Remote control: Collaboration in the virtual workplace

For anyone operating a business over the past year or so, it is no secret that remote working or learning has become an absolute necessity, and with it the importance of a transition to a collaborative, cohesive and secure virtual workplace.

A 2020 WeWork study has found that, since the pandemic has forced us to work from home in the virtual workplace, collaboration at work has dropped as much as 15%, and the ability to maintain social relationships has dropped by up to 26%. (Wework, 2020)

virtual workplaceWith that in mind, it is essential for businesses to ensure that their office software provides ample opportunity for remote collaboration – for professional and personal results.

Are businesses coping with the change?

Reports show that, having been forced into this new remote working reality, many industries are taking it in their stride and even realising the cost benefits along the way. In October 2020 Deloitte, one of ‘The Big Four’ accounting firms, made the decision to close 4 of its offices, offering 500 employees the opportunity to work remotely full-time. Also, in August, the government outsourcer Capita revealed its plans to close more than 80 offices, allowing thousands of employees work from home for good. This shift means significantly lower spending on the rent and energy costs of office spaces. Other large City firms such as Legal & General and Schroders are also embracing flexi-working, expecting only a fraction of workers to return to the physical office in the future.

However, statistics still show that although the transition to remote working has so far been a seamless one for City behemoths like Deloitte, 35% of business decision-makers in the UK said that they had witnessed a digital project fail due to the steep learning curve of remote collaboration. 52% of companies cited inadequate digital security as an issue, and 37% reported limited access to company files and data. (Boxxe, 2021)

For schools, colleges, and universities in the UK the shift to remote learning has presented similar hurdles. According to a 2021 report by Ofsted, motivation remains a ‘significant concern’ for remote learners, and according to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) 77% of parents identified a lack of general motivation in their children. 35% were concerned that there was a lack of contact with teachers and classmates. (GOV.UK, 2021)

What tools can help businesses adapt to remote working more smoothly?

Fortunately for those struggling with the unique challenges of remote working, there is some very well-equipped collaboration-focused office software out there, designed to improve employee/learner engagement and boost productivity levels. For example, ONLYOFFICE runs an award-winning office suite which prioritises that all-important data security, and even ensures GDPR compliance for its clients’ end-customers.

Another benefit of ONLYOFFICE is its specialised Cloud-integrated applications (NextCloud, ownCloud, Confluence and more…), and even a VIP Cloud option with a dedicated European server and ONLYOFFICE support manager. Added to the full array of collaborative document editors, mail, chat and conferencing services, and secure ‘private rooms’, ONLYOFFICE constitutes the full package when it comes to collaborating in the virtual workplace.

How has this helped business run extremely smoothly?

Some of the world’s best-known companies have adopted ONLYOFFICE into their workstreams, like remote working pioneer Deloitte, as well as UNESCO, Oracle, and Suzuki. And in Europe ONLYOFFICE’s Cloud capabilities have helped top educational and government organisations alike to smarten their workflows. The University of Nantes integrated ONLYOFFICE and Nextcloud to create its own UNCloud (now with 10,000 users), and the largest water rescue organization in the world, the German Life Saving Association (DLRG), used ONLYOFFICE to organise central document storage, subsequently using it to meet a demand for more collaboration tools. ONLYOFFICE has also been instrumental in The German Red Cross (DRK) training centre, which has benefitted from real-time co-editing and the ONLYOFFICE Android and iOS mobile apps.

How can ONLYOFFICE help you?

As virtual collaboration becomes increasingly integral in the modern workplace, this sort of bespoke software will make the difference when it comes to employee cohesion and the remote development of successful campaigns. Services like ONLYOFFICE also have the power to level the playing field, allowing smaller businesses to scale-up and streamline efficiency. There’s at least one positive that this pandemic has thrown up – the opportunity for businesses to get a jumpstart into the remote working revolution.