Implementing Remote Equipment Management for a Distributed Workforce
May 2, 2023
Remote work has undeniably changed the traditional structure of the workplace. With the significant rise of remote work during the pandemic, employees began to work flexible hours from any location, leading to higher productivity and satisfaction. But remote workplaces can’t function without proper technology. To stay competitive, organizations must provide all the technology employees need such as computers, monitors, and other equipment on a geographically distributed basis to replace in-person office infrastructure.
This article covers strategies for remote equipment management. With these strategies, organizations can create a streamlined process for managing the physical equipment lifecycle and providing employees with all of the tools they need to succeed.
Understanding Remote Equipment Management
Research from Intel shows that outdated technology results in a $3.6k productivity loss per employee annually. A comprehensive remote work equipment management plan can prevent these losses and keep your team’s tech up to date.
Equipment for remote workers includes the expected such as computers, monitors, headsets, and other tech accessories for your team, but also may include IoT devices for use cases such as remote health monitoring. Organizations need a plan for shipping equipment for onboarding, repairing and replacing components, providing tech support, upgrading hardware and software, and retrieving essential hardware when employees offboard. IT managers should work with other teams to create a management plan that addresses these challenges.
How Remote Work Has Changed the Meaning of Equipment Management
In the past, equipment management meant in-office setup for new hires. An IT team member might come to your desk with a new laptop or keyboard during onboarding. If you needed to replace a broken headset, you’d visit the IT closet down the hall.
It’s no longer that simple. Global hiring means that IT, HR, facilities, finance, and security personnel might not ever share a physical office. Remote workers need updated equipment without in-person support. They may also need ergonomic home office furniture so they can effectively work from home. IT teams must address replacements for laptops and keyboards, upgrades, and repairs for distributed teams to help remote team members stay engaged and maintain productivity.
Flexible work means equipment policies need to change. Without remote policies, companies not only inconvenience their workers, but they’re also taking a serious business risk. Remote equipment management is crucial for organizations to compete in the global work environment.
Physical Remote Equipment Management Strategies
Home office equipment quality can make or break employee morale and productivity. Industry statistics show that over 50% of employees cite outdated technology as the primary cause of lost productivity in the workplace. On the other hand, a well-managed equipment cycle can supercharge your organization by empowering remote employees and avoiding pitfalls such as outdated laptops and ergonomic injuries.
IT managers should identify technical needs and create an IT checklist for procuring employee equipment. Keep in mind that different team members and roles may have different equipment needs. To track and manage inventory, supply chains, and shipments, consider a remote equipment management platform that provides support throughout the equipment lifecycle.
Cloud-based automation platforms let you enable employee self-service ordering and automate administrative workflows. When integrated with outsourced physical operations services, a remote equipment cloud platform can also offload the burden of pricing and procuring assets, dealing with warranty repairs, handle the logistics of replacing and retrieving items, upgrading devices, and managing inventory from a unified hub.
Employee self-service creates a modern employee experience for remote employees, allowing them to choose the equipment they desire during onboarding, and initiate repair or replacement workflows.
Implementing Software Remote Equipment Management
Beyond physical equipment management lifecycles, a distributed workforce requires IT teams to perform sound management of software, cloud services, as well as optimize the end-to-end performance of apps including internet connections.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools are a core part of managing operating systems and application configurations so that every device is secure and performant.
Remote equipment management includes remote monitoring of all assets throughout their lifecycle. IT Asset Management (ITAM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) software fill a critical need to track the journey of end-user technology so that teams can maximize their productivity.
Real-time visibility via Digital Experience Monitoring tools and timely notifications of downtime events is essential for ensuring app performance and end-user experience.
The modern workplace means abandoning legacy approaches. A remote equipment management platform lets companies properly equip employees from day one, improving productivity and retention and creating a positive environment where workers can thrive.
Firstbase built the industry’s first and leading cloud platform to streamline employee experience, automate administration, and manage procurement, logistics, deployment, and repair to keep your team productive. To learn more, request a demo.