Lockdown and work from home have so far been the buzzwords in the pandemic but with the economy slowly opening up, many businesses have started returning to offices. Even so, in many parts of India, there is still a fear among a majority of them about going back and those who have opened offices are not operating in full strength. A whopping 93% of India Inc employees are anxious about returning to the office and fear that it might compromise their health, according to a study by MindMap Advance Research.
Given the current situation, there is no denying that working remotely is the ‘new normal’ that businesses need to adopt. This is evident with the fact that many companies have announced indefinite work from home.
To enable businesses in these times, various tech giants such as Google and Amazon took the approach of enabling digitisation and helping them adapt to the requirements today, other giants such as Dell joined these ranks taking a different approach.
Dell is countering the concern such as the one pointed out in a Statista survey — 35% respondents revealed that collaborating with colleagues and clients is the biggest challenge of working from home — and the concern regarding productivity and collaboration lags pointed out by entrepreneurs and VCs.
While there are platforms and companies such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Asana, Zoom, Flock, Google Hangouts — for seamless and easier collaborations — and startups such as GoScale and Pesto for requirements of skilled IT teams, tech giant Dell introduced a host of solutions with its Dell Small Business.
Named as the top 20 best remote companies in 2020 by Forbes, Dell is offering not only critical network, security infrastructure, devices and software tools to support a connected workforce, but also advisors to help make the shift to remote operations a lot easier.
Tech Giants Support Remote Workforces
Tech giants are focussing on helping the Indian SMBs and tapping the potential that lies in the sector, with solutions ranging from products to assistance, to guidance and mentorship.
Case in point, the beginning of 2020 saw Amazon’s announcement of investing $1 Bn to support the digitisation of SMBs and then in June came the announcement of ‘MSME Accelerate’ programme to help startups kick start their operations after the unveiling of Unlock 1.0.
Adding to that, earlier this month, Google announced that it will invest approximately $10 Bn under the Google For India Digitization Fund for the Indian tech and startup ecosystem and Walmart — with the objective of training 50K Indian SMBs to “Make in India” for global supply chains — launched the Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Programme.
And Dell — with a specific focus on companies that have not yet developed a remote work strategy or those that face cultural barriers in enabling remote work — is focussing on on-the-go computing and high-performance devices to support a connected and mobile workforce.
For The Hardware Challenges:
- OptiPlex CPUs, which have swappable elements for ultimate configurability and performance. The series of laptops not only allows the user to manage all Windows 10 endpoints from one console but also enables personalised configurations
- Latitude laptop series, which come with built-in AI, Express Charge, which gives up to 24-hour battery backup in one charge and more. Additionally, they have features such as 4G LTE options for on-the-go connectivity, SafeID — protecting end-user credentials with the optional fingerprint reader or smart cards — and remote management tools
- Dell Precision workstations for workforces that use creative or design applications, work with large data sets and perform complicated analysis. It gives professional creators the advantage of the fully customisable workstations certified with professional applications for demanding tasks
For Challenges In Business Assistance:
- Dell Small Business Advisors, which provide businesses with one-on-one support for the right solutions, tools and advice for all technology-related needs. They help businesses with customised solutions to ensure that the tech being leveraged will perform the way they need, even as the business evolves
- ProSupport Suite enables a quick repair of both hardware and software problems with predictive alerts, proactive support and priority access to the ProSupport engineers. The giant claims to provide 24×7 onsite service across the world and resolve issues 11x faster than competitors along with host of other benefits
The Work From Home Challenge For Startups
Even though productivity and efficiency are impacted negatively at times with employees working remotely, this is largely due to the workforce not having adequate infrastructure at home such as data security systems, VPNs, secure networks and more. Taking up the data security concern, India’s IT ministry held a meeting with software and hardware companies in March to help businesses address these challenges.
But cybersecurity is not the only major concern, because sometimes just having the right devices is not possible. A connected workplace is critical for businesses to maintain operational continuity as it provides users with secure access to data, apps and services no matter where they are located.
Over time, people might realise that their home internet is not that great for work purposes or power outages might become a problem as summer creeps in. And the brunt of this challenge obviously falls on the employer who has to preempt these challenges now. Some companies dealt with it by offering 4G dongles and computers with longer battery endurance to ensure employees’ availability at all times.
With the aim of not only boosting productivity in WFH scenarios but also turn challenges into business opportunities, Dell and other tech giants are urging and supporting businesses to follow best practices.
For any business, be it early-stage or scale-up, every minute counts. Considering the same, it is imperative for businesses to choose the right applications and software that will help them increase productivity. Additionally, these tools can help employees stay connected no matter the place or the time they log in to work.
With a remote workforce, it’s more important than ever to provide the tools, training and resources to ensure teams collaborate and stay connected via cloud-powered collaboration and team management tools.
No matter the size of a business, it faces threats to its data, assets and more. While businesses shift to remote work, they are not safe from such threats and attacks. It is important to understand these threats to protect the business. For SMBs, tech giants have come up with various solutions — such as Dell’s Dell Small Business Advisors — to safeguard them from such cyberattacks.
From 10K cases in the second week of April, the number of Covid-19 affected cases in the country have crossed 15.31 Lakh cases currently. There is no doubt that with these trying times the need to shift to remote operations has become a necessity for many companies. Google Facebook and Twitter, for example, have told employees worldwide to get ready to work from home until 2021, whereas TCS announced that it was exploring a permanent work-from-home option for its employees, earlier in June.
Needless to say, the current crisis may have impacted the revenue so far, but startups and businesses have the support of the tech ecosystem at large to minimise the impact necessarily have to affect your business for the worse, with the help that the ecosystem is getting from all the major stakeholders, this could actually be a more productive period for businesses.