Apr 30, 2020
Returning to a New World
Written by Nathan Johnston, Chief Technology Officer
The COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted work environments across the globe, forcing office workers to work from home and in some cases, use technology that they were unfamiliar with at first. Many have now become expert teleworkers and learned new skills for work and home. Only recently have we seen states start to relax social distancing restrictions, but in one form or another, social distancing and a new world will be with us for a long time to come. It is now time to plan for the changes that will affect us as we return to the new world of work.
As workers return to the office, employers will need to adapt to many changes and be flexible; as the situation is not likely to follow a predictable path. Companies may now mandate social distancing rules, conference room capacity limits, and temperature checks for returning workers. It may make sense for some workers to continue to work from home, or on flexible shifts, to help maintain social distancing and result in decreased real estate requirements on a more permanent basis.
Technology teams who have rapidly implemented telework solutions, under less than ideal conditions, will now need to assess the currently in use technology to make sure it is ready to continue to operate for the long haul. These changes to the work environment may result in alterations to the technology used to collaborate in this new world. Some will likely accelerate a move from on-premises technology solutions to cloud-based offerings. Many employees may be working away from the office for the foreseeable future. This move away from the office may require workers who once relied on desktop computing resources to move to more mobile platforms, like laptops and tablets, to get the job done from wherever they may be.
Enterprise software systems may require changes to eliminate physical contact, such as the elimination of signature capture for field worker applications or the implementation of contactless payment technology. Systems will need to change to accommodate a reduction in manual processes to allow the business to continue to operate with staff that is working remotely. Technology, like digital signatures, business process automation, workflows, and document storage systems, may need to be implemented as more of the workforce works from home.
No matter what the path to our new normal is, there will be many changes to the way we work that will persist long after the pandemic is behind us. Now is the time to think carefully about how your company will adapt and change as we return to the new world of work.