Update as on 16/3/2020
One year ago, our purpose of writing this blog was to show businesses the shifting mindset of new generation employees. We wanted companies to leverage the benefits of the upcoming corporate culture of working from home.
But unfortunately, because of Corona Virus (CoVID-19) the global pandemic, Idea of remote workspace is becoming a necessity for stopping the spread of the virus and running the businesses simultaneously.
This was just a concept, and we never actually started the development phase. However, because of these crises, we have started working on the concept for over a week now and we hope to complete it soon.
Meanwhile if you have any queries regarding how to create or implement a remote working system for your organization, discuss it with us. Together we might be able to find a quick and effective remote workflow for your organization.
The Virtual Workplace Concept is a new yardstick of working environment- in cyberspace or real space at any time from anywhere with developing a fully remote team.
Yes! The forthcoming reality sees businesses rule the roost with a Virtual Workplace Concept.
A recent stats from Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows fifty percent of the total UK’s workforce is expected to work in a virtual environment before 2020.
Another survey from Indeed conducted by UK based Consultansy shows an astonishing fact that 48% of employees will change their current job if other companies allows them to work from home. And 53% of respondents are even ready to take salary cut in return of option to work from home.
With no physical space or office, the team at any corners of the globe is well networked along with collaborative working culture for the routine business operations.
It’s chaos on the flip side, owning or having a commercial office on a lease is generally costly with badly needed staff management to tackle the workings in the office.
This is why most of the smart sharks are adopting the virtual workplace concept where the remote team works mutually sitting in their respective houses via digital communication tools and digital business processes by developing a personalized android application, iOS application, Web portals, etc.
It’s becoming the next best frontier in the global market to build a dream team with no boundaries, increase workforce productivity and cut the overhead costs of the business.
Getting the real buzz out?
The world now has dozens of tools to manage a team, share work, analyze and communicate pretty instantly with the co-workers or to their immediate boss or even to the clients.
Whether the team members are editing a document together, uploading files to the Dropbox, initiating a project plan & project schedule, managing resources, managing workflow, texting the task timeline to the boss or any damn business activities.
Majorly, businesses use cloud application like Outlook, Google Drive, Dropbox, Sharepoint or messaging/video calling apps, task scheduling, and project management apps to manage a virtual workforce.
What if they get everything to manage and operate on a single platform? If all of the details are in the cloud with the virtual workplace concept?
Yes! You heard it right. The innovation in internet technologies and the advanced tools for app development enables, IT Professionals like us to explore creative ways to utilize the potential of these technologies.
Zooming the focus on the startups and any businesses thinking to make the workplace all virtual.
They critically need to imbibe and own a powerful web or a mobile application to collaborate with the team virtually.
To understand how digital collaborative technology has a huge role to play in the virtual workplace concept,
Take a scroll at one such dexterous app concept!
An exclusive Work Collaboration App for this Virtual Workplace Concept
This advanced work collaboration app concept is grounded with smooth and secure internal communication among the team members, departments, or among the internal offices operating remotely from different areas.
The concept is a sheer dynamic change in how businesses work. Revolutionizing when we work, where we work, and how we communicate to work with great mobility and teamwork in the remote working system.
How this work collaboration app decodes the major challenges of virtual workplace concept?
No doubt, the virtual workplace is a catalyst to the latest thing and the modern style of office culture. In practice, things aren’t fortunate every time.
So, an extraordinary app idea of digital work collaboration is conceptualized to effectively simplify virtual workplace management.
Take a look at the fears of a virtual workplace concept that the work collab app targets:
1. THE CHALLENGES OF COMMUNICATION
Chances of Misinterpretation, Lack of context and Miscommunication in Remote Workspace
As the team communication lacks everyday face-to-face talks, the information that the team member can glean from the following is absent in virtual environments:
The facial expressions of team members like
Is the co-worker making a statement in a sarcastic manner or is he really means it? Is the boss happy with task or disappointed?
The body language and tone of the team members like
Is the boss angry as he talks with a loud tone? Is the co-worker workaholic or enthusiastic for a project as he stands tall with constantly focusing his eye on the document?
The desk or seating arrangements at the office like
Whose desk is next to whom? Whose desk becomes the center of attraction for all to peep every time they pass from the passage? Whose desk has less reach of camera focus?
