When the first lockdown was announced in March 2020, we all had to adapt quickly to working from home and the challenges it presented. Now that restrictions are easing, will workers return to the office?
After saving significant amounts of time and money not having to commute to an office, we don’t believe many people will return to full-time office working in the near future. This presents a new challenge though – how do business adapt to workers splitting their time between in the office and home? Do they have the technology in place to aid collaboration and communication while also allowing secure, safe and reliable access to all systems from multiple locations?
You may immediately consider your IT hardware needs and how extra kit can help, but don’t overlook the impact your software can have on your ability to work effectively. There are many ways that having the right software solutions in place can help facilitate split-working or remote working for your business:
Switch to cloud-based to facilitating remote access and data sharing
Many businesses find themselves reliant on LAN-based legacy software using platforms such as Microsoft Access or Foxpro. Gaining access to these systems can be problematic when working remotely as you may need to rely on a remote desktop solution. This can lead to a poor user experience and can cause security headaches as the level of access to the office LAN may need to be controlled. A better solution is to move to a browser-based solution with hosting in the cloud. This will facilitate access from any remote location via the internet and provide specific access control.
Mobile technology to link field-based and back-office teams
If you have staff working in the field who are used to capturing data on paper, or with disconnected spreadsheets, and then forwarding them to your back-office for processing, this can present an issue when your back-office staff are working from home. Both your field-based teams and back-office staff could save time if you switch to a connected mobile app that talks to your back-office systems and eliminates the manual capture, transmission and re-entry of data. Not only is it faster but it’s less error prone and will also mean that all your staff will be able to access field-sourced data more quickly.
Web apps to encourage interaction and allow easy access
Web apps are extremely customisable websites, stored on a remote server and accessed using a browser meaning they can be viewed from anywhere with an internet connection. They are responsive and will adapt to whatever device you are viewing them on. A web application is often connected to a database so data can be collected, stored and referenced. Web apps can be used by businesses to facilitate better communication between employees, allowing them to easily create documents and collaborate from any locations and using any device. They can also be used to offer a wider range of services to customers in an effective, user-friendly manner.
Eliminate spreadsheets to improve security, efficiency and scalability
Many organisations start using spreadsheets to manage aspects of their business. As they develop and their requirements evolve, they are likely to outgrow both the capacity and the capabilities of these spreadsheets. Continuing to use them can cause problems with security, efficiency and scalability. It also becomes a challenge when working remotely if you have Excel spreadsheets situated on a file share in the office. Building a bespoke solution to replace one or several spreadsheets has numerous benefits such as enforcing specific rules, enhancing scalability, preventing data corruption and facilitating remote access and data sharing, allowing staff to easily complete their tasks no matter where they are working from.
Digital transformation example
KLOC helped ServiceMaster Clean move away from relying on spreadsheets and digitally transform their business by developing bespoke mobile and web applications to handle quoting, scheduling, invoicing and more. Read more in our case study or watch the video here.
KLOC is a software development company based in Berkshire. We are experts in software development for web, mobile and desktop. We have years of experience building bespoke business systems, mobile apps and high-end websites for a wide range of customers. If you have any questions about software to facilitate hybrid working or would like to discuss your requirements, please fill out our contact form, call us on +44 (0) 1488 685112 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.