The pandemic forced companies of all sizes to adopt a remote working policy. Thanks to technology and Digital Transformation, SMEs did not need to be left behind and were able to ensure their employees could work from home. Even as lockdowns lift, many companies are choosing to continue to work from home or adopt a hybrid working model. So how can SMEs improve their remote working policies and ensure cybersecurity and employee wellbeing. Two experts offer their views.
Kevin Piccione, President, Sealed Air Asia Pacific
In Asia Pacific, the way we do business has come a long way from the office-based work week that was the norm in 2019. A year and a half on, we have witnessed some of the biggest conglomerates like Twitter, Facebook and most recently, Atlassian, opt for a 100% remote working model.
With so many businesses moving in this direction, it seems flexible working is here to stay, regardless of business size or industry. In fact, recent research by Microsoft reveals that, across a range of industries in APAC, 73% of workers want flexible and remote work options to continue.
Today’s technical capabilities have advanced at such a pace that remote working is no longer reserved for large scale enterprises with the expertise and resources available to make the switch. We are also seeing businesses, including SMEs, adapting their policies to support agile and mobile workforce operations.
I acknowledge that it’s not an easy journey for SMEs and challenges exist, such as the need to invest in technology, address data security threats, manage and coach employees amid reduced physical interactions, while prioritising employee health and safety. However, all businesses face similar considerations as they pivot away from the usual way of doing things and think out of the box to minimise business disruption while improving workforce agility.
The pandemic acted as a catalyst to think more broadly in using technology to improve existing operations. From online collaboration to remote monitoring and troubleshooting on the shop floor, smart and automated solutions can help to optimise business processes and enable employee safety through touchless processes. If Digital Transformation is not yet on the strategy roadmap, there is no time to waste in planning and starting on this journey.
On the people front, significant benefits can result from adopting a flexible way of work. This includes improved talent acquisition, engaged employees and better retention. Allowing people to work when and where they feel most productive, ultimately helps their journey to a greater work-life balance. Because flexible work isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, it’s important to train managers on how to manage flexible and remote team members and continuously check in with employees to gauge engagement.
At Sealed Air, in determining the future of our workplace and company culture, we recognised the need for an integrated approach to flexible work – one that ensured every employee’s voice was heard. Over the past several months, we consulted our employees, experts in our industry, our suppliers and customers, and made a targeted transition to a flexible way of work comprising on-site, flexible and remote categories. We believe that many roles can be performed successfully from anywhere from time to time, but we also know there is strong cultural value in continuing to interact in person.
By applying what we already know from last year and continuing to keep our employees’ needs and safety top of mind, we hope to strengthen our high-performance culture while providing a new way of working and living as a global company.
Vittal Salunke, Business Head at ATEN Advance Private Limited
In a pandemic situation, SMEs have a challenge to meet the set business objectives. This raises the question to SMEs of how to sustain in terms of Business Continuity, employee productivity and revenue scaling. There is a drastic change in the working environment across the globe. I believe SMEs need to have meticulous planning, procedures and policies to adopt a remote working environment.
Area where SMEs can improve and adapt are as follows:
- Technology adoption
- Working culture and discipline
- Communication and collaboration enhancements
- Productivity measures
- Results and analytics
ATEN Remote Working Solutions:
- BYOD collaboration
- Secure remote work
- Livestreaming teaching
- Production efficiency
- BYOD Collaboration – Presentation Switch
• Stream from any bring your own device
• Simultaneous bi-directional multistreaming: stream in presentation content from your laptop or mobile device, or stream out presentation content in real-time to participants
• Real-time whiteboard annotation, instant chat and file sharing
• Quad view flexibility with auto layout: allows up to four streamed in sources to be displayed in quad view on a single screen
- Securer remote work – KVM over IP
• Secured remote data access with data encryption
• Dual LAN and Dual Power for redundancy
• Bios-level access with no software installation required and no computer virus concerns
• Authorised virtual media function supports file applications and software installation
• Supports PC video resolution up to 1920 x 1200
- Remote teaching – multi-channel AV mixer • All-in-one design to simplify streaming workflow; teachers can use an iPad to download the intuitive OnAir app for preview and program monitoring, changing video layout in full screen/PBP/PIP settings, adding image and subtitle overlays, and using smooth scene transitions for a professional finish without the need for additional video editing software • Storyboard-like management: preset up to eight scenes for use while streaming and during performances to reduce the need to interact with hardware • Switching between presentations and cameras to enhance interaction • PC-free and software-free with plug and roll capability
- Productive workspaces – sharing switch with power pass-through • Share devices with two computers: you only need one set of a keyboard, monitor and mouse to seamlessly control two systems and share data without complicated network-based set-ups • Share without boundaries: supports cross-system data transfer, including Windows to Mac, Mac to Mac and Windows (newer version) to Windows (older version) or vice versa • Mouse switching allows users to effortlessly move the mouse cursor across the screen border and on to the target computer to switch control without clicking a button