The new study reveals
Solutions for avoiding miscommunications and misinterpretation
The work collaboration app concepts propose to foster a communication culture in a remote workspace. Let’s see how!
Custom Team dashboards
For avoiding miscommunication of the important data among the team in the virtual workplace concept
This feature should provide the users to create and customize the team dashboards that can be accessed by other users on the app.
Here, tools should be made available to communicate the KPI’s (Key Performance Indicator), visual metrics, comparison tools, charts or graphs.
This type of feature proves best to be used, especially during any meetings, new project initiation, product/service launch or for the annual general meeting of the company.
For avoiding the lack of context and misinterpretation among the team members in virtual workplace concept
Here, all the team members from lower to the upper level of authorities should be able to chat internally with each other.
Chatbox is much more than conversing with other app users through text messages. It should have creatives to make it more enjoyable to communicate with users.
For example, team members can show expressions through the emojis, sticker, GIF, motivational quotes and visuals.
Tools should be available for the users to attach the docs files, pdf documents, jpg files, spreadsheets, images or zipped files much swiftly on the chatbox to make it more easy to communicate.
Private chat rooms
For avoiding misunderstandings in virtual workplace concept
Whenever a user wishes to individually or privately converse with another app user, they should be able to create a private chat room for both.
After finishing with the conversation, users can easily exit the chat room and end the private chatting.
For avoiding lack of context and miscommunications in virtual workplace concept
All the users can easily initiate a debate and invite participants to share their thoughts, discuss, argue and even bring out important points in a debate.
It should be up to the debate creator to fix the team to participate ‘For’ or ‘Against’ a topic or let the participants make a choice to debate ‘For’ or ‘Against’ the topic.
The outcomes of the debate should be automatically saved on the database so that the participants can review it whenever they wish.
Virtual workplace often constitutes employees from varied ethnic groups or cultures.
Language misinterpretation can be the main cause of chief communication barriers.
To curb the language issues, the app should have tools to translate the language for a smooth communication process.
This multi-linguistic option features varied types of languages that the users can translate the content and understand.
This is one of the strong features to well manage multicultural and diverse virtual teams.
Countering Delay in communication in the virtual workplace concept
Many companies use chats, emails or calls as interactive tools to communicate internally with the team members.
But this doesn’t fix the issues pertaining to delay in communication.
If the project needs to be stopped on an immediate basis, there are chances of delay in informing the team or internally among varied departments of the company
Solutions for the delay in communication in virtual workplace concept
The work collab app is all about using the right digital tools to develop a smooth and speedy flow of communication among the virtual teams with features like:
Audio calling and video calling
This is an imperative feature that needs to be integrated in an app for a virtual workplace concept.
The users should be able to make a video or audio call to other app users.
This increases the degree of intractability to catch on the full context of what colleagues and decision makers are trying to communicate.
It can also be the other way round. The boss can also well understand what the employees want to communicate.
For a virtual conversation relating to the specialized purpose and not for a completely free human conversation should be made easy for the app users.
The new joinees or any app user new to the business should be able to take a company orientation by themselves through the orientation available in Kiosks.
While for most common and specific queries, the users should be able to get assistance and information through Kiosks.
An example of this can be, asking the app to give information about the client base, total staff members, annual income of the business or geographic locations where the company serves its products or services.
This feature provides complete flexibility to inform the app users on particular details.
Making it a virtual conversation with a voice assistant can help app users to listen or converse with great mobility when traveling, walking or driving a vehicle.
The user can send an emergency/urgent notification to other users with highlighting it as urgent on their dashboard and the notification.
Along with an SMS and email to increase the chances to reach the designated person, even if he is offline or away from his personal devices.
The user can also choose to add the emergency notification in an exception list, which will ring the event if the phone is on silent.
This is the best way to solve the problem of delay in communication in the virtual workplace concept.
This broadcast feature helps the authorities in-charge to make announcements about important things. Be it a holiday, a new rule, an event details, a hearty welcome of a new joinee, a schedule update of the project and much more.
No brainstorming or New Idea Generation in a virtual environment
A poor communication starts becoming a big fat barrier to bring out innovation, creative decision-making and unique outputs in the team.
