Help staff stay productive and secure when working from home

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“Every problem is a gift,” wrote motivational speaker Anthony Robbins. “Without problems we would not grow.”

Right now, it might not feel like that. As businesses face the twin threats of a Covid resurgence and the financial trauma it continues to wreak on the global economy, many aren’t looking beyond the end of the next week. They’re laying off staff, reducing their hours, and cutting investments.

This collective belt-tightening is understandable, but it's misguided. We will get through this and life will regain some sense of normality. When it does, those that kept their heads during the pandemic will be best placed to reap the rewards.

“History shows that the companies that continue to invest in their innovative capabilities during tough economic times are those that fare best when growth returns,” notes the Harvard Business Review. “That’s how the US chemicals industry overtook Britain’s after World War I, how Sears surpassed Montgomery Ward as the leading US retailer after World War II, and how Japanese semiconductor makers outpaced US companies after the downturn of the early 1980s.”

Investing for the short term

Few businesses would willingly turn down a short-term commission or contract right now but if it required up-front payments to equip an increased workforce, the fixed costs could easily outweigh the project’s value. Only if they could convert those fixed costs to variable would the commission become viable.

Inc has the answer: “[Businesses can] delay investing in your own servers and dedicated information technology employees by making use of cloud-based software for accounting, enterprise resource planning, program management and customer relationship management. Instead of purchasing an expensive software licence for each package, you can spread out payments via a subscription model.”

All of this helps reduce marginal expenditure, converts the fixed cost of capital investment into a variable cost subscription, and gives businesses the agility they need to take on new work, regardless of size. In doing so, their reputation as a trusted partner is reinforced, they’ll build their order book, and develop stronger relationships with new and existing clients. Each of these will help them thrive post-Covid.

Such procurement models have traditionally been server-focused, allowing for online storage, short term software subscriptions or cloud-based processing priced by bandwidth or processor cycles. But more recent offerings, like Dell’s PC as a Service (PCaaS), which is as easy to manage as a mobile phone contract, are extending it to desktop and laptop PCs.

Scrapping up-front costs in favour of fixed monthly payments, Dell PCaaS combines hardware, software, support and optional deployment to deliver cost savings versus the traditional cash purchase. This can give businesses a high degree of predictability in an otherwise uncertain market.

Rental-centric procurement has rarely been within reach of smaller businesses, but Dell PCaaS for Business is designed to service between one and 299 seats. When the term comes to an end, the hardware is recycled in a responsible manner, with all data being securely removed.

Investing for the future

Giving staff the right tools for the job helps them perform in their work and, in doing so, receive real job satisfaction. This has never been more important. With the majority of knowledge work occurring from home, decreased in-person contact with colleagues is breaking the traditional bonds of comradeship. Moreover, staff have the option to apply for roles anywhere within the global jobs market – not just in cities within a reasonable commute. Their opportunities, then, have never been more diverse.

Making procurement decisions that demonstrate to staff that they’re appreciated, and give them a sense of value, encourages fidelity, reduces the ongoing costs of training and recruitment, and keeps employees engaged.

This, in turn, can help bolster the bottom line. “Engaged employees are more present and productive; they are more attuned to the needs of customers; and they are more observant of processes, standards and systems,” according to a Gallup workplace survey. “When taken together, the behaviours of highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.”

Judging the value of an investment – whether it’s in training, recruitment, capital expenditure or IT rental – must therefore go beyond economics of cost and look instead at the return it can deliver. The ability to accept contracts on the fly, keep staff loyal and maximise profits can quickly offset an organisation’s ongoing investment, and prove more beneficial in the long run than even the most restrictive belt tightening.

Investing with certainty

Backed by 30+ years of systems development, Dell PCaaS is part of a varied offering supporting every part of the business lifecycle, irrespective of territory, industry or staff profile. Dell Optimizer, pre-installed on select machines, works hand in glove with the work-at-home model to which we’re becoming accustomed – with integrated security tools protecting corporate assets, company data, and customer records.

With AI-based threat detection, even the smallest player can benefit from Dell’s global investment in machine learning, and patch against potential threats before they manifest. Meanwhile, support networks like Dell Technologies’ Unified Workspace Community give support staff a centralised resource for managing and learning about threats and best practice.

Calling on unrivalled experience and a broad product range, Dell can deliver much more than your next computer. Its flexible procurement options help organisations take opportunities as they arise, while after-sales support and integrated threat mitigation proactively plug the holes in smaller organisations’ in-house resources.

As a strategic partner for businesses with the drive to thrive in the coming years, Dell provides the end-to-end solution organisations need to turn short-term problems into opportunities for growth.

If you need advice on your tech solutions, Dell Technologies advisors are here to help. Visit dell.co.uk/advisor or call 0800 085 4878.