Rob Pursell, Global CFO of NSC Global
Now, nearly two years into the pandemic, working from home for many – at least a few days a week -has become normal.Data shows long after the pandemic is over,we can expect 30% – 40% of workdaysto be remote.Managing this workplace shift is not just an IT issue – it’s a business issue.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many employees started to work remotely and organisations ramped up digital engagement with customers. In January 2020, while the threat of a global COVID-19 pandemic was still in its infancy only 5.7% of UK workers reportedthey were working exclusively from home – by April 2020, this figure had increased to 43.1%.
Now as the world slowly adapts to the new normal – many businesses are debating whether or not to adopt a hybrid model that combines both remote and office-based work.
There was a time when remote work as we know it wasn’t even a possibility – the technology simply didn’t exist. If colleagues and business partners wanted to get in touch when you were out of the office, they couldn’t email, text or direct message you. Now, technology enables many of us to get the same job done, no matter where we are in the world.
Many employees now expect remote working opportunities. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 37% of remote employees would take a 10% pay cut to continue working from home. Because of this increasingly popular trend, some employees will refuse to accept an onsite position, knowing they can find a more convenient and flexible option elsewhere.
This shift to hybrid work and the need to make use of all emerging technologies while continuing to improve businesses’ operational efficiency, end-user productivity and reduce IT infrastructure costs created an urgent need for businesses to accelerate their digitalisation efforts. Before the pandemic, most organisations moved their digital strategies forward at a steady pace. Leaders either wanted proof of success or just didn’t feel great urgency to invest more in digital.
According to the Gartner Board of Directors Survey, sixty-nine percent said that the combined effects of the pandemic crisis, the economic crisis and the social crisis are accelerating digital business initiatives.
Is your business agile enough to compete?
To support the new hybrid workforce with secure and seamless connectivity businesses require agile enterprise-grade IT solutions that help grow operations effectively – while enabling the flexibility to quickly respond and adapt to new ways of working.
The hybrid workplace relies on new ways to communicate, collaborate and streamline work across all devices.Legacy systems have traditionally hindered the rapid innovation needed to keep ahead, and digital workplace technologieshave historically been viewed as a cost rather than an opportunity to generate value. But this is changing.
Implementing digital workplace technologies
There needs to be an enterprise-wide acceptance of a more cloud-based environment.Businesses need to look at their existing technology and removeredundant legacy systems. The tools that supported occasional access now need to be extended and enhanced to carry the data across all businesses’ workflow.This, of course, is not without expense. Outsourcing technology solutionshowever is a cost-effective way to protect your business at a fixed price.
Now, more so than ever before, it has become vital for businesses to make their cash flow streams more predictable and resilient to crises. As a result, EaaSis gaining traction with the world’s biggest multinationals.
Cloud computing, Software as a Service (SaaS) and open-source technology has changed the entire digital transformation landscape and moved EaaS from a niche alternative to becoming a strategic imperative for many businesses.
With the pace of change in tech, waiting for a new budgetary year to start to replace equipment could be more costly than just the outlay on hardware: it could result in competitors taking market share with new solutions.One of the most obvious advantages of EaaS is always having up to date tech, while also removing operational expenditure.
Staying ahead of your competition involves embracing change
With the correct digital workplace solutions in place, businesses are free to focus on both the customer and employee experience. Access to faster, more reliable workplace technology means employees are empowered to connect, collaborate, innovate and ultimately deliver more value.
Instead of resisting the change, businesses in the new hybrid workplacewill need to further invest in technology that bridges gaps between both the old and new ways of working – between remote and in-office workers.
Businessesneed to improve their remote capabilities – identifying agile solutions that offer the flexibility to quickly respond and adapt to new ways of working – that includes collaborative communication to support a distributed hybrid workforce that reaches securely across geographies, beyond the restrictions of a traditional office environment.