It’s obvious that the pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives and promoted a seismic shift to a work-from-home culture. Today, at least 33% of Americans work remotely on a full-time basis. However, with this transition comes the demand for practical software applications that facilitate remote work efficiency.
Employees need an adequate means of collaborating with their peers, completing assignments, and communicating with their management teams. For this reason, it’s more crucial than ever that apps provide optimal support for the remote workforce.
Key Areas Impacted and How Apps Can Facilitate Remote Work Efficiency
The work-from-home transition highly impacts communication between project team members and management staff. This, in turn, affects project goals and other deadline-oriented tasks. As a result, remote workers will need a new arsenal of apps to assist them in sustaining collaborative efforts and accomplishing tasks. The following are commonly used apps that can help workers in these areas.
- Screen Sharing
Team members must be able to share desktop files and other data from their remote locations. Screen sharing applications fill this need, providing a “look over the shoulder” view that facilitates collaboration.
- Video Conferencing
Phone conferences can never replace the impact that face-to-face meetings have. However, video-conferencing apps fill this void and allow team members to interact as if they were in the same room. Viewing the gestures and expressions of participants also keeps the meeting more engaging, thus increasing the exchange of ideas.
- Team Chats
In between video conferences, chat apps are used to organize group conversations and messages. Efficient apps allow workers to tag others to include in the conversation.
- Office Suites
Office applications like Microsoft Office have transitioned online. Connected apps promote the easy sharing of documents, slides, spreadsheets, and project timelines. In addition, team members can add comments in real-time as well as edit files.
Increasing App Efficiency for Teleworkers
In the remote working environment, employees must have access to dependable apps to assist them with daily work responsibilities. Specifically, these apps must be efficiently programmed and extensively tested for dependability as well as efficient response times. The following are some best practices that ensure business apps will run without interruption and latency issues.
Packet loss causes excessive latency, resulting in slow app responses. Any application can be negatively impacted by packet loss. However, video and audio apps are especially prone to intermittent freezing or buffering issues.
A major cause of packet loss is network congestion. But, it can also be caused by hardware issues along the data path. Packet loss issues can be resolved by ensuring connections are secure, network software is up-to-date, and inefficient hardware is replaced.
A higher bandwidth may be necessary to provide more efficient data transmissions and reduce congestion. In particular, a private backbone is a viable solution to reducing latency as it streamlines the network path and provides direct communication between nodes.
Improve App Loading Times
A significant source of frustration for remote workers is slow-loading apps. Over 50% of users surveyed say that this issue is a major source of frustration. Slow-loading apps cause work-flow disruptions, negatively impacting productivity rates.
Surveys reveal that most users are willing to wait an average of 6-10 seconds for mobile apps to load before abandoning the app completely. Only 31% of users expect load times to be a bit slower on their phones than on their desktops.
One solution to reducing app load times is to scatter site information across various servers through a Content Delivery Network (CDN). The latter uses web servers that are closer in proximity to the end user’s location to transfer static files such as JS and CSS. Using cleaner code, compressing text data, and switching off plug-ins can also help speed up loading times.
Build Efficient APIs
A poorly designed API can cause decreased app performance. This is especially the case for mobile apps, where an incomplete or sloppily designed API can cause many issues. Workarounds can also tax network limitations. The API design should have consistency and completeness with reduced workarounds.
Enable Image Caching
Each device used to access online data has memory limitations. To improve app performance, enabling image caching is advised. Doing so will also reduce the number of server requests at the host.
Disable Unnecessary Background Processes
Background processes can substantially slow loading times since they are memory and battery-intensive. Disabling them will positively impact the app’s performance.
Work With Entrance Consulting to Achieve Remote Work Efficiency
While remote working presents some challenges to every organization, efficient apps can promote communication and collaboration. App quality is critical to preventing excessive retransmissions and latency issues. Additionally, apps must be able to function with lower network speeds since many teleworkers may not have the capacity for high-speed data transmissions.
Entrance Consulting specializes in custom software development, Microsoft 365 consulting, and data management for the manufacturing, energy, education, engineering, and healthcare industries. Struggling with slow loading apps and network latency issues? Contact us to schedule a consultation and explore our custom software solutions.