The COVID-19 Pandemic has forced many organizations—both large and small—to quickly change the way they operate. As formal lockdowns and social distancing guidelines were published by governments all over the globe, companies were left to figure out how they can get the job done with a remote workforce.
Both modern tech firms and traditional companies have been affected, and organizations can hardly be blamed for adopting any and every tool that helps them transition to online work. When we’re in “crisis mode”, the focus is understandably on getting urgent work done, with less attention than usual paid to topics like information governance and records management.
But the implications of switching an entire company to remote work can’t be ignored for long. Even during a crisis—perhaps more so than ever—good information governance is crucial. Important data, messages, and documents are being shared across multiple platforms. How, when, and where this is all happening should be tracked carefully.
Information Governance and Remote Work
Putting aside the obvious data security concerns of remote work, let’s consider the impact on information governance.
Gartner defines information governance as “the specification of decision rights and an accountability framework to ensure appropriate behavior in the valuation, creation, storage, use, archiving and deletion of information. It includes the processes, roles, and policies, standards and metrics that ensure the effective and efficient use of information in enabling an organization to achieve its goals.”
At the moment, remote work is severely disrupting information governance processes in many organizations as content and communication go entirely online.
Just take a look at the communication channels McKinsey identifies as crucial for current remote work:
- One-on-one telephone calls for individual catch-ups and sensitive conversations
- Video conferencing for workshops, training, and regularly-scheduled meetings
- Instant messaging/chat for quick messages, real-time announcements, and social team talk
- Video captures and voice notes to explain complex topics and conduct detailed debriefs
- Email for formal communication, especially to external stakeholders
If a company leverages all of these tools—as they should at a time like this—it’s inevitable that vital information will be scattered across a multitude of tools and applications. So how should IT teams, records managers, and information governance professionals get a handle on all of this data?
Governance Basics for Remote Work
For companies completely new to remote work, Gimmal offers the following great governance recommendations:
- Put systems and processes in place to properly manage corporate devices
- Create specific policies for employees using their own devices
- Adopt official communication platforms
- Encourage a consistent approach to online meetings and communication
- Inform employees on where work should be stored that’s still in progress
- Ensure teams know where official business records should be saved
- Scan all employee computers on a regular basis
Want to learn more? Download our white paper, Information Governance in the Modern Enterprise.
The Enterprise Collaboration Hub
“Newly remote workers are often surprised by the added time and effort needed to locate information from coworkers,” writes Harvard Business Review on the topic of remote work.
With this in mind, it’s important to adopt a governance strategy that makes collaboration and communication easier, not harder. “If governance policies make certain tasks too hard, employees will find a way around them. It's been proven time and again, that the tighter something gets locked down the more creative people will get looking for a way around them,” argues Gimmal.
One of the best strategies for both improving information governance and facilitating collaboration is to adopt a modern team collaboration tool. Platforms like Workplace from Facebook, Slack, and Microsoft Teams can act as a hub that connects employees at a single point, while also providing information governance professionals with a central repository for shared data and communication.
“When we say that Slack is a collaboration hub, we don’t just mean people sending messages to one another, but more broadly, the work enabled across teams and the many business systems, data and applications that power productivity for our customers around the world. When all of these elements come together in Slack, that’s when we truly deliver as a collaboration hub,” writes Slack.
Instead of scouring countless apps and platforms, an enterprise collaboration tool can provide information governance professionals with a single platform for identifying crucial records. Key to this ability are the app integrations that these platforms have. By plugging file management solutions, calendars, productivity apps, and web conferencing software into an enterprise collaboration hub, an organization can gather disparate remote tools and make the job of information governance professionals much easier—all while empowering your remote workforce in the process.
Pagefreezer assists companies with the implementation, monitoring, and archiving of enterprise social networks to mitigate risk, prevent data loss, and improve information governance. Learn how we can help your organization by speaking to one of our experts.