Solutions for better idea generation in virtual workplace concept
The work collaboration app concept comes up with the essential features to create a comfort level for the team members for presenting their thoughts and helping them to conduct detailed research whenever needed.
Take a look,
Meeting and conferences
Depending on the type of business, the access should be given to a particular group of users to create and manage meetings.
While those app users who get an invite for a meeting should get access to participate and attend the meeting on the app.
The authorities should be able to arrange a meeting anytime as per the convenience of the attendees.
Tools to add date, the time zone of a country, the purpose of the meeting and select the participants should be available to the authorities.
While the conference feature helps to make it a literal formal process to discuss and exchange thoughts or information.
What makes the difference is the mandatory details of the purpose for the conference, its agenda, it’s proceedings and other details related to the conference that the user is bound to update other attendees.
Debate/ Discussion forums
The app user should be able to generate new ideas through the tools for a debate or discussion forum that can help ask other users for possible unique ways to deal with the task.
Employees Feeling Isolated in Virtual Workplace
When a team member experiences less or no contact with other team members for many days, it can lead them to a demotivated feeling of isolation.
Solutions for building cohesiveness among the remote team
This remote workspace concentrates on building relationships among team members and increase the level of internal communication in the team.
This will increase the cohesiveness among the employees in the virtual workplace concept.
This can act as the most happening tool for team members. Any of the app users can create an informal group and chat freely with the app users they select for an informal conversation.
Without any restrictions, they can discuss topics not related to the business, crack jokes, informally send routine greetings and sometimes also tease the other group member.
The users who don’t want to indulge into such conversation should also be able to easily exit the group.
The app user can create, edit or delete their social profile that will be visible to all the users. The social profile can include the cover photo, social posts, sharing videos or images, sending wishes or even making a check-in to a particular place/restaurant/pub/property.
The app user should be able to connect with any friend (app users) easily to initiate a conversation, share happening news or give any updates.
Lack of a helping hand or support in Virtual workplace concept
Usually, the virtual team lacks to be supportive when any of the team members are stuck-up with work or faces any issues to understand a process or even if they face a technical problem on their device.
Solutions for the problem
Advanced remote access and support
A helping team member can request remote access of the user dashboard and easily access operating that dashboard to show them the right way or solve a problem.
This effective feature should make the communication so very smooth that the team members can easily understand and solve the working problems of other app users much speedier.
Training to upgrade problem-solving skills
The app at fixed intervals should provide training to employees stay updated on the new technology and fix technical issues in the remote working environment.
The training should cover a mindset to be willing to help other team members for a greater good.
Here training can be in the form of a video, a guest visit for a conference call, an online test or a group session by the top authority.
2. THE CHALLENGE OF WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT
Work allocation in the Virtual workplace concept
Managing a fully remote team is pretty challenging, especially to balance and allocate work to the high-performance team.
It turns out to be chaos to:
- Delegate the task individually to different team members through emails
- Scheduling task through spreadsheets or messenger or through a phone call
- Making the team members well-understand task priorities
- Giving deadlines to complete the given tasks
Also, instantly assisting the team at the time they perform the task proves an add-on in the challenges.
The team leaders can also lack on time and efficiency to properly assess the allocated tasks if the task-doers don’t get the tasks done on time and that too the way in which the team leader wanted the task outcomes to be done as planned.
Solutions for better Work Allocation in Virtual Workplace Concept
In the work collaboration app for a virtual workplace concept,
The major factors which affect the work allocation in virtual teams are planning, scheduling, task allocation, setting deadlines for the tasks allocated and above all comes assessing the tasks.
A systematic and well-defined process should be designed for work allocation.
Accurate and adequate features or tools must be made available for the users to properly implement this planned process.
How will the work allocation process work?
Plan the objectives of the business → Dilute the objectives into varied essential tasks → Prioritize those tasks → Check the employees skill set/availability/ interest/ and opportunity of the task → Assign the task with deadlines, sufficient data and required tech and non-tech resources → Responsiveness to the task query → Task completion → Task Assessment → Approval of task completion and final comments.
The features which can improve Work Allocation in Virtual Workplace Concept
Prepare a plan
A team leader should be able to prepare a proper project plan with details of its proceedings and way to deal with the challenges to complete the project.
Here, the tools to create designs, presentation, and other documents should be made available to the team leader.
