The new normal goes way beyond merely giving remote workers secure access to corporate data.
The COVID-19 outbreak forced federal agencies to ramp up support rapidly for mass telework across the nation. Agencies that made prior investments in automation, cloud solutions, cybersecurity, and robust and scalable commercial tools as part of the President’ s Management Agenda were better positioned to make the transition than agencies that had not made such investments.
The move to mass telework across federal agencies has not been painless. Agencies scrambling to provide remote employees with the right collaboration and communication tools discovered that productivity could take a hit if employees needed to learn how to use collaboration tools that were different from the ones they used in the office.
The Benefit of Unified Communications-as-a Service (UCaaS) Solutions
That is why there is a rise in demand for UCaaS to deliver the same functionality and the same user experience no matter which device employees are using. Seamless UC breaks down silos between enterprise teams by incorporating messaging, voice and video calling, team collaboration, video conferencing, and file sharing all in a single solution.
Many observers predict that agencies will embrace a hybrid approach, expanding telework programs and the systems that support flexible work, as some workers return to offices. With a cloud-based UCaaS solution, the government workforce can connect to powerful voice, messaging, and collaboration tools at any time, from anywhere, on any device, according to officials at Avaya, a leading provider of UC solutions.
According to Avaya, top benefits for agencies include:
- Improved employee engagement
- The ability to incorporate a mixture of diverse talent
- More input from key stakeholders
- Elimination of communication stovepipes
Yes& works with several organizations that are enabling government telework programs – from UC to security to infrastructure. One of those companies, World Wide Technology (WWT), now offers public sector agencies a virtual workspace technology with integrated collaboration tools that support peer-to-peer collaboration from distributed locations.
Building Collaborative Teams
WWT’s Virtual Office capability—and other integrated tools—allow agencies to reduce the risks of remote work that require significant collaboration such as software development by giving their workforce the environment and technologies that overcome barriers of physical distance.
Team members—whether internal agency or inter-agency employees, or contractors—can work side-by-side in the same online office and even perform pair programming, regardless of location. This ensures frequent and effective communications, interaction, and feedback between team members.
Agencies can easily integrate their Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams accounts and use them with the platform. The tool itself offers video and audio-conferencing options, chat, and at-a-glance insights—all while allowing agency in-office employees to work closely with the remote team.
Public sector agencies with a distributed workforce are looking to unify co-workers, wherever they are located, in virtual spaces for more effective collaboration and communication.
Both civilian and defense decision makers have said that the network capacity, teleworking capabilities, and collaboration tools set up to accommodate mass telework will continue to be sustained long after COVID-19 subsides.
Moving forward, the emphasis should not be on “remote” teams, but on “collaborative” teams co-working together in a virtual space.
Yes& is working with WWT to deliver the message that the right collaboration tools should allow public sector employees to connect with colleagues and customers as if they were in the office. The concept of the office workplace—where and how people work—has changed forever. Through the development of thought leadership articles, blogs, and content, Yes& is helping WWT ensure that government agencies have the right tools and technology to build collaborative virtual teams.