How to Make “Work From Anywhere” Work

March 16, 2023

The modern workplace looks a little different than it did pre-COVID-19 pandemic. After spending time working almost exclusively from home, employers are looking for ways to establish a new normal.

For many companies, creating a workplace that empowers employees to “work from anywhere” is a top priority. Finding the right technology for your company's unique needs is critical for achieving this goal.

Hybrid and Remote Work Is the Future for Most Companies

While some companies expected a full return to the office in the fall of 2021, that is not what happened. Instead, many organizations shifted to hybrid or fully remote workforces. 

Hybrid vs. Remote Work

While the two overlap, hybrid and remote work are different concepts. Understanding how each one works can help companies determine the best model for their workforce. 

Remote work is any work done anywhere outside the office. A fully remote workforce rarely, if ever, comes into the physical workplace. Instead, they complete their work at home, at a local coffee shop, at the local library — anywhere with a strong internet connection.

Hybrid work is a flexible work arrangement that blends in-office, remote and on-the-go work. This model gives employees some autonomy over how and where they work, which can significantly enhance productivity and improve employee well-being.

Hybrid work is often the preferred model for both employees and employers because it combines the flexibility of remote work with the collaborative culture of an office. Hybrid work is expected to make up approximately 53% of the remote-capable workforce over the next few years. 

Retain More Employees

Moving forward, employers will need to offer remote or hybrid work options to attract and retain top talent. According to a Gallup poll, 54% of exclusively remote employees and 38% of hybrid employees would start looking for a new job if their employer stopped offering remote work options.

And flexible working arrangements benefit more than your bottom line. Here is how the ability to work from anywhere benefits employees:

  • Improved engagement
  • Greater job satisfaction
  • Higher overall well-being
  • Reduced burnout

The trick to mastering the shift to a hybrid or remote workforce is to design a seamless digital workplace.

Build a Frictionless Digital Workplace

When designing a digital workplace, there are a few questions you will need to consider:

  • What business outcomes are you looking to achieve?
  • What kinds of workplace experiences do you want to provide?
  • What tools do you currently use to meet those goals? 
  • Are there any gaps you still need to cover?  

Approach this process with a digital-first mindset. Whatever changes you make to your strategy, consider how you can incorporate remote connectivity into it. 

For example, if you plan to hold more regular hybrid meetings, you might ask on-site attendees to take notes and chat using a cloud collaboration platform. This technology can help include employees working remotely and strengthen your company culture.

The concept of iterative design is helpful in creating a virtual workplace because it allows you to explore and implement new solutions as your organization evolves. Collecting employee feedback and keeping up with market trends can help you design a work model that maximizes productivity and reflects your organization's mission statement.

Implement Digital Solutions for a Hybrid Workplace

  Empower your employees to work toward a more forward-thinking workplace. Woman working on laptop.

Digital tools that optimize connectivity and collaboration are must-haves for any organization looking to equip a remote or hybrid workforce. By enhancing the user experience and streamlining your IT stack, you empower your employees to work toward a more forward-thinking workplace. 

Here are some solutions that could help your organization.

Microsoft Office 365

Accessibility and excellent user experience are the most important components of a digital workplace. With a cloud-based suite of integrated productivity applications, organizations can simplify their IT stack and reduce infrastructure spend. Office 365 upgrades the beloved Office experience by adding enterprise-level mobile collaboration features. 

With the ability to access their work from anywhere, your users have the flexibility to choose where and how they get their work done. A 99.9% uptime means there is minimal risk of a business disruption.

Microsoft SharePoint Online

Creating a digital hub enables easy accessibility for your end users so they can find the resources they need to do their work quickly. SharePoint Online is Microsoft's business-class portal and content management solution. With a sleek, user-friendly interface and guaranteed 99.9% uptime, SharePoint Online creates a centralized hub for all your organization's content. 

Easy accessibility enhances productivity and collaboration for remote and on-site workers while built-in enterprise-grade security protects your data from malicious actors. Plus, because the system runs on Microsoft's geographically distributed data centers, you can rest assured your data is protected from disaster.

Microsoft Teams

Managing a digital workplace is challenging when your organization lacks effective communication channels. Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based communications platform that is becoming increasingly popular among digital organizations.

Teams incorporates various features to help your employees be more successful, including:

  • Instant messaging channels
  • Videoconferencing
  • Secure file storage 
  • Collaborative editing
  • Application integration

Teams also enables organizations to take advantage of artificial intelligence to boost productivity and gain a competitive edge. Employees can save time on tedious tasks like transcribing and file searching, allowing them to focus on more pressing tasks. For example, AI-powered voice recognition capabilities can analyze sound bites to create accurate transcriptions. 

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite

Remote and hybrid workforces often follow bring your own device (BYOD) policies, which can make providing consistent, secure access to company resources challenging. 

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) streamlines device management for IT teams by enabling management from a single console. With Microsoft System Center and Windows Intune integrations, you can sync data, register devices and access company resources from any enrolled device. 

It also deeply integrates with Office 365, so you can maintain high productivity while keeping your data secure.

Make Work From Anywhere Work for Your Company With BDO Digital

Working with an IT consulting firm like BDO Digital will help you assess your existing technology and determine next steps for building your digital workplace. 

As Microsoft Solutions Partners, we have the knowledge and expertise to find and deploy the solution that meets your organization's unique needs. We also provide staff training and maintenance and support services to ensure lasting success.