“Coronavirus will transform the way we live, work and travel in the UK” Edmund King, President, The AA.
With the majority of the UK workforce now in its eighth week of working from home, it would be difficult to disagree with Mr King. Home working, which was previously only done as a last resort if a delivery was due or a repair in the home was being carried out, is now very much a reality for many workers. Now that they have their home office set up, they have found a new routine and it is likely that this will be something that they will be looking to continue once normal life resumes.
It will transform the way people think about work
With most of the country having had a taste of working from home, companies have continued to operate effectively. Teamwork has continued with meetings and presentations taking place over Zoom or Microsoft Teams. We have proved that with the aid of remote working technology it is still possible to carry on with minimum disruption. Add to that the improved work life balance, the reduced stress and demand on the country’s infrastructure, the less time spent commuting and the positive effects on the environment, and it is easy to see the benefits of home working and why it will be more important to people in the future.
It will no longer be ‘the work is here and here is where you work’
Gone will be the days when working from home was regarded as ‘slacking’. Instead, it will be an enabler to more flexible and agile working. Smart companies will have realised that post-coronavirus, working in general will change dramatically. They will be using this time to think ahead and ask themselves some important questions. How many of our employees will be looking to continue homeworking to some extent? Did we cobble together our remote working solution? Do we have the correct set up to support continuous homeworking once the current crisis is over? Are there improvements to be made? Do we need a bigger office? Do we need a smaller office? How can we change to reflect the needs of our staff? To name a few.
Stakeholder buy-in is key
All of these are well founded questions. With the correct remote working IT solution, businesses will be able to embrace change and be ready to prepare for a new way of working when the questions start to be asked. The absolute key to implementing a successful solution will be for IT managers to change the perception at the highest level and get full buy-in from stakeholders and senior management so that they have full authority to put processes in place which will prepare the business for new working practices.
Achieving many more things through technology
Once they’re on board, the most important thing is to examine your existing investments in remote working and the technology you already have in place. You can then consider if it can meet extra demands or if you need to consider upgrading or finding an alternative solution.
With remote technology, ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ which is why it’s important to look at the pros and cons of the different solutions. You may already be working in a cloud-based system which gives remote access easily and is device agnostic. Or it could be that you have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) system in place giving remote workers flexibility to work securely on their company laptops in the office and at home if they wish with online applications accessed via a web browser. Alternatively, you may be looking to upgrade to a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) which gives secure connection from any device via a hosted desktop system and avoids the need to save locally.
Find a trusted partner to work with
Whichever option you choose, it is absolutely vital that you find an established and reliable partner to work with. You will need a company you can trust and who will work with you to design the right suite of solutions for your business. These are complex technologies and there’s no right way for setting up a remote working solution, so be sure to opt for a company with many years of experience and with a proven track record of success who will listen to you and consult you throughout the process.
No time like the present
There is likely to be a surge of demand to continue to work remotely and smart businesses will be thinking now about how they position themselves for the future. The coronavirus crisis has shown us that it is possible to have teams working and collaborating virtually and what will follow is a higher level of trust. Ultimately, this new policy will have a place in employment contracts and will allow you to attract and retain staff whilst being smarter about how you onboard people. Old school perceptions will no longer prevail. There is no barrier on the technology side, it is simply a new way of thinking.
Lumina Technologies has been at the leading edge of this for many years. We’ve been maturing rapidly with our customers of all shapes and sizes. Our strength is to see what is coming through and to present the right solution to the right customer at the right price. Contact us for more information on how we can help you prepare your business for the new remote working revolution.