how to manage information and collaboration

How to ensure consistent and efficient data management and enhance collaboration with remote work and flexible hours? The business world has inevitably changed, disrupting the way we communicate and collaborate. As the workplace is no longer defined, companies have been forced to adapt their infrastructure so that employees can work as they choose, in the office, remotely, or a bit of both.

While this new way of working may seem liberating to some, it raises certain questions as companies manage a globally distributed payroll with reduced hours. What constitutes a good work environment in the cloud era?

The main thing is to maintain the corporate culture. It is not enough to give every employee a laptop so that they can communicate with their colleagues. You need a strong data governance policy that encourages collaboration and communication.

Steve Jobs said: “My role models in the business world are the Beatles. These four complement each other’s shortcomings. This is how I see business: great things are never done by one person, they are done by the whole team. » So how can innovative companies foster communication and collaboration in the age of remote work to create great work?

Solve the “anywhere, anytime” problem

Freedom of space has become freedom of time for some, forcing companies to solve the problem of asynchronous collaboration.

Employees need to be able to collaborate regardless of the time and device they use to work – but this evolution comes with challenges. For example, if teams are disbanded, the risk is that their documents and data are also at risk. according to a study by Wakefield Research and Elastic, one in five remote workers in the US admit that finding the information they need is their number one challenge with this new way of working. Employees often find it difficult to access important documents due to the lack of an easy-to-use shared information management system and end up using an old version of a document sent by email.

Companies need to unlock data and give collaborators the means to share it securely and easily in order to evolve in a constantly active environment. But this is only possible if important data is not locked away in silos or on a hard drive somewhere in the office. The first step is to create a single source of information using a document management platform so that all employees can access the information they need when they need it. The second step is to facilitate collaboration and sharing of content, such as ad hoc review of memos by colleagues, team co-authoring of a large report, or structured review, approval, and publication of a contract or project. All these examples can be done regardless of work location and time to improve communication within the organization, as well as with customers and partners.

Encourage information sharing

In this remote business world, information sharing is taking a new form. We no longer tap the neighbor on the shoulder and go to the neighboring office to ask for information. Managers must find a way to share their ideas within the organization. This includes coaching, daily meetings, project retrospectives, exchange sessions, etc. can be done at the individual, team or company level through various mechanisms such as Each is effective depending on the type of information to be shared and contributes to a culture of information flow.

All these devices can be optimized with good data management. At a minimum, all content related to these activities can be stored in a single, centralized repository. In a more proactive approach, collecting lessons learned can be a mandatory (or even rewarded) step before projects are completed. Finally, some organizations implement systematic knowledge acquisition processes to identify reusable documents and transfer them to an enterprise-wide knowledge bank.

Another advantage that makes data sharing successful is its ability to find content quickly. It starts with easily accessible documentation, both technical and review rights, so that every employee in the company can see and learn from the available information. Document management systems categorize and label information in a way that makes it easy to find. Systems based on a metadata-based architecture make it easier to find the information you want because they can search documents not by where they are stored, but by what they are and how they are related.
Adding this information may seem difficult, but it is necessary to support geographic flexibility. It stores the organization’s knowledge in a single repository.

Encourage exchanges, solve problems and develop knowledge

This new way of working also brings new opportunities for brainstorming and problem solving. Generally, brainstorming sessions are held in a room, with some employees unable to attend due to geographic distance or time constraints. Now, they can be done via video conference or in a shared document where team members can write their questions, suggestions or ideas and answers or exchanges are given according to each member’s availability. By letting ideas flow from infancy and allowing employees to speak up, talking during meetings is a good way to make collaboration more creative by removing the pressure of having to present well-thought-out ideas too neatly. synchronous session. .
Another way to make the company more collaborative, efficient and dynamic is training. In addition to comprehensive onboarding procedures and information libraries, companies can enable their employees to develop their skills by providing in-house training and personal development whenever and wherever they want.
While remote working may initially intimidate organizations with the right strategy, business processes, technology and leadership, many can benefit from it and encourage more effective collaboration and communication.

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