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It’s clear that the current state of uncertainty brought about how the COVID-19 pandemic has engineered drastic shifts in the way we think about different corners of society – and remote work and collaboration are near the top of the list for companies across the globe.
As the novel coronavirus spread throughout the world and led to stay-at-home mandates, many operations’ lack of thorough plans of action for remote workspace collaboration and digital workplace capabilities were exposed.
How can those businesses avoid a similar fate should another disruption equal to COVID-19 emerge? What best practices and drastic changes to the landscape of collaboration will come out of this pandemic?
Let’s examine the potential post-pandemic future of the digital workplace and how IT leaders can use the knowledge and lessons provided by COVID-19 to enhance workspace collaboration in a rapidly changing environment.
Before we dive into what may take place as the new normal dawns in the wake of the pandemic, let’s look at the stumbles that needed to be overcome when this unprecedented period began.
In many cases, plans to provide employees remote access to the tools and capabilities needed to perform their best weren’t in place, creating a mad scramble to patch together ways to deliver that access in a thorough and secure way.
Videoconferencing capabilities were also thrust into the spotlight, with many organizations being forced to deal with inadequate setups and server capabilities that didn’t allow for the remote speed and efficiency employees needed to work from home without losing on-site levels of productivity.
Finally, offices, themselves, weren’t equipped to deal with new best practices surrounding social distancing – for companies that did remain open under essential business categorization, meeting rooms and videoconferencing equipment often didn’t allow for proper distancing efforts without sacrificing some of the audiovisual quality of pre-pandemic efforts.
Fortunately, there are solutions and paths forward to enhance collaboration and improve productivity despite a new way of work.
Traditionally, videoconferencing solutions have been complex, inflexible and expensive – and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted those shortcomings.
The way forward, then, is to flip those characteristics on their collective head.
In the post-pandemic workplace, videoconferencing solutions must focus on providing flexible, agile, secure and cost-effective capabilities, and not just in-office – with remote work potentially becoming a larger part of the way the world conducts business, pandemic or not, these new solutions need to follow employees wherever they go.
Here are a few key considerations for delivering on this potential and adapting to the lessons learned during this period:
While your organization has been thrust into a temporary, remote “new normal,” it’s become increasingly clear that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic won’t just fade away as life and work return to a more recognizable form in the months to come.
The pandemic will leave a lasting mark on the way we think about how business is conducted, and the remote capabilities of employees everywhere will be at the forefront of that new approach to collaboration.
To that end, your organization’s goals should be rather straightforward.
You must assess the impact of COVID-19 on your operation to find out where improvements can be made, upgrade and invest in both physical and technological capabilities that will allow for a stronger workflow not only in the case of another disruption, but in “normal” operation, and reduce the stress on your IT teams and professionals to allow them to help accommodate these efforts without being overwhelmed by complex and unwieldy solutions.
Victoria Cosgrave, Field Marketing Manager, Enterprise at Electrosonic, has wide-ranging experience of technology within professional services, financial services, infrastructure, transport, pharmaceuticals and government. Her knowledge and experience enables her to write about the technological landscape and the issues facing clients with great insight.