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Siloes of One

5 November 2020
  

Here we go again… lockdown mk2.

Clearly this is going to be a challenging time for many businesses whose livelihood is directly related to retail and hospitality, but even those whose business isn’t directly related to markets that will be impacted by lockdown still need to refine their working practices. Lockdowns and remote working are no longer one-offs but the new normal. With no expectations of a globally successful vaccine being released in 2021, business leaders must invest to optimise the efficacy of their remote workforce.

What have we learnt over the past six months or so about new ways of working? Having now engaged with more than 150 businesses who have shown an interest in our Atlas digital workspace solution, we can see some clear trends. Firstly, getting people up and running with tools like Microsoft Teams proved much simpler than expected. Secondly, employees are generally happier and more efficient at home than having to commute to an office. Thirdly, after a period of novelty and acclimatisation, it’s apparent that there are some new challenges inherent in operating a largely remote workforce.

Perhaps the biggest challenge we’re seeing is the granularisation of siloes. Almost every business struggled with siloed information and siloed mentality before COVID-19, but whereas those siloes might have comprised whole teams, we are now seeing a new phenomenon: siloes of one.

With everyone expected to be more self-sufficient and with new-joiners struggling to understand and engage with company culture and processes, we’re seeing ostensibly efficient individuals building siloes of information that are rarely, if ever, surfaced to others in the organisation. This is extremely problematic given that modern businesses run complex processes that demand collaboration and knowledge sharing. It’s even worse if someone leaves and important client or business knowledge is essentially lost.

Thankfully the digital tools exist to help. It may be that these granular siloes are here to stay but we can make the walls of each silo transparent (or at least translucent, depending on your security needs). If we can see into these new siloes and seamlessly surface information to colleagues who need to know then the information resident in the silo is no longer siloed even when the information worker who created or maintains it works in a siloed fashion. But rather than the information being exposed in an uncontrolled manner, it is automatically brought to the attention of those who, based on their profile and interests, need to know about it and who can interact with it.

So while the world of work continues to evolve at a rate that we could hardly have forecast a year ago and while our HR and working practices attempt to catch up, Atlas provides the tools to overcome the new barriers inadvertently introduced by flexible, remote working. Siloes of one are a reality and unless your business has the tools to deal with them, you risk suffering a measurable decline in client satisfaction, employee satisfaction and profitability. It’s important to understand that employee engagement will not keep up with the rate of change so systems must plug the gap. And quickly.

If you’d like to see how Atlas can help you deal with the consequences of siloes of one then please get in touch. We’d be pleased to share the experiences of the businesses with engaged with since COVID-19 changed the world we live in and help you navigate the sea of change your business is or will experience.

Author bio

Barry Wakelin

Barry Wakelin