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CIO Panel Shares Best Practices for Enabling a Remote Workforce 

CIO Panel Shares Best Practices for Enabling a Remote Workforce 

Countless businesses have shifted to a remote workforce as they take action to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This sudden transition has business leaders learning on the fly how to empower remote teams and help maintain the productivity, security, and team building that drive success. 

Zoom’s Global CIO Harry Moseley and CIO Advisor Gary Sorrentino recently hosted a webinar titled “CIO Panel Discussion: Enabling the Remote Workforce” to share ways businesses can empower their remote workers.

Industry experts Shobhana Ahluwalia, CIO of Uber; Bryan Ackermann, Managing Partner, Korn Ferry Advance; Upinder Phanda, CIO of Unisys; and Brian Kirkland, CTO of Choice Hotels International, joined to discuss their approach to supporting remote workers while maintaining security and productivity. 

Here are some of the takeaways from that discussion:  

Leverage the cloud 

Remote workers need the systems and software that allow them to use their devices effectively, such as CRM software, call directories, and collaboration tools. Cloud-based solutions can easily provide remote workers with the same technology ecosystem that is available in the office and empower their work. 

“Our corporate employees are used to working from home a bit more, but our customer service crew is a completely different story. This is 30,000-plus workers around the world, and re-creating the setup with them, the ticketing tools, the knowledge base access, that was a pretty big lift for us. We used our footprint in the public cloud setup to quickly spin up and support virtual desktop solutions to enable our customer support team to work from home.” — Shobhana Ahluwalia, CIO of Uber

Stay connected, professionally & socially

Holding daily stand-ups or check-ins with co-workers will keep all members of the team engaged and in the loop, while hosting virtual happy hours, workout sessions, or other events with colleagues are essential for creating tight-knit teams. 

“The key right now is communication. One of the biggest challenges we’ve seen as a team is a lack of social interaction and feeling disconnected. So we are amping up everything in regards to communications right now, from weekly all-hands meetings to daily stand-ups to sharing best practices and technology tips every single day. We’ve had party celebrations online, we’ve had ‘bring your pet to work’ meetings. We’re doing something to try to make our workers feel connected every day.” — Brian Kirkland, CTO of Choice Hotels International

Help them stay secure

Employees are more vulnerable to cyberattacks and are more likely to expose sensitive data or information to the public without the security infrastructure present in the office. By issuing secure corporate laptops and phones and providing security best practices, companies can protect employees’ data and prevent unauthorized access.

“You should provide a corporate device to as many people in your workforce as possible because then you can ensure the security of that device. We’ve managed to provide our workers with corporate devices through our refresh program for those who didn’t have a corporate device at home. It’s also important to communicate guidelines on security basics for people at home, such as securing your router and using a secure password on your device.” — Upinder Phanda, CIO of Unisys

Accept the realities of remote environments

Although a child or a loving pet may make an unexpected appearance during a video meeting, accepting that these disruptions happen creates a more relaxed meeting environment that allows for authentic communication and a deeper personal connection. 

“I think people need to recognize that distractions happen at home, we’re all in the same boat, and when they happen, we just need to relax, be patient, and wait for people to re-engage. We are all learning how to interact over video in this new world, and the authenticity that comes from handling these disruptions calmly is a real benefit.” — Bryan Ackermann, Managing Partner, Korn Ferry Advance

Set milestones to measure productivity 

By setting expectations and defining clear goals and deliverables for employees, managers can ensure that their employees are staying on track without having to micromanage them or monitor their every move.

“Measuring productivity for remote employees should be the same as measuring productivity in the office. You don’t watch each person to make sure they are programming or writing emails or taking calls in the office. They have deliverables, and if they don’t deliver on them, then you know they aren’t working. However, if they are making a contribution and delivering, then I think that’s what’s important.” — Harry Moseley, Global CIO, Zoom  

Watch the full “CIO Panel Discussion: Enabling the Remote Workforce” webinar here: 

Watch the webinar

To learn more how Zoom can help your organization build an effective, productive remote workforce, check out our blog “Five Tips for Successfully Managing Your Remote Team.” Or set up a personalized demo with a Zoom product specialist today!

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