The recent need to work remotely has accelerated the natural shift to a culture of home office that existed but was not widespread in companies before the COVID-19 epidemic.
The recent need for working from home has accelerated the natural shift to a culture of home office that existed but was not prevalent in companies before the COVID-19 epidemic. While this has brought with it inevitable challenges, organizations have realized that with the right tools and technology in place to connect teams and corporate workflows, employees are able to work extremely productively. Not surprisingly, therefore, companies are expecting an almost 50% increase in the number of employees working remotely once we emerge from the pandemic, according to the recent Future of Work survey. With many companies expecting to have more employees working from anywhere, this has suddenly raised a host of questions. What does the office’s future hold and what exactly will the new “business as usual” look like?
Towards an inescapable evolution of the classical office
While the pandemic has demonstrated that many businesses can continue to operate exclusively outside of traditional office space, an office environment offers employees invaluable human interaction and collaboration. Many organizations are moving towards a hybrid and flexible work environment, in which many employees split their time between the office and remote work. In a hybrid culture, a team or business function may meet in the office two or three days a week to collaborate on a critical project. A sales representative can also schedule a day of meetings with colleagues and customers at the office each week, and work from home or travel to customers the rest of the week.
A hybrid work environment will help foster a sense of belonging among employees, while allowing the company to benefit from savings by reducing the physical footprint of its offices. In addition, since the average French person spends an average of 3.5 hours a week in transportation to work, according to a study commissioned by Euro Car Parts, this will reduce the time spent in traffic and allow employees to better balance their work and private lives.
The physical space of offices will change as work patterns evolve. Rather than traditional offices with personal spaces and cubes, there will be more relaxation areas designed to facilitate teamwork. This means that when employees are in the company’s offices, their working life will always be characterized by strong human interaction, and collaboration within the company will be strengthened.
Of course, there will be differences between sectors of activity. While technology or professional services companies will be more likely to turn to home office, retailers or financial institutions will have to find a balance between employees in direct contact with the public, who will always have to be in the points of sale or branches, and head office employees, who may work in a more hybrid environment.
Regardless of the industry, it is essential that companies develop best practices, benchmarking and implement measures to ensure that employee engagement is as strong as in traditional offices.
It doesn’t matter where, if you have the right technology.
In addition to investing in employee engagement, companies must also ensure that they have the technological capabilities to make work, wherever it is located, productive. According to the Future of Work survey, 69 percent of business leaders said they were not quite ready to support large-scale home office at the beginning of the COVID 19 epidemic. The Future of Work survey also found that 69 percent of business leaders said they were not quite ready to support large-scale home office at the beginning of the COVID 19 epidemic. And problems with the technological performance of their remote workers had repercussions for individuals and the company as a whole, due to decreased employee productivity (37%), increased anxiety (36%) and increased difficulty engaging with customers (34%). It is reassuring to note that 61% plan to make investments over the next year to improve home office performance, but what specifically should they invest in? To answer this question, we need to look at the impact of working from home on the technology that organizations and their employees use on a daily basis.
One of the main challenges companies faced during the Covid 19 pandemic was to connect geographically dispersed people and corporate workflows. Many have turned to software-as-a-service and cloud-based offerings to provide fast, cost-effective services that facilitate collaboration. While these investments have helped maintain team productivity, they have also made the companies network increasingly complex, which means it can be harder to determine where technology performance issues lie in order to resolve them.
In order to monitor network activity and correct anomalies, many of our customers invest in network performance management solutions that provide cross-domain visibility. This involves gathering and analyzing: all packets from their applications, flows on the hybrid network, and telemetry for each device involved. Armed with this knowledge, if a team reports slow application response times or an inability to effectively use the cloud, IT teams can determine the cause and take action to resolve it. For example, investing in application acceleration technologies can increase network capacity and overcome latency to provide the best possible end-user experiences for both mobile and desktop workers and ensure high productivity.
Future Work Environments
Working from any location is consolidating as common practice, and offices will move from fixed physical spaces to a more hybrid environment. Yes, corporate offices will remain, but they will look significantly different in the coming months and years compared to the last decade. And they will be less crowded, with staff increasingly working “from anywhere” – at home, in a café, or at a customer’s location – thanks to their employer’s investment in network performance management and application acceleration software to ensure user productivity and business performance.
All of these changes will lead to a significant cultural shift in businesses around the world. We will create a new work environment that places greater emphasis on work-life balance, flexibility, and the connection between employees and the companies they work for. This will increase employee retention and motivation, which will be essential in a challenging post-COVID-19 environment.
The era of “nowhere and everywhere” is becoming the norm, pushing ahead with the famous digital transformation of the company and the omnipresence of technologies to support this new relationship in the workplace.
Chronicle by Rich Mcbee Riverbed Technology Updated Nov 11th 12:16 pm