What is the new normal for businesses post-COVID 19?
In response to the first national lockdown, organisations throughout the UK reacted admirably to equip their staff with the technology they needed to work safely and remotely from home. Fast forward to the middle of 2021, many businesses began to look at a full or partial return to the office. With this return, organisations could find themselves faced with a new challenge: how do they adapt their systems and processes, this time to accommodate a working environment split between office and home workers?
One thing that’s for certain is that organisations need to look at how they now future proof their operations to adapt to an increasingly changing world where flexible working is likely to remain. They will need to look closely at the technology their teams are using and what is required to maximise the opportunity for communication and collaboration in the hybrid world of work.
Key emerging trends for the hybrid-workforce
Perhaps the most significant trend to have affected businesses across industries was the sudden shift to remote working. With the exception of manufacturing and essential services, most businesses have embraced remote working in some capacity, driven by social distancing guidelines and associated government legislation. This has required them to rapidly accelerate their digital transformation plans to facilitate home working and remote workforces.
Last year, a report by McKinsey predicted that remote working practices were here to stay. Now, as lockdown restrictions have been lifted and we have visibility over the numbers of people returning to their offices and workplaces, we are seeing that prediction come true, signalling a hybrid working environment that businesses can either reject or embrace as they look to plan their long-term strategies around emerging work trends.
A longer-term strategy
Unsurprisingly, a report by Citi GPS confirmed that COVID-19 has raised the importance of basic connectivity, with reliability more important than maximum speed or potential. Businesses are now looking at ways to transform their systems to more agile, cloud-based solutions, which is driving demand earlier than would have been the case pre-COVID-19. They need more robust, reliable technology that services both remote workers and office-based workers to continue delivering a standout customer experience and remain competitive.