Is Remote Work the New Normal?
And If So, What Does This “New Normal” Mean for the Technologies We Use and the Individuals We Employ?
Right now, we’re starting to look at getting back to some sense of normalcy. Some areas are beginning to open back up – slowly but surely – and get back to work. So is remote work the new normal? For many, absolutely. For some, going back to the office will be something that happens gradually – keeping a percentage of employees at home and a percentage of employees at the office to allow for proper social distancing.
If Remote Work is the New Normal, What Does This Mean for the Technologies We’re Using?
First and foremost, we’ll review what, exactly, remote work means for the technologies we’re using. Will technology need to adapt to a professional world that revolves around remote work? How can we make the successes we see during COVID-19 extend beyond the crisis? That’s right… Many organizations realize quite a few benefits of remote work, including the following:
- Greater productivity
- Reduced operational costs
- Higher employee retention
- Greater ability to respond to disruptions
But here’s the thing… There are exceptions and rules we tend to overlook when forced to work remotely with short notice. For many organizations, they’re not abiding by their usual standards in terms of cybersecurity, communication, and other areas because the transition was done as quickly as possible.
As We Move Forward, The Standards We’ve Overlooked Must Be Addressed to Ensure Efficiency.
As we move forward, the standards we’ve overlooked must be addressed, including the following:
A lot of security experts have mentioned a significant increase in phishing and other threats in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Going forward, we’ll need to think about cybersecurity from a distributed architecture perspective. What does this mean? In the past, distributed might refer to hybrid environments with on-premises and cloud-based technologies. Now, distributed refers to everyone working in their environment at home using their own devices.
The bottom line? Endpoint-based technologies will be important. We will need agents on all devices to provide the level of security necessary to protect remote workers – allowing technology departments to maintain control of all endpoints.
Support and Management
Microsoft has been dealing with this for quite some time with their auto-deploy for provisioning of devices – making it possible to apply policies, patches, and updates across the board. This creates the necessary controls for administrators to serve the organization. But now, we’re looking at ensuring the support and management of personal devices. This means we’ll see a massive influx of mobile device management technologies expanding their functionalities to be more intuitive for end-users.
Instead of waiting for the technology department to handle it, remote workers will likely use mobile device management technologies that walk them through the onboarding and provisioning process for applications that enable support and management.
Many organizations have adopted various collaboration technologies for chat, email, video conferencing, and other forms of communication and file sharing. Now, many of these collaboration technologies will likely be used for remote support. Substantially, technology departments can leverage these tools to show users how to resolve issues, set-up applications, change passwords, and more.
In the help desk space, the ability to see who is helping you – face-to-face via video chat – will become much more prevalent. We’ll depend heavily on automation and self-service guided through collaboration tools. Remote workers will be able to help themselves through an automated process that walks them through the steps.
How Will Our Employees Feel the Impact of Remote Work Becoming the New Normal?
As remote work becomes the new normal, we’ll need to start focusing on outcomes in terms of what employees produce as opposed to the time spent working. This also brings up the situation wherein people will have workdays expanding outside of the usual hours – meaning technology departments will find ways to provide support outside of 9-5.
People will look back and think about what truly matters to them. Business executives must pay attention to this to maintain their workforce. Some may hold onto the idea of going back to the office while others will be on the other end of the spectrum, trying to work from home completely. Ultimately, most will find themselves somewhere in the middle with an emphasis on work/life balance either way.
Questions About What We Believe the “New Normal” Looks Like? Reach Out to Us to Speak with One of Our Technology Professionals Now.