Advanced calendar management
The calendar feature should be able to help the team leader to set and update data on a calendar about:
- Timeline for different projects
- Deadlines for each task to be allocated to different team member
- Priorities for each task- it can be high, medium to low priorities
- Date and time of task completion
- Date and time of assessment and approving the task completion
While the calendar feature should also assist the team members to:
- Review the tasks and deadlines allocated to them
- The set priorities for each task
- Their task completion status
- The pending tasks
Advanced drop-down options to create a team
In case if there exists a hierarchy internally in the team, the team leader should be able to set the authoritative levels in the team to allocate work.
For example, a marketing team involves the HOD of marketing, marketing executives, and junior marketing experts.
As per the project plan, the team leader should be able to create and manage tasks effortlessly.
In the form of a questionnaire or note, they should be able to add task details pertaining to:
- The date and time of task creation
- Task deadline
- Task priority
- Document file that describes the task, details about the resources to be used for a task, authority responsible to manage the task and project that’s concentrated for that particular task.
Check team member capabilities for a task
Double checking the capability of the team member to perform the task gives confidence to the team lead for predicting the outcomes of the tasks.
Tools must be made available to check the age, gender, designation, job roles, task achievements, fieldwork capabilities if applicable, regularity of member to work, bond signed with the company if any or much more.
Allocate task and set deadlines
The team leader should be able to allocate the task to one or multiple members in that team.
Above all, they should also be able to set a deadline for each and every task to be completed by the members/departments/offices.
Pause a task
The team lead should be able to immediately pause a task with two taps on the app.
One tap on the pause button and another tap on the confirm a pause button.
Designing great user-experience for your app is key to the success of the virtual workplace concept.
Updates and notification
The app should automatically send a notification to the users with regards to the task allocation, a day prior to the task deadline, task kept on a paused, and all other updates on the scheduled tasks.
The team members should be able to update the task completed status with a single click. This should automatically send notification of task completion to the related team lead.
With this feature, the e-leader assessing the completed task should be made available with required tools to prepare a checklist of the task parameters, measure the quality of work, note revisions to be made if any, and add final comments for the team member.
Analytics of task completion
All the users should be able to view accurate analytics of the task allocated, pending, paused or completed. This analytics can be shown through charts, graphs or in a tabular form.
Team Management in the Virtual Workplace Concept
Team management is always difficult and most crucial for any business to achieve the set goals with mutual team efforts.
Virtual workplace concept adds an extra layer of challenges to manage a team effectively.
When employees, departments or offices are at remote areas it gets tough to smoothen the workflow and track the employee performances.
There are more chances for the team member to stay less proficient in their job role and feel disengaged with the work and team as a whole.
Solutions for better Team Management in Virtual Workplace Concept
The work collaboration app for the virtual workplace concept highlights the must-haves for perfect team management. The crucial and most important once are listed below:
- The team is managed not only by a process but also by the team results.
- Easy and unbiased reporting.
- Innovate ways for employees to perform the task
- Conducting meetings or conferences must be quite meaningful for the participants of the meeting.
- Strong tools for team engagement
- Create opportunities to brainstorm and bring out creative thoughts on a task.
- The proper process of rewards and feedback
- Analytic tools for each team performance
Features for team management in a virtual workplace concept
Team engagement can be handled through varied tools. Depending on the type of business and a virtual team the company has, the app should consist of engagement tools like:
- Scheduling ‘Happy Hours’ for all the teams to get to know each other, share their thoughts and well network as a family.
- To have a stock of digital birthday cards or cards for best wishes for all the users to send it to each other whenever they feel to greet a member.
Whenever authorities sense a conflict, they should be able to create a conflict on the app, add the parties of the conflict and solve the conflict.
Here, the authorities should be provided and guided with the ways to solve a conflict.
Sometimes they can choose to be informal or sometimes they need to dominate the conversation with a new rule.
As it will be a private conversation between the authority and the related team members, they can converse each and every issue internally and draw a mutual solution much easier.
The team lead should be able to reward a title, credit or star performer of the project to any of the team member that they think are the heroes of the project.
This feature should support the team leader to accurately supervise the pulse of the team.
The app should be equipped with measuring tools to continuously check the productivity of the team, reduced team outputs, an absence of new ideas and much more.
