Article

Coronavirus quick fixes aren’t scalable. What’s your long-term strategy?

by David Hybels

Given the rapidly changing circumstances and the potentially serious disruption businesses face from the COVID-19 crisis, organizations are understandably resorting to quick fixes and stopgap measures to support remote working. 

Yet according to a recent report by 451 Research’s Chris Marsh, Research Director, Workforce Productivity and Collaboration, team communication and collaboration tools like chat and video conferencing alone aren’t the answer to the challenges businesses now face. “Shifting more work into email, virtual conferencing and other team collaboration tools won’t make up for the productivity losses many have already experienced,” writes Marsh. “They certainly aren’t their own long-term solutions, and they may actually introduce more friction into employee’s day-to-day work.”

As many organizations find their employees needing to do more “with more friction, but with fewer resources,” business leaders need a long-term strategy that empowers teams to respond to rapidly-changing conditions and execute effectively. Such a strategy is critical not only to navigate today’s complex and significant business challenges, but to be ready for any potential disruption in the future.

A long-term strategy to keep teams productive and engaged

According to Marsh, there are five key challenges businesses now face, each of which requires its own technology approach: A hugely dynamic external environment, broad and compounding impacts across the workforce, unsettled and anxious employees, a reduced amount of useful context to inform projects, and competitive disruptions as companies look for opportunities amid the crisis.

In the face of these challenges, Marsh cautions businesses to be careful not to double down on work practices that weren’t really effective for workers before the crisis. Rather than over-relying on virtual meetings, email, and messaging apps to address these challenges, businesses should look for “tooling that provides visibility, trackability, automation, reporting and planning around work initiatives for which synchronous conversation and a synchronous messaging should be a secondary support, not a replacement,” writes Marsh.

This is a striking articulation of exactly what drives our product development here at Smartsheet — and always has. Even prior to the current crisis, the need has long been building for organizations and their workers to find a new way of working to meet a new work dynamic: a platform that aligns corporate performance management, project management, business intelligence, key systems of record and communications tools, and surfaces the right data to the right decision-makers in real time. We believe that Smartsheet is that platform. 

With business conditions changing rapidly, it’s never been more critical for organizations to operate with agility and flexibility. Our platform can connect your remote teams and provide a common source of truth to keep your entire organization aligned, adapting, and moving forward through change. And, more significantly, Smartsheet can integrate and align your critical business processes, teams, and technologies now, to increase your organization’s ability to respond with agility to challenges in the future.

For a full analysis and recommendations for how business leaders can effectively enable prolonged work at scale, read 451 Research’s Chris Marsh, Research Director, Workforce Productivity and Collaboration, Coronavirus quick fixes aren’t scalable; business leaders must rethink work itself.