One of the positives to come from COVID-19 is the realisation for many business leaders that quite a few of their remote working staff are just as productive working from home. This has led many business chiefs to the recognition that previous on-site staff could remain remote after lockdowns are lifted. The added benefit is the cost savings for commercial office space and reduced communication/IT outlays for hardware, it makes good business sense to leave staff working remotely if your productivity, continuity and expenditure is no different or even better.
‘74% of CFOs say they expect to move previously on-site employees remote post-COVID-19’
With the pandemic forcing the hand of many businesses to move staff into remote working, the tools now available to make this happen have shone through. Collaboration software, hosted desktop and cloud-based systems have proven just how effective they are at seamless adaptivity, allowing a ‘business as usual’ approach.
‘The new normal telecommuting may be a bit more permanent than realised, as 74% of CFOs say they expect to move previously on-site employees remote post-COVID-19, according to a Gartner survey. The survey, which had 317 CFO respondents on March 30, highlighted how remote work may become more of the norm as companies look to cut commercial real estate costs.’ www.zdnet.com – April 6, 2020
Considering we may be in this holding pattern for quite some time, it makes sense to maintain as much of the workforce working from home as we can. Not only for the benefits of business but for the health and wellbeing of employees and the wider public.
With this forced adaptation, many business customers will not have even noticed their dealings have been with a remote employee of a company, due to the seamless integration of hosted platforms and the latest communication software. This is great news for everybody from customers to employees and business leaders alike.
Whilst in the initial stages of the crisis there was a scramble for hardware from companies needing laptops and associated items, everything has since settled, and employees are getting used to working from home with the realisation that this works extremely well. Now that numerous bosses understand how this benefits business outcomes post COVID-19, many remote workers won’t need to return to physical office locations in the future.
In the preliminary stages of lockdowns across the globe, businesses had to respond fast and effectively to maintain income streams and productive workforces. Many were proactive and quick to react with operations almost seamlessly moved from one physical location to many remote home offices almost overnight.
However, that initial scramble meant systems were put together in a hurry with limited forms of security and communication software that wasn’t designed for business use. This has meant numerous application providers have been working on more advanced security within some of these communication packages, enabling more robust and secure systems for business communication. Others have combined multiple platforms to work together providing better-unified communication systems.
‘Unsurprisingly, the area of cybersecurity is a major CIO priority in the pandemic and post-pandemic world, with 7 in 10 organisations expecting to increase their financial investments in security technologies. Public cloud, infrastructure, and AI and machine learning will also receive financial boosts in many organisations’ www.zdnet.com – April 9, 2020
Security issues will always be an ongoing concern, but resources and manpower have been mobilised during this time to ensure a much smoother future for IT/communications security and remote working.
Businesses are wanting to attract better employees and employees are wanting more flexible working arrangements, so remote working benefits employers and employees alike. Companies get the benefit of reduced real estate and associated cost expenses with improved productivity and efficiencies, including the added bonus of more contented employees with far greater job retention.
Employees get a more flexible, empowering work environment with the ability to maintain the work-life balance they are looking for. Gen Z is the emerging factor in the workforce and remote working with the latest in tech will be a major influence for their employment.
‘Gen Z has a deep understanding of how technology can transform the way we work and live. That’s why 80% said they aspire to work with cutting-edge technology, 91% said technology would influence job choice among similar employment offers, and 80% said they believe technology and automation will create a more equitable work environment. Gen Z deeply understands digital transformation. Today’s students have a deep understanding of how technology can transform the way we work and live.’ www.delltechnologies.com
In the end, everybody wins, employees with a more satisfying work environment, employers with a better bottom line and greater job retention and clients with enhanced customer experiences and outcomes – QUID PRO QUO.
Unfortunately, it has taken a major global crisis to bring forward what many viewed as the not too distant future. The potential was always there for many more people to work from home but with the spotlight firmly on remote working and the solutions needed to enhance it, the outcome has ultimately been positive.
‘Gen Z make up 20% of a multigenerational workforce. To succeed in the era of human-machine partnerships, business leaders must bridge the digital divide to unleash the power of a diverse and future-ready workforce.’ www.delltechnologies.com
The potential of remote working is extremely promising, even though the time frame has been compressed, businesses across the globe have adapted well and risen to the challenges. Issues around security are being resolved and the future of remote working will benefit many.
So, the crystal ball for remote working is no longer needed, the future is positive for business and set to become the norm for many employees.