Opinion

Changing The Way We View Remote Work

This surge in technology is leading the transformation into the ‘New Normal.’
16 May 2020 10:48
Changing The Way We View Remote Work

The global pandemic has impacted all of us in some way. It has changed the way businesses interact with their customers, how employers interact with employees, and how colleagues connect with one another. And technology is on the frontline of these changes.

Chances are most of you have used technology to do something differently over the last eight weeks, whether you’re Bartering for a Better Fiji, attending classes online, catching up with family over a zoom meeting, creating Tik Tok videos to connect with friends, or using the wide array of video conferencing tools that have sprung up since this crisis began.

This surge in technology is leading the transformation into the ‘New Normal.’

The physical distancing requirements in place have pushed organisations to adjust their capabilities to allow for remote work. It’s not just about accessibility or connecting back into the office.

Yes, organisations have quickly mobilised to deploy applications such as Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams but they have also needed to quickly develop policies and procedures for employees working from home.

Historically, organisations have resisted the ‘work from home’ model, noting potential losses in productivity or security concerns.

Now that most have been forced to support remote working, many have seen the anticipated drop in productivity has not eventuated.

Cost reductions, more employee engagements and efficiencies have in fact been some of the benefits of remote work.

So, what does this mean for your organisation?

This crisis has sparked a permanent shift in attitudes about working from home that will last long after the crisis has passed: those that were hesitant are now seeing the upside.

Increased response to remote work will drive infrastructure savings and employee morale.

How can your organisation leverage this aspect of the ‘New Normal’?

IT leaders will be required to deploy and support the technology infrastructure necessary to enable remote workers. This includes not just team productivity and collaboration applications, but also remote access to tools as diverse as CRM suites and HR systems. Ensuring security at both ends of remote work and the office while ensuring ease of access and adequate scalability is now the name of the game.

Remote workers will also need to be managed in a goal-oriented way that allows supervisors to obtain measurable results without being overtly intrusive or dependent on micromanagement.

The ‘New Normal’ will demand that organisations dust off their IT strategy or roadmap and update them accordingly.

  • An IT strategy is not a document that should sit in a binder and collect dust on a shelf: it must be a living document that continually reflects how IT plans to align to the objectives and priorities of the business.
  • To chart a direction forward on the new normal, IT should hold a strategy review workshop
  • To decide how your strategy will change based on the ‘New Normal,’ start to brainstorm technology, process, and governance initiatives you could pursue coming out of the pandemic. Next, identify the relative priority of these initiatives – how much value will they provide? How difficult would they be to execute?
  • Finally, your IT initiatives roadmap should be updated to reflect inclusion and timelines for your top-priority initiatives.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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