the first 12 months Full List on CNET: https://www.cnet.com/news/best-vpn-services-2020-directory/ Number of IP addresses: 300,000 Number of servers: 2000 Number of server locations: 180 Country/jurisdiction: Hong Kong $3.33 a month for a 1-year plan, $1.65 a month for a 5-year plan
  11. 11. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe The Virtual Desktop • Today there are alternatives to VPNs that can provide complete, end-to-end access to enterprise IT without the complexity of setting up a VPN • Solutions with “all-in-one anywhere access” allow any device or browser to get access to enterprise IT and virtual devices
  12. 12. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Upgrade VPN Policy to Remote Work Policy • To save time, a good place to build out a robust remote work policy is the existing IT policy for VPN access, which usually exists and is often specially signed by remote workers. • All workers must now know and agrees to this policy. It should consist of an easily understood statement that covers at a minimum: • Who is allowed to have remote work access • How authentication is used • Whether simultaneous VPN connections can be used • How long users can stay connected • Virus protection policies • It’s the users’ responsibility to be safe and secure
  13. 13. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe The Hard Work of Remote Work Recommendation: Work with the CISO, Chief Data Officer, and HR to mature remote work governance.
  14. 14. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe The Key Accessories to Improve Remote Work • A webcam for web conferencing, if the worker's base computing device does not have one • 720P is the minimum acceptable resolution for quality results, but that is usually standard now in most webcams • A high-quality headset or headphones with mic • While workers almost always have headphones, you'd be surprised how many don't have good enough microphones in their headphones for phone or web conferencing • An "On the Air" sign • Workers located at home or shared locations are at risk of being disturbed during remote meetings by those around them. Inexpensive On the Air signs with remote controls can be purchased at Amazon • Make a real difference in the overall quality of the remote work experience during meetings • For the budget-conscious, On the Air door hangers are also available. The positive impact of using these signs to ensure smooth communications is surprisingly high
  15. 15. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe #2: Provide Access to Apps and Data • Ensure, via testing beforehand, through the VPN or remote desktop that all line of business apps work properly • Work through issues of those that don’t • The same for communications and collaboration applications Key insight: The 100,000 person org has between 1,500 and 3,000 applications in all that run the business. This scales down surprisingly slowly. Even a 100 person organization will have 100-200 applications they rely on at least, many of which will need to be used in remote work. Only about 20% of apps need to be available for remote work to succeed for most workers.
  16. 16. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Modern Remote Work Apps Make a Difference • Address the shortcomings of remote work through new apps that can help break down silos and isolation. Some examples:
 • Sococo - Provides chat, voice, and video that offers a virtual office overlay which can be especially effective at making people feel like they're still in an office. Workers can visit each other in virtual dedicated offices of their own and shared meeting rooms by working like they would in a physical space. • Mural - A visual collaboration tool that provides workers with shared artifacts similar to a whiteboard, Mural gives people higher bandwidth and more direct connection to their teamwork. Teams can organize on an online canvas using lists, flowcharts, diagrams, frameworks, methods, and drawings to help them stay aligned and well-coordinated. • Status Hero - How is everyone and what are they doing? These are the questions that this tool answers by centralizing the status of workers so that a cohesive team picture automatically emerges. Status is pulled by the app both by querying workers occasionally as well as pulling activity from other systems. It then broadcasts major events and achieved goals automatically so people have awareness of what's taking place with their colleagues and teammates.
  17. 17. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe #3: Develop effective remote working skills • Teach core skills, especially in team and enterprise-wide collaboration, to enable workers to be more effective • Techniques like Working Out Loud and Network Leadership are particularly effective • Use new just-in-time learning tools to boost skills and remote work maturity rapidly

  18. 18. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Be Acutely Aware of the 50 Foot Rule • Workers that are not physically co-located strongly tend not to collaborate together • Special care must be taken not to lose this invaluable aspect of teamwork • Why remote working skills that return serendipity to working have great value
  19. 19. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Working Out Loud: A Key Remote Work Skill • A powerful and popular digital collaboration technique, from the book of the same name • Encourages workers to take extra care to be visible on the network and offer frequent contextual updates on what is going on locally • It’s simple: Lightly narrate work • Let stakeholders get involved early and often (and contribute) • Keeps network filled with useful business information, status, and chatter • Teach to all remote workers (takes 10 minutes)
  20. 20. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Best Practice: Build Worker Skills Just-in-Time with Digital Adoption Platforms • DAPs help guide people right within the context of the work task or process they are performing • Consist of on-screen guides and tutorials • Collects information user behavior and missed opportunities. • Insights and actions that can be extracted from that data to help optimize how people work remotely while increasing the usage, employee engagement and overall value of remote work investments
  21. 21. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Best Practice: Use Work Coordination Platforms to Streamline Intangible Processes • Processes that used to be visible and well understood will change and become harder to carry out in remote work situations • Use the emerging category of work coordination platforms that can bring teams together around structured processes • Provides a central tracking and management approach that is highly visible, measured, and effective
  22. 22. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe #4: Create a Remote Working Culture and Mindset • Top executives and line workers are least likely to have the mindset to more openly collaborate, engage, and accept help • Recommendations: • Teach network leadership skills • Lead by example • Storytell great example of remote work early, widely, and often • Enlist change agents to mentor, teach, and advise
  23. 23. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Leadership for Remote Work Network leadership is the ability to engage and drive influence at scale while remote working. The Corporate Executive Board issues a report recently that notes this is the most lacking skill in managers today as more and more work goes digital Recommendation: Teach managers and executives this vital skill as soon as feasible.
  24. 24. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Dealing with Disadvantages of Remote Work • Many workers will find remote work very isolating at first • Others will not have the skills to be effective • Especially managers, who don’t want to be seen flailing around in front of the company as everyone switches to a new way of working • Provide and scale up mentoring, support, and just-in-time training
  25. 25. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe Software Vendors Have Created Support Kits • Rapid pre-built accelerators in your remote work efforts: • Microsoft • Smartsheet • Dropbox • Many others
  26. 26. (cc) Creative Commons, 2010-2020. Constellation Research, Inc. Some rights reserved. #coronavirusbizhacks @dhinchcliffe What To Do Next dion@constellationr.com Get a professional remote work program assessment Onsite workshop on latest remote work best practices A remote work vendor? Get an evaluation and scorecard.
  27. 27. © 2010-2019 Constellation Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Join me and other innovators at Join me and other innovators at
 Constellation’s
 Connected Enterprise The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA | October 26-29, 2020| www.constellationevents.com 27
  28. 28. © 2010-2019 Constellation Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Dion Hinchcliffe +1.202-538-0059 dion@constellationr.com @dhinchcliffe dionhinchcliffe.com www.ConstellationR.com Thank you. 
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