The Future Workplace in a Post-Coronavirus World
The current global stay at home policy has fundamentally changed how we all work. Many around the world have become accustomed to the daily use of teleconferencing tools, instant messaging platforms and shared documents hosted in the Cloud.
Our future work life in a post coronavirus world will undoubtedly bring further changes, but the new normal is here, and likely here to stay for years to come. There will be winners and losers in our changed world. Businesses who enthusiastically embrace these changes early on will be the former. Others who resist, or try to return to past ways, face a difficult, rocky road ahead.
Here are my thoughts on the likely immediate changes to our work life…
Less Facetime and More Remote Working
Fewer of us will be willing to embrace the lengthy daily commute to work, long office hours, lunches at the desk and being always connected. There is greater appreciation of a better work/life balance, enabled by intelligent use of technology.
Governments around the world will likely continue to enforce social distancing for the foreseeable future. Therefore, businesses should embrace remote working as a cornerstone of the new normal.
This extends beyond tele and video-conference tools, to enhanced Cyber-Security infrastructure, supporting a large number of concurrent connections across all types of devices, including servers, laptops, mobiles and tablets. It also includes scalable software licences to support business-critical applications, and an overall acceleration in the deployment of Cloud services.
Gone are the days of installing critical services or hardware in the office. After all, how would you hope to access them in the event of another lockdown?
All of this could be funded in a number of ingenious ways. For example, businesses could give up large, expensive offices in city centres, especially as many are likely to remain partly empty for the immediate future.
Adapt your Value Proposition and Services
Businesses should promptly adapt to their clients' evolving needs. We are likely to experience a drop in certain products and an exponential surge in other technology solution areas. These include Cloud platform adoption, Unified Communications and Voiceover IP (VoIP), Cyber-Security, Software and Application design and support.
It stands to reason that demand will be greater for services that rapidly connect large, disparate numbers of staff and clients all over the world. The converse is we shall have less business need for hardware-intensive solutions that don't quickly scale. The key message to businesses is to be less rigid, and embrace this new technology.
Healthcare in the Workplace
Businesses that still require staff to be present in an office may have to consider having health screening measures. This could well be based on conditions imposed by governments and health authorities, driven by popular societal concerns.
Ultimately, there is an underlying need to inspire confidence in staff and clients before they return to offices. Businesses should look to technology to help implement the necessary measures.
The Coronavirus pandemic has halted our business-as-usual approach, and forced us to adopt one focused on lower risks to individuals and the ways of operating. The call to action is for businesses to reimagine their operations and infrastructure, then engage with trusted technology partners who share that vision, to collaboratively make it a reality for their staff and clients.