Distributed and digital work is the present and the future.
The way of working has changed. The pandemic gave the decisive push, but something was already changing before that. More and more companies are working in what we call the Digital Distributed Workplace.
How does it work?
Digital Distributed Workplace is the combination of Distributed Workforce and Digital Workplace.
The former term refers to a condition in which several people working towards the same result work in different locations, which can be remote offices, headquarters, home or field.
Digital Workplace is the name given to today's virtual version of traditional workplaces. The data, the applications, the collaboration tools needed to work from anywhere, on any device, at any time.
Today, and probably more and more in the future, people collaborate closely while being away from each other and collaborate from the office, from home, while travelling and using different languages, time zones, climates and cultures simultaneously.
Companies whose people work in this way need appropriate tools and methods.
It no longer makes sense to work under a VPN that connects to the corporate network because the company is no longer the main or preferred workplace.
How many times have we heard:
- "When I use the VPN, everything becomes so slow!"
- "I can't access data because I don't have VPN on my mobile phone!"
- "When I use VPN, Microsoft Teams crashes!"
The files and software we use (data and applications), must be in the cloud.
Entrepreneurs and managers worry that people no longer interact as they did when they worked side by side to the detriment of the quality of work:
"Virtual meetings suddenly stop and there are not those informal moments so fruitful for generating new ideas!"
"Remotely, you don't realise if a colleague is in trouble and needs help!"
"Communication through collaboration tools is dumb!"
"Many times you prefer to go it alone instead of calling a person with teams!"
"Working in this way, young people do not grow!"
"There are certain people I haven't seen for months, do they still work for us?"
"Doesn't all this full remote encourage turnover? It certainly favours Quiet Quitting!"
Companies not only need adequate tools, but also organisational models and methods that are up to an epochal challenge.
Distributed work has been called agile, but in many cases organisational models have not evolved to become agile as well. For all companies that want to continue to prosper, this is a priority.
Tools must accompany and facilitate the adoption of agile organisational models.
It is not enough to have the collaboration tool that allows us to make video calls, it is not enough to have the files we need in the cloud, we need to share everything and in real time.
To do that we need:
- Fast data connections
- Distributed infrastructure in the cloud (infrastructure as a service)
- Software in the cloud (software as a service)
What about security?
The security of cloud systems is superior to that of almost any corporate network. What company can afford physical and logical security like that of Amazon, Google or Microsoft's data centres? What company can boast disaster recovery systems with geographical distribution on such a large scale? Of course, services must be properly configured because some levels of security are guaranteed by the provider, others are the responsibility of the customer, as AWS's shared security model well exemplifies:
On the side of organisational models, it is now definitely clear to organisational experts that agile working must adopt agile organisation and methods. One of these is Scrum.
The distillation of Scrum is:
- Work in small teams
- Work iteratively
- For each iteration:
- Compare yourself with other team members every day
- Check results
- Reflect on how to improve the work in the next iteration