By Lindsay Brown, Vice President and General Manager, GoTo Asia Pacific
The sudden shift from working in the office to working from home is perhaps one of the biggest and most impactful changes brought about by the pandemic. The pivot, as it turns out, may not be an interim arrangement but something that will reshape the work landscape for years to come. It meant a modification not just of the physical work environment but also of processes and workflows.
Companies needed to create a working digital duplicate of the physical office to enable remote operation with the least disruption and risks. Simultaneously, employees had to navigate the unexplored terrain of remote work, which involved mastering unfamiliar online tools and virtual programs within the soonest possible time to keep communication lines open and meet deliverables.
The shift meant not only a change in how we work or go to work but also, and more importantly, a recalibration of our mindset about work and the workplace. Before COVID-19, many companies were only beginning their digital transformation journey and employees were hard-pressed to master online and digital applications. Today, adopting a digital approach to work and the workplace can spell the difference between business success and failure.
Now as we enter the third year of the pandemic and modified work arrangements, organizations and work professionals have adjusted to the new setup. However, many issues need to be resolved to enable everyone to navigate this new reality and prepare for the future of the workplace.
Foremost of these issues are resources and technology access. While hybrid work is seen as having a positive impact on productivity and company culture, according to our recent study of how a flexible work environment is impacting small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) commissioned with Frost and Sullivan, SMEs face increased pressure as they do not have the right tools and resources to support flexible and remote IT work. Forty-three percent (43%) of companies surveyed said IT jobs have become more difficult and 76% noted greater IT workload. The focus on IT needed to ensure effective business operations in a flexible work model also means costs. This year alone, 77% of companies surveyed said they raised their IT budget, and SMEs are worried they will not be able to support more budget increases, especially within the context of the current economic climate and rising inflation in the Philippines, which brings to the fore the need to sustain workplace flexibility in a cost-efficient manner.
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which in the Philippines make up 99.51% of operational businesses, are very much vulnerable for the simple reason that most of these companies have limited resources and access to technology. Although many of them have shown a growing interest in adopting digital technology based on a recent report by the World Economic Forum, barriers such as modest financial capability, lack of access to financial support, and lack of skilled workforce and infrastructure limit opportunities to pursue digitalization.
With the hybrid setup increasingly viewed as the new normal for work, digital technologies — and the use of the correct digital solutions — are critical and impact not just companies but their employees as well. Nearly 60% of Filipino respondents in The Qualtrics 2022 Employee Experience Trends, a study by Qualtrics XM of employees from the Asia Pacific and Japan released earlier this year, said they prefer working remotely and spending zero days in the office. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Filipinos, however, are on board with working four days remotely and one day in the office. These results show that employees are looking for a more flexible work setup that will allow them to take control of their time and environment while working. With this, offering flexible working must form a core part of any employer’s retention strategy.
Whether keeping the WFH or remote work setup or transitioning to a hybrid model, companies will still need to invest in digital tools and equipment that can support either arrangement. In the Qualtrics study, only 35 percent of respondents are able to show productivity at work and improvement in levels of engagement with the technologies they are provided with. As our study points out, the workplace of the future creates complexities for IT, in particular for SMEs, as it would require keeping up with technology and making sure all stakeholders have the tools and resources they need to do so.
Seeing the constant evolution of the modern workplace and knowing the challenges IT teams face in managing flexible and remote work, our vision was simple: to help people connect and resolve IT support challenges. This was the inspiration for GoTo, a leading provider of flexible work technology for different work environments. GoTo offers seamless experience with on-demand support, and delivers collaboration tools for a cost-efficient operation. Its simple platform can help businesses and IT professionals manage remote working — an all-in-one platform that can be the go-to app of SMEs.
Over the past two decades, we’ve focused on developing solutions that are easy to access and fast to deploy to empower small businesses in their digital journey. With flexible work now as our new reality, we’ve taken the next step with GoTo Resolve, a solution that combines everything an IT professional needs, including remote access, support, ticketing, and camera sharing into a single platform to help businesses and their IT professionals to support work being done anywhere, anytime, using any device.
GoTo Resolve makes streamlining tasks and remote managing and monitoring the teams’ devices simple and easy for IT teams. It features conversational ticketing that provides on-demand support and assistance that can be accessed anywhere using everyday work messaging apps such as Slack and MS Teams. This feature improves flexibility as agents can manage a whole conversation with a customer or support disconnected devices without the need to switch screens. It also extends tickets to other teams such as HR or finance that will need help keeping track of customer questions and requests. It includes a zero-trust access solution, a first-of-its-kind security architecture that secures company files and devices from cyber attacks using a signature key or a unique password.
With all the necessary solutions unified in one tool, GoTo Resolve helps businesses deprioritize unnecessary support tools that bring extra costs and reduce budgets needed to support remote work.
The continued evolution and enhancements to GoTo’s unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions with products like GoTo Webinar, GoTo Meeting, and GoTo Training help make hosting webinars, town hall meetings, training sessions, and other similar virtual events seamless and less complicated for users. In addition, SME IT teams can seamlessly manage their systems and communicate with their employees to get the right information and fix issues quicker through GoTo’s unified administration center which brings together these products, giving IT leaders a single app from which they can manage their users, entitlements, and configurations
GoTo revolutionizes the modern workplace by combining everything in one app to boost sales, maintain connections and manage employees from afar, making IT and business easier. Even as the future of work continues to unravel, we can be certain that the work-from-anywhere setup and the digital-first approach are here to stay.
Is our business ready for the workplace of the future? This is a question that needs to be asked now, and the answer could just be under our noses.
GoTo, formerly LogMeIn Inc., is a flexible-work provider of software as a service and cloud-based remote work tools for collaboration and IT management.