In this exclusive article we outline the key digital changes which are keeping staff safe – and potentially saving the company huge amounts of money.
For office workers across the UK, virtual meetings are now the norm. With the recent shift in working practices, employees will see the number of digital meetings in their diaries far outweigh face-to-face catch-ups – a trend which is likely to continue even once the global health crisis abates. And as a result of remote working, those diaries are often filled up with more meetings than before, as individuals seek to replace the traditional day-to-day interactions you often find in the workplace.
But what does this rise in digital-first interaction mean for productivity? For some time, enterprises faced a challenge when it came to maintaining productivity whilst shifting to virtual engagements. Staff might have had difficulties joining meetings at the right time. They may have dropped out of meetings and struggled to re-join. And after a meeting is complete, staff had to take time to upload and share their notes from whatever call they had just had. All of this was time-consuming and had a financial impact on organisations.
Thankfully, we now have tools at our disposal that are easing the pain. Software tools are allowing us to not just meet digitally, but collaborate digitally. And as this digital collaboration becomes the norm, we’re seeing boundaries between separate staff groups start to disappear. Whereas before we saw staff spread across disparate facilities collaborating intermittently, we’re now able to meet via Microsoft Teams at a moment’s notice when the situation demands it.
All this has a positive impact on the bottom-line. A 2020 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft, The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Surface Hub, found that improvements to meeting productivity related to remote attendee management and post-meeting tasks can save a composite organisation $10.1 million over three years. How? The study looks at the use of Surface Hubs, which saved post-meeting time previously spent capturing paper annotations in a digital format – whether that was taking photos of whiteboards or typing up discussion notes. The Surface Hubs kept meeting outputs digitised, streamlining the whole meeting process. That figure also doesn’t take into account the extra cost-saving from not needing to print notes out or travel to meetings – an additional combined cost saving of $7.4m in three years.
These financial benefits are bolstered by the operational efficiencies enabled by digital collaboration. The physical office space can now be used more flexibly as meeting rooms are repurposed for other means. And whether staff choose to join meetings in the office or remotely in the future, technology means the experience is seamless for both parties.
It also helps to keep staff safe. Employee safety has always been a consideration for organisations and the past year has shown that varied working options – giving people the opportunity to work remotely when they need to – is a key way to support staff. If all your meetings can take place digitally and remain productive, staff no longer need to travel to different sites to get their job done. This can help keep them safe as we all grapple with the on-going health pandemic. In the long-term, firms that operate across various sites may see their staff no longer required to travel extra distances to simply get their job done.
These benefits speak for themselves. Keep staff safe, keep them productive and see millions in cost-savings. It’s time to ditch the notepads and move to digital collaboration.