The app concept focuses on reporting structure with two major tools.
↠ Customize and select parameters to fetch reports
The users should be able to get reports on team member’s performance, task completion, project budget, expenses or any other parameters as made available on the app.
↠ Real-time KPI dashboard
The users get dashboard updates on the critical metrics like the actual and planned project value, % of task completion, schedule variance and much more.
Check out our Unique app idea for Your Organization
3. THE SECURITY THREATS
Maintaining Security and Privacy in the virtual workplace concept
The virtual environment in any business majorly gets hit by security or privacy problems.
Privacy and security issues pertaining to the policies, people and processes.
Most common out of these are the data leak, breach of the company protocols or exposed communication between internal staff.
Solutions for the problem of Security Threats
The app concept mitigates the risk of security and privacy issues to a larger extent for the employees and the business.
In the best possible way, the app should use technology to equip with the:
- Password management
- Protection to confidential data
- Encrypt the user devices
- Privacy in internal and informal communication
- Different access rights for different users
- Training for security
- Secured database
Features for security and privacy in a virtual workplace
Live to track user behavior
The feature involves a constant live tracking for observing the data accessed by every user, the sites visited by every user or basically monitor what they are accessing for the task allocated on the app.
One-time code to access confidential information
As any user wants to open a confidential file stored in the cloud, they should be asked a one-time password/code to access that confidential file.
This one-time code will be sent to the authority who is responsible to protect the confidential files. The user can ask the code to the authority to open that file.
Data encryption for file sharing
This feature rests in equipping the app with an encrypted file sharing solution. Tools to protect the data access for the data storage or a network communication should be provided to the app users.
Access rights for each user
The admin should be able to customize and provide access rights to each user they are adding on the app.
The user will be able to access only those files or data for which they are provided access rights on the app.
For instance, a sales team member will be able to access files and data from the sales docket in the cloud.
Depending on the type of business, the number of app users and level of user security, the app users should be provided with creative styles for unlocking the app.
The app can have a fingerprint unlock, facial recognition, iris-retina scanner (eye scanner) or a pattern style to unlock the app.
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4. RECRUITMENT PROCESS
How to hire people in the virtual workplace concept
In the virtual workplace, difficulties are also faced to hire the right profiles and manage the technical and other rounds of interviewing. This adds on to the challenges, especially when there exists a big interview panel.
Solutions for Virtual Recruitment
The work collaboration app concept proposes to equip the high-performance app with all the required tools to conduct the interview and ease out the recruitment process. It highly considers features such as:
Application and profile screening
The app should have a landing page that takes the interested candidates to the application form where they can easily apply and get updated on the interview schedules.
The recruiter should be able to review and even mark profiles as valid or invalid.
Profile searching and screening tools should be a part of app that can well filter the search results as per the selected limits of the job criteria.
Technical interview rounds
The recruiter should be able to use the video calling or a conference feature to conduct the technical round of interview. The needed tools to even provide a questionnaire to the interviewee must be featured on the app.
5. REMOTE LOCATION
Managing Time & Resource in remote locations in virtual workplace concept
Time Management and Fund Management are the two most critical decisions for the management in any enterprise, and the geographical difference of the remote team makes it even more difficult to manage.
Well for the international companies, a completely remote team can encounter great challenges to manage the time zones of each country the team member is positioned at.
It also becomes much more difficult to fix the working hours or working shifts of the employees.
Solutions for Geographical Challenges
The work collaboration app concept curbs physical distance issues. Take a look…
The user will get automatically updated on the time zone of their team members with whom they need to connect daily or frequently.
This will help them to observe peak hours of networking with the team and accordingly fix their working hours.
While for some companies who prefer to create country-wise teams, the app should have an update feature to inform the users about the time zone of other teams to ease out inter-team communication.
Early adopters have always an upper hand in emerging trends…
Indulging into a virtual environment can prove to experience the essence of flexible working hours, cost saving and be a part of the highly dynamic working culture.
But that’s not where the story ends!
Based on the type of virtual workplace, there are a series of other challenges that can affect the rim of the company success. Like,
Geographical barriers, barriers in hiring right personnel, tough database management and barriers in building a perfect company culture.
Delving into the right solution that scratches these barriers from the roots is what TRooTech masters.