Due to the current situation, many companies are facing the challenge of increasingly offering home offices to their employees. What many have been fighting for years is now becoming reality, even if under “somewhat different circumstances.”
Let us focus on the positive things that result from the current situation. For a long time, it has been suggested that family and career can be better combined: Now, we’ll have the chance to see first-hand ways in which this can happen. Apart from that, thanks to the home office, an often stressful way of working is no longer necessary as working hours can be arranged more flexibly, and you can be in your “feel-good environment.”
Depending on the employer, there are different ways of describing home office such as mobile working or teleworking. However, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, home office can basically be defined as a room/area in the employee’s home that is used as a workplace.
OTRS can be the key to ensuring that individual teams work in a structured and reliable way across the entire organization.
Why OTRS is the foundation for virtual work in companies
Home office requires a large amount of self-discipline from the employees and a high degree of trust from the company; but it can be an incredible gain for both sides in many ways. However, even the best tips for structuring work do not help if the technology is not right. OTRS can be the key to ensuring that individual teams work in a structured and reliable way across the entire organization. Below we have listed a few of our features that support remote work. Read them for yourself:
1. Are departments currently losing focus because they hardly communicate at all or are missing the complete overview of what needs to be done?
OTRS as a ticketing system prevents this at its core. With OTRS, nothing gets lost anymore. All to dos can be stored in a ticket that is assigned to the person who is responsible. No matter if the communication is done by email, ticket or phone, everything is noted in one place. And, thanks to the integrated process management module, requests can be seamlessly moved from one phase of task completion to the next, keeping everything on track.
2. Was your previous argument against allowing home offices the security risks?
We refute that argument. Data transfer is done via SSL. This means that all data coming in or going out of OTRS is encrypted. In addition, 2-factor authentication in OTRS 8 ensures that only fully authenticated employees can log in: In addition to the user name and password, the user is also asked for a token, which is always regenerated by an ISO-certified algorithm.
3. Are you asking yourself how good communication within teams and with customers could be possible digitally?
Quite simply with multichannel communication. In OTRS, you can communicate via email, phone, SMS, chat, a portal or even social media (OTRS 8 only). The trick is that everything flows together in OTRS and is therefore bundled in one place, whether the communication comes from colleagues or customers.
4. But what if nobody works? Who is available? Are they here at all?
With the sidebar (OTRS 8 only) and calendar functions, this is very easy to keep track of. First, a sidebar can be found within business objects: Here, people working in OTRS are displayed as “online” and are easily identified as available. Then, in the calendar, an employee can indicate his available and blocked times so that colleagues can easily find free slots for meetings or appointments.
5. Would there be no possibility, when working from the home office, for quick conversations with colleagues to figure out how to deal with problems or inquiries?
We don’t think so. The knowledge base in OTRS is designed for offering quick help. Especially when someone is new to the team, the knowledge base can be used to store various important information, such as “How do we live our corporate culture digitally?” or “How do I show colleagues when I am available and when I am not?” All of these questions can be answered in the knowledge base for internal reference. Of course, knowledge base articles can be externally or publicly available too to help customers answer questions about how to do things or company policies.
From a purely technical point of view, there is nothing standing in the way of a company using OTRS to make working at home more productive. But for employees working in the home office, this also means new territory.
With a good solid IT infrastructure as a prerequisite, nothing more stands in the way of the home office.
Useful tips for your home office employees
With a good solid IT infrastructure as a prerequisite, nothing more stands in the way of the home office. Below are a few simple tips to help increase the general productivity of home office employees:
- Create your ideal workplace
It starts with the fact that you should not work where you usually rest. This makes the bed and sofa taboo, because here the boundaries between work and free time simply blur too quickly. Once you have found your area to work, set it up as you wish. Everything that promotes productivity is welcome.
- Good time management is everything
First, think about periods of time in which you work and in which you “catch your breath.” This helps to create a clear separation between leisure and work. Get an overview of your tasks and deadlines at the beginning of the day and prioritize them according to the periods of time in which you will work.
- Distraction is a productivity killer
On average, it takes 15 minutes to get into the flow of working. Any distraction, no matter how small, be it the mail carrier or playing children, will pull you out of the flow again. Being in a state of flow makes for incredible productivity, because we forget everything around us and focus 100% on the activity at hand, so strive for this while at home.
- Home office routines
If you work in a home office, you need a routine that is tailored to your needs. This will also give your productivity a routine of its own.
- Fresh air for new ideas
Sometimes working in a home office can make you feel a bit trapped inside because you don’t have a good reason to leave your house. Use every break to get some exercise. Usually a routine works well here too. Take a walk around the block before and after work. This also separates work from leisure time.
For both companies and employees, the current situation is an exceptional one that requires exceptional measures. Give yourself time to adjust to the new way of working. But together you can pave completely new (digital) paths! We at OTRS Group have been following this path for a long time and find it very rewarding for all.