The coronavirus pandemic fundamentally changed how the modern labor force operates. Meetings were replaced with video calls, bulletin boards with online newsfeeds, and filing cabinets with cloud-based storage systems. The world of work became fully digital almost overnight—making desktop support critical for remote teams. However, now that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, what’s next for the future of employment post-COVID?
Although plenty of factors remain uncertain, one thing we can count on is that remote work is here to stay. Data from Owl Labs’ recent State of Remote Work report indicate that between 2021 and 2022, the number of employees choosing to work remotely increased by 24%. Meanwhile, 67% say they would expect a pay increase should their employer remove the option to work from home.
These workforce trends reinforce just how important it is for businesses to facilitate remote or hybrid work models. From providing remote desktop support to investing in machine learning, this guide will walk you through what to expect in the current business landscape.
Trends That Are Likely to Continue
Several innovative trends, such as virtual meetings and desktop support, gained prominence during COVID-19. As much as some of these systems were adopted out of necessity, many are now non-negotiable features of modern business operations. So much so that they’re highly likely to continue well after the pandemic is over.
Online Consultations and Transactions
Social distancing protocols that sprang up during the coronavirus outbreak have paved the way for contactless transactions around the world. In 2020 alone, tap-to-pay transactions grew by 30%, the global online shopping market skyrocketed to $4 trillion, and telehealth visits increased by a whopping 50%.
Even though relaxed restrictions have led to a slight decline in these numbers, it’s impossible to deny the convenience of online transactions. As such, global digital payments remain popular among consumers. Moreover, 36% of respondents in a 2022 survey covering 11,000 consumers across Europe and the Americas indicated their preference for contact-free payment methods, even after the pandemic.
Virtual meetings were considered the lifeblood of remote communication during the pandemic. Although some decline in this communication channel is expected, there are many areas where virtual meeting spaces continue to flourish.
Companies—particularly those with multiple locations or with overseas clients—are ideally placed to benefit from video conferencing. A report from Globe Newswire showed that nearly half (47%) of organizations are leveraging virtual meetings to replace business travel. This can yield big savings for businesses while optimizing workforce deployment.
Remote work has been a game changer for employers and employees alike. Workers were able to decrease their cost of living and take back the time they would usually spend on commutes. Meanwhile, employers reaped the benefits of increased employee satisfaction as well as better productivity rates.
As great as remote work may be, it nonetheless has some shortcomings. Perhaps most importantly, remote communication cannot recreate the connection that face-to-face interactions bring. In fact, 90% of employees who work remotely reported feeling a lack of connection with other team members.
On the flip-side, not all employees want to return to the office. Moreover, a recent survey found that organizations stand to lose up to 39% of their workforce by reinstating fully office-based work. This is where hybrid work serves as the perfect compromise.
In a hybrid workspace, there’s the flexibility and convenience of remote work without compromising the company culture and team camaraderie of an office-based setup. As such, businesses that have yet to transition back to the office should consider the advantages of the hybrid model.
Remote IT Support and Customer Service
Just as hybrid work is here to stay, so too is remote IT support and customer service. After all, companies need to provide their employees and clients with fast and efficient assistance.
With a remote IT help desk and service center, it’s easier to consolidate workloads for both remote and office-based employees. Further, remote desktop support enables companies to streamline operations, align business processes with IT initiatives, and provide administrators with the data they need for help desk improvement.
However, to make full use of these advantages, businesses must prepare for the challenges that remote support may pose.
What This Means for Remote Desktop Support
The significance of hybrid and remote work to the future of business is clear. Organizations must therefore investigate how best to optimize business operations going forward. Remote desktop support will continue to play a critical role, as companies prioritize quality support for hybrid employees. This scenario could involve investing in some or all of the following functions and integrations.
Real-Time Desktop Support
Communication is still one of the biggest challenges of working remotely, according to 17% of work-from-home employees. Instant messaging, video conferencing, and task management platforms may be helpful for daily collaboration, but they don’t always suffice.
For example, an employee may need to troubleshoot the business system they’re using or require help logging in to company accounts. Here, a simple call might not be enough to resolve the issue. This is where having real-time support software like ScreenMeet can make a difference.
ScreenMeet provides tools such as live voice and video chat, remote support, and screen sharing, so IT support teams can efficiently assist remote workers. With these solutions, agents can easily access the information they need to immediately help employees and reduce downtime.
In this digital age, there are numerous communication channels at our fingertips—and each one serves a unique purpose. A recent survey on digital communication by Latana revealed that the general population uses multiple channels to contact brands.
The same can be said about remote and hybrid workers. And depending on their work setup, the way they contact IT support may also vary. However, there’s just one snag—this scenario could be a ticketing nightmare for your help desk. That’s why leveraging omnichannel solutions is vital.
Omnichannel help desk options allow you to unify communication channels via one hub. This lets agents get an overview of all employee or client interactions, regardless of how they contacted you. As a result, your remote desktop support team can provide seamless experiences and improve overall satisfaction rates.
Safety and Security
Working remotely, while beneficial, also has risks. For instance, if employees use both company and personal devices for work, your business data could be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. In addition, clients worldwide have become more concerned about data privacy. In fact, 37% are calling on companies to be more transparent about how they use consumer data.
As such, it’s crucial to have clear remote access policies for your hybrid workforce. Some steps you can take include:
- Defining your requirements for secure passwords
- Specifying the devices that workers can and can’t use to access company data
- Establishing a schedule for software updates as well as a protocol for repairs
- Creating compliance guidelines for cybersecurity best practices
Internal regulations aside, you could also look at upgrading your arsenal of remote work tools by opting for solutions that meet your cybersecurity requirements and provide desktop support.
Take ScreenMeet, for example. It offers cloud-native architecture that is globally distributed to ensure optimal performance. To enhance data protection, the platform uses SSL encryption through TLS 1.2 transport security. Sensitive data at rest are also protected using AES-256-bit encryption. To top it all off, ScreenMeet is SOC 2 Type 2 certified. This means that it will work in line with your existing data security systems.
AI and Machine Learning
Client support and help desk services will always require a human touch, regardless of industry trends. However, that’s not to say they won’t benefit from technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
On the contrary, AI and machine learning are able to enhance the overall desktop support experience. For instance, they’re extremely effective for automating queueing, providing chatbot options, and creating virtual assistants.
Machine learning is useful in performing predictive analytics or conducting behavioral analysis. The important element here is that you gain insights into each interaction. This lets you develop a comprehensive understanding of recurring concerns as well as identify areas for improvement in terms of desktop support.
The Best Tool for Providing Remote Desktop Support
The world may be returning to normalcy post COVID-19, but the pandemic’s impact on the way people work has had far-reaching consequences. Remote and hybrid work models have had advantages for employees as well as employers. No wonder so many workers are keen to continue with this setup!
However, for businesses to maximize the benefits of remote work, it’s important to keep up with the latest industry trends. For starters, you can invest in cloud-native tools like ScreenMeet. When utilized as a remote desktop support platform, its software enables access to live video solutions, cobrowsing options, remote takeover, as well as screen-sharing tools. By using them individually, or in combination with each other, it’s possible to optimize your hybrid support efforts.
ScreenMeet is also completely browser-based for added safety and can integrate with systems like Salesforce, ServiceNow and Microsoft Dynamics. The ability to work with business software that you may already be using for day-to-day operations is a huge plus.
If you’d like to find out how to stay up-to-date with the latest business trends, ScreenMeet is ready to help. Request a demo today—we would be more than happy to walk you through our platform’s functionalities.