Countries are relaxing restrictions, industries are starting up again and the world seems to be heading back to some semblance of “normal”. But this doesn’t mean that everything will automatically go back to the way they once were.
In fact, a large percentage of the global workforce is expected to continue working from home even after lockdown restrictions are lifted. Why? Well, according to according to Theo Reddy, principal head of solutions for intelligent infrastructure at Dimension Data, many businesses are re-evaluating their operational models as they play around with the idea of distributed work becoming permanent.
“It’s a growing trend and will have a major impact on a business’s bottom line,” Reddy says. “A more remote workforce translates into considerable savings on real estate rental and maintenance costs and also offers a marked additional positive effect on other key societal issues such as road congestion and pollution.”
Global lockdowns have forced many businesses to embrace the distributed working trend and, if studies are to be believed, the results of their efforts have been positive. For example, a study of 1 000 remote workers in the US and the UK, conducted by global communications agency FleishmanHillard, asked displaced workers’ what their experiences have been like using digital tools to get their jobs done during lockdown. The study found that mass remote working due to the coronavirus pandemic has actually resulted in a net benefit for businesses. This suggests that companies should consider maintaining some level of work flexibility indefinitely.
Finding a balance
But the study did reveal a few downsides. Some of the disadvantages of remote work, according to the survey participants, included communication difficulties, an inability to separate work and home and some feared that their employers and colleagues would expect them to be available outside normal business hours due to the blurring of lines between their work life and their personal life.
Around the globe, CIOs have been tasked with handling the shift to a home-based workplace, which isn’t as simple as it seems. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), providing secure, agile access to IT services and applications to is the number one priority for 94% of CIOs. CIOs are also being asked to strengthen technology for disaster recovery and business continuity, to build and enable new applications to provide digital online experiences and to improve technology-enabled collaboration and engagement.
Distributed work can only be successful with support from the business. It is crucial to have the right systems and policies in place to manage a remote team and they need to be provided with the tools and technologies they need to enable regular productivity no matter where they are. Monitoring and tracking this expanded infrastructure, especially while everyone is working from home, can prove complex, which is why we created OneView, a cloud-based technology expense management solution.
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