Procurement · 21 March 2022

Top Tech Platforms to Help SMEs Navigate Hybrid Working

top tech platforms

The barriers to practical remote working have been toppled by technology and the COVID-19 pandemic and hybrid working is becoming the norm which sees employees split their time between the office and home (or another offsite location).

There are benefits for both parties, but this new way of working is creating challenges for many SMEs, particularly around communication, collaboration and management. These are easily overcome, though.

Adam Harding, Chief Technologist – Digital Workspace at Softcat rounds up some of the best low cost and low code tech platforms and tools that can help SMEs navigate the complexities of hybrid working and leverage the benefits of a more flexible approach…

Time Management

 The extent to which companies monitor time use and productivity within their business and teams differs greatly.

If you’re looking to understand time management at an individual, team or department level, the free-to-use Toggl is a stopwatch style project-based tool. It can create easy to understand reports daily, weekly or monthly, and can help employees understand their workload and productivity, as well as provide useful insights for leaders too.

Before introducing time management tools, you’ll need to clearly explain the reasoning behind doing so – you don’t want to give the impression you have little trust in your employees. It’s a positive step to boosting productivity, as well as identifying areas where improvements can be made, or extra support is needed.

Document collaboration

 Often underestimated and misunderstood, effective document collaboration is an absolute game-changer for teamwork, auditability, speed and accuracy within a hybrid working model.

Truly cohesive outputs read like they were created, edited and improved by a group of people on the same page in the same room. To replicate this experience for remote colleagues it is crucial that teams use a simple cloud-based application that enables people to co-create, review and update a single copy of a document or spreadsheet live.

Several options are available, but Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 are the standout candidates in this field.

Task Management

This is not about micro-management, this is about setting clear expectations, creating cross-silo visibility, and avoiding unnecessary duplication and confusion.

Task management platforms can be updated by multiple team members, customised to promote productivity and help to provide a clear overview of timelines – particularly good for project-based work.

There are several options available including Basecamp, Monday, Trello, and Asana. Most will have free and different paid-for options based on the size of your team, security needs and budget.

Whichever you opt for, where possible, ensure these are integrated with your Microsoft Teams, Slack or other collaboration tools.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Chief Technologist - Digital Workspace at Softcat. Adam Harding is part of Softcat’s ‘office of the CTO’, defining strategy and technical offerings based on customer feedback. Adam specialises in end user technology, helping customers unleash the full potential of secure people-centric computing, collaboration and the Microsoft productivity offerings. Softcat plc is a leading provider of IT infrastructure solutions and a FTSE 250 listed company.

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