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Teleworking: From Office to Home. From Home to the Team.

Teleworking offers considerable advantages, not only in connection with customer service , but also in competitiveness in a modern service society. Teleworking offers freedoms to both companies and employees, promoting values such as inclusion in the long term and thus making them an essential factor in decision-making processes in HR departments.

Teleworking - The Panacea?

Teleworking or working at home has once again become one of the big business issues for both global players and small and medium-sized businesses, due to the Corona pandemic. In this case, telework is an attractive option for business continuity management. At a time when entire customer service Centers had to close their premises for stationary work, workplaces that were relocated to the home office could ensure the productivity of the teams and thus their customer service . However, in order to take this step carefully and potentially successfully, it is necessary for various parameters to be examined.

Cloud Technology as a Basis for Teleworking

The first technical basis for teleworking from the home office are hardware and software that map the necessary communication channels, target systems and security aspects. A Cloud call center is ideal for communication, as long as it can be used independently of any geographic location. In this way, employees can be “brought together” in the home office and form virtual teams, without having to change previously defined and implemented configurations. The speed for a quick response, when out of the office – from one minute to the next – is based on the inherent advantages of a Cloud call center.

In addition, it must be ensured that processes for accessing customer systems and data can be implemented in accordance with applicable laws and guidelines. For Europe, this is in particular the EU GDPR, combined with the respective sovereign laws, such as the BDSG in Germany.

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Data Protection in Teleworking

The topic of data protection should be considered as one of the most relevant aspects when planning the deployment of employees in the home office. The humanly understandable impulse to feel relief when the immediate challenges have been addressed is illusory in this case. The Corona period, in the second quarter of 2020 in particular, showed that companies sent their employees home, but then had to continually fear that data protection was not properly implemented in this concept. The maxim “close your eyes and carry on” was and is all too often the case in the market. As long as there are no obvious violations, companies lull themselves into a false sense of security. Data protection in the field of teleworking means design and forward planning. In the worst case scenario, reaction to a data protection violation means enormous damage to a long-term reputation. Therefore, it is mandatory to remember that data protection should not be a surprise and that it can be planned.

Human Qualities and Challenges

In addition to the technological and data protection framework conditions in teleworking, it makes sense at an early stage, in close communication with the employees concerned, to evaluate whether and with which willingness, skills and opportunities exist for working in the home office. Do employees feel comfortable working in their home environment without their team? With all the advantages that are obvious, the question of the different psychosocial communication and work types is important when deciding whether and who should work in this form.

Hybrid Approaches

The hybrid approach is a low-risk, flexible and low-threshold form of teleworking. This can be seen as a benefit in two directions. Empowering individuals to work flexibly from home and from the office, creates a trustable dynamic among employees, their colleagues and the company. In addition, the combination of stationary teams, with teams in the home office and those who work alternately, is recommended to be able to react immediately to unexpected situations. This results in flexible design spaces that offer advantages for the organization, employees as well as for customers, including increased accessibility.