What is one essential infrastructure item that organizations must have to support a digital workforce?
To help you identify essential infrastructure components needed for a digital workforce, we asked HR leaders and CEOs this question for their best recommendations. From scheduling platforms to childcare support systems, there are several recommendations that may help you organize and run your workforce successfully.
Here are 12 recommended infrastructure components to support a digital workforce:
- Scheduling Platform
- Accessible and Adaptable IT
- Cloud Storage and Secondary Backup
- Feedback Loop
- Digital Forum
- Synchronized Data Access
- IT Security System and Policies
- Telecommunications Tools
- Remotely Accessible HR Services
- Integrated Business Solutions
- Child Care Support System
- Broad Bandwidth
Organizations should create infrastructure to easily schedule meetings and eliminate the back and forth of unnecessary emails. A scheduling platform like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling is essential in order to create this infrastructure. A scheduling platform allows a meeting to be scheduled in minutes and also provides the opportunity to create email automations when the time is right.
Audrey Hutnick, Smallwave Marketing
Accessible and Adaptable IT Service
Accessible and adaptable IT services are especially important in a digital workforce, as collaboration and workflow is often completely dependent on cloud and connective technology. There’s an extra challenge for your IT employees, though, as not only the option to physically come into an office to troubleshoot tech is no longer there, many of your employees are working in different time zones on different schedules. For that reason, it’s important to invest in a broad, capable, and flexible IT infrastructure, as it’s the foundation of your organization.
Rob Bartlett, WTFast
Cloud Storage and Secondary Backup
To ensure your digital workforce can access and record critical data, you’ll need a cloud storage app that your team can access from anywhere and on any device. A system that allows you to change access permissions easily will help you keep data as secure as possible, sharing only the data necessary with each teammate with a few clicks. You’ll also want to put a secondary backup system in place so that critical data can never become inaccessible to the business. Create a backup policy and review it regularly with your team, ensuring they follow best practices.
Samuel Devyver, EasyLlama
It’s essential to define a feedback loop to support your digital workforce. Gathering employee feedback will help you understand which workflow processes are working and which ones must be modified. Your employees are always your best resource. If you get their feedback, you will not only be making their lives easier and offering them well-deserved support, but you will also be creating a work culture that your company can be proud of. When an organization listens to its employees and implements their feedback, employee loyalty rises, and motivation increases. Overall, the company culture will be one of collaboration and solving problems together.
Paul Moody, ProMoverReviews
We have been remote-working for the last ten years and we rely on a shared digital forum. We used Basecamp for many years and now we rely on Notion. Keeping work, documents, project management, policies, HR documents, business plans etc. in one central, easy-to-use digital repository is essential.
Matthew Stibbe, Articulate Marketing
Synchronized Data Access
Proper data synchronization makes for a secure, streamlined experience both for the customer and for the team. If your team cannot freely access important company documentation, it can result in bottlenecks which bring productivity to a standstill. For this reason, it’s important for any digital workforce to have uncompromised access to the tools, documents, and resources that they need to work effectively. This could be achieved through the use of file hosting services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Not only does this keep everything conveniently in one place, but it reduces room for human error and prevents important information from getting lost. This is an integral element of any organization’s infrastructure if they wish to digitize their processes.
Devin Schumacher, SERP
IT Security System and Policies
The information that any company stores is probably their most valuable asset, but it is also one of the main targets for anyone who would wish to cause harm to the business, whether they be external or internal threats. For this reason, it is vital that a robust security system and policies are in place. Access controls should be in place to ensure that only those who need it can access sensitive information. Two-factor authentication should be used for all devices and services to prevent unauthorized access. To prevent phishing and scam attacks, all personnel must be educated in cyber security. Anti-virus software must be kept up to date. Failure to protect the information your business holds can result in severe financial loss, reputational loss, and potentially, criminal charges. With effective controls, you can be certain that both the business and the customer’s information is safe from cyber attack.
Jonathan Zacks, GoReminders
Telecommunications tools are essential for supporting a digital workforce. In addition to email, remote and hybrid employees need audio, video, and web conferencing technologies to communicate effectively. The right digital savvy leader will be able to ensure that everyone not only has access to these tools, but they know how to use them correctly. A healthy workplace is a workplace that communicates consistently and efficiently.
Ben Hyman, revivalrugs.com
Remotely Accessible HR Services
Employers need to make human resource and leadership support easily accessible for remote employees. One of the upsides to working in an in-person office environment is that human resource support is steps away. HR managers should be easily accessible through email, chat, or phone, responsive, and understanding. The digital workplace needs to offer all benefits of a traditional office in a virtual format, including promoting and investing in human resource services.
Breanne Millette, BISOULOVELY
Integrated Business Solutions
Perhaps you’ve already begun the process of converting your staff to a digital paradigm. Perhaps you’re just getting started with digital workforces and what they might apply to your company. In any case, determining the best strategies to take your team down the digital route is critical. So, Incorporate as many of your business solutions as possible.
Don’t treat each piece of digital technology as though it were its own solution. It should just be one part of a larger, interconnected solution. Look for companies that have platforms that integrate with the services of other companies. New tools that don’t work well with other platforms will end up being more of a hindrance than a benefit. The lack of the new tools you’ve worked so hard to give is inextricably linked to poor or non-integrating systems.
Anthony King, Transport Executive
Better bandwidth. A digital workplace is, for the most part, communication enabled. Without communication, how is any individual or organization able to function? Nowadays you can’t imagine a workplace without email, but email is just one aspect of communication. You need the ability to conduct online meetings, teleconferences, voice conferences, video conferences, and even video chats to keep everyone on the same page. If a company relies on email alone, then the email inbox will quickly become overwhelmed and there will be delays, causing delays in the feedback loop. The feedback loop is essential to enable businesses to respond quickly to changes in the market. In addition, there are security issues with email in that it is subject to spoofing and other types of abuse. Most importantly, employees can fall victim to scams that appear to come from the boss, which isn’t good for anyone employed in any way.
Claire Jarret, clairejarrett.com
Child Care Support System
With more than 70% of children living in households where all adults are working, our digital workforce needs Child Care support now more than ever. Child care is the backbone of our workforce and is vital infrastructure to our workforce, whether in-office or digital. When organizations provide Child Care assistance, their working parents – especially women – can get the care they need to keep working, and their children can get a strong start toward success.
Eric Cutler, TOOTRiS Child Care On-Demand