“The COVID-19 pandemic has been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in 20 years of working in football,” says Hannah Gordon, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for the San Francisco 49ers. While other industries might be able to transition their essential functions to working from home, the 49ers are very much a place that depends on being together, especially for what happens on the field. While the entire team is sheltering in place, the 49ers obviously can’t be together practicing and strategizing. They need remote work solutions that can help them prepare for the coming season as much as possible.

When the 49ers began working with Citrix six years ago, they were searching for new ways to both streamline their operations and fuel collaboration, whether they were in the office or on the road. With Citrix, they were able to quickly enable remote work capabilities across their physically separated team. They also leveraged digital workspace solutions to stay connected and collaborative.

As 49er Arik Armstead expressed on Citrix’s Remote Work Podcast, the team has actually been doing virtual meetings, watching old games, talking strategies, and even doing remote workouts together. Even though the team can’t be together in person, they can still stay connected and Citrix technology helps them stay on track. Below is how the 49ers been using Citrix solutions to stay connected remotely.

Shifting to Remote Operations with Citrix Workspace

In terms of operations, the 49ers were accustomed to a lot of their outreach being hands on. In the wake of COVID-19 and social distancing measures, they’ve had to literally be hands off and pivot to making those programs digital. Using Citrix digital workspace solutions, they were able to create their next-generation digital workspace that helps them shift this outreach to be totally remote. Their employees working from home can be as agile and collaborative as if they were in the office.

Keeping the 49ers Connected with Citrix ShareFile

Leveraging Citrix ShareFile, their team is able to provide unified access to the applications employees need to get work done anywhere and from any device. Whether they’re distributing presentations or sharing design documents, Citrix ShareFile has given their whole team as much normalcy as possible.

“If this pandemic happened 30 years ago or even just 10 years ago, it would be unbelievably different because we would not be capable of doing so much of the work that is happening from the home right now,” Gordon says.

The team is able to use Citrix ShareFile for sharing large documents securely and keep their whole team on the same page, whether they typically work in the office or on the field.

Experiencing a Digital NFL Draft

Beyond the remote work the team was already doing behind the scenes, they also had a great opportunity to showcase how remote solutions could make a truly amazing virtual event: NFL’s first-ever virtual draft. For Gordon, “The great thing about the draft that made it fit this moment is that it’s always been a giant teleconference. Since we were already used to being at 32 different locations that are calling in their picks, it was well structured and suited to being remote.”

As a result, the team was a part of a product and a television program that was the most exciting thing on TV in quite a while.

“We were all hungry for that, to be part of the collaborative energy and joy that football brings to our team and our fans. Beyond that, it was so novel to see everybody’s houses, their families, and even get a look at everyone’s home offices,” Gordon explains on the 49ers’ episode of the Remote Works podcast.

Looking to the Future of Remote Work

As the months go on, the team plans to look at which of their functions will remain remote and what the season will look like in the months to come. In the podcast,? Armstead may have put it best:

“I think it’s important for people to realize that we’re all in this together. It’s okay to acknowledge how difficult the situation is. I think there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel and something to look forward to. I hope that people can take what we learn from these situations and the positive things that I’ve been seeing, which have been amazing as far as people speaking with their family more, supporting each other more, and take those things into the future when we do get on the other side of this.”

No matter what the future holds, the 49ers are ready and excited to have a partner like Citrix by their side to determine next steps.

For more stories on how different industries are going remote and re-thinking their business models, subscribe to our Remote Works podcast on your favorite podcast app.