Home is where the workplace is
- Posted on May 5, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
2020, can’t say I saw that coming! It’s become a cliché to say this year has not gone to plan in Australia, and globally. It seems a lifetime ago that on December 31st I set myself unachievable New Year’s resolutions and reflected on what a great year 2019 had been and how 2020 was going to be the best year ever.
Professionally speaking I had visions of the Modern Workplace taking on an even more important and relevant role in the corporate world. Wow, how right I was but was so wrong at the same time. I started the year having conversations with customers around flexible working and how nice it was to occasionally work from home to get focus time, leveraging the right technology. Fast forward a few months and the luxury of choice is no longer something we can afford The things we took for granted - coffee with colleagues; singing Happy Birthday (really badly) whilst convening over a piece of chocolate cake in the office; finding it ‘crazy’ when someone actually put their video “on” on Teams calls - have all faded away only to be replaced by 12 hours of video calls intermingled with teaching the kids their times table.
Sure, the world is a different place, but we are undoubtedly the lucky ones. The right technology enables us to live our lives, see our loved ones (albeit online for some) and get through the day with a degree of normality. At Avanade, we are extremely lucky to already be setup to work from home seamlessly and we have frequent conversations about why the Workplace Experience is so important to organisations and why it’s the next frontier in competitive advantage. Never has that been truer.
We have witnessed many organisations rush to enable remote working for their entire workforce, often implementing band-aid solutions that work but often fail when the sheer scale and load of everyone being remote kicks in. There are a number of technical solutions that can help avoid these pitfalls. Another element to consider is that when organisations rushed to standing up remote work capabilities, a lot of decisions were made in the moment and are now forming foundations that can be hard to unwind. What this underlines is that we are moving toward a way of working that will continue for some time and relying on temporary solutions won’t cut it. Businesses need to seriously consider more strategic remote working solutions that focus on the long term, as well as the short.
And that leads me to what’s next. With nearly everyone remote and juggling their home lives with their day jobs, how do people collaborate and work effectively and efficiently from home? Technology is the enabler, with Microsoft Teams becoming ever more important and usage going through the roof. But how do you move ‘beyond the basics’, and truly get productive by working remotely? Below are key areas that have to be considered by organisations of all shapes and sizes:
- Maximising delivery of products and services to customers
- Leverage, protection and governance of remote working technology
- Optimising digital tools and workforce
- Leadership styles, new behaviours and how we support people and keep them engaged
- Enhancing contingency
- Initiating new measurement and continuous improvement approaches
Hopefully at 11:59pm on December 31, 2020 we can all reflect on what a bizarre year 2020 has been and look forward to a happy and healthy 2021 with hope…and I look forward to remote working as a choice rather than a necessity.
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