Five tips for navigating the federal return to work – MeriTalk

As the Biden administration continues its efforts to bring more federal employees back to the office, agencies are evaluating their return-to-work plans and how telecommuting will continue to play a role.

According to the results of the Office of Personnel Management’s 2021 Federal Employee Perspective Survey, federal employees’ engagement and satisfaction with their jobs has declined compared to 2020. In a report accompanied, the OPM predicted that part of the drop in engagement and satisfaction could be due to the fact that agencies were preparing – or had already started – efforts to bring federal workers back to the sites. traditional work.

Whether the future of government work means workers are fully remote or in the office, it’s clear that more and more agencies are taking a hybrid approach that gives employees the flexibility they want while supporting vital services. in person. Of course, this trend creates its own unique requirements where agencies will need to secure the tools and technology to support a mix of in-person and remote collaboration and engagement.

Below are five tips to help agencies ease the transition in the months ahead.

  • Prioritize flexibility by reducing communication silos

Federal workflows have an innate level of information silos and communication barriers. For employees to work productively from anywhere, workers need a single solution that gives them 360-degree visibility and access to multiple knowledge bases in one convenient place, providing an operational picture common regardless of location, agency or department.

Look for an integrated collaboration tool to centralize workflows and communication in a shared workspace. This allows employees to collaborate on projects in real time, regardless of their work location, enabling better and faster decision-making.

Depending on the size of the workforce, the average business can deploy between 88 and 175 applications. Nowhere is this concept more complicated than in the federal government, where the diversity of tools used is vast and varied.

Throughout the pandemic, employees struggled to switch between apps, leaving them with fragmented workflows and too many apps to manage. Federal teams need advanced software that can enable secure, real-time collaboration across multiple applications and physical locations rather than investing in different platforms that operate in isolation.

  • Create dynamic workflows and feedback loops

As the pandemic has shown us, key decision makers must design, modify and react to content and mission operations from any location, at any time, to enable labor fairness and productivity across all departments. . A digital workspace increases productivity, allowing teams to collaborate in a shared virtual environment that suits their work situation and schedule.

  • Reinventing creativity for the 21st century

When you think of a brainstorm, where does your mind go? If your first response is whiteboards, sticky notes, and handwritten ideas jotted down on a piece of paper, you’re not alone.

For creative ideas to turn into tangible results, remote and hybrid teams need to collaborate as effectively as they did when together in the same room. They need the ability to brainstorm and capture their ideas in tandem with the ability to view and discuss a diverse set of content. To accommodate the workforce of the future, federal agencies should seek cloud-based solutions that enable drawing and diagramming while sharing pixel-perfect images, videos, web content, and live data in a shared virtual workspace.

  • Instill Trust in Technology

Finally, when selecting a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendor, agencies should ensure that they meet federal cybersecurity guidelines. This can include everything from compliance with the NIST 800-171 and NIST cybersecurity framework to good cyber hygiene practices and FedRAMP certification to enable safe and easy communication of information in any environment.

Agencies should also look for ways to reduce the use of shadow computing and its inherent risks, including implementing a zero-trust infrastructure. Shadow IT typically occurs when employee needs are not met by technologies currently endorsed by their IT departments. By investing in a platform that fully supports the communication, collaboration, and content sharing needs of distributed teams, IT departments can reduce the spread of shadow IT while meeting the needs of their customers.

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