The pandemic forced organizations to instantly devise and adopt short-term workplace strategies on the fly. No longer is "the future of work" a conversation that can wait for tomorrow – it's here, and we're all right in the middle of it.
By embracing change, you will be able to manage and thrive in our current reality. To help you pursue sensible, long-term strategies, we are teaming with industry thought leaders to drive the dialogue around defining the future of work.
We recently held the first session of a new webinar series, "Transforming the Future of Work." CompuCom joined global research and advisory firm Gartner and technology partner Intel to probe three aspects of the evolving workplace: changes that are both technological and organizational, myths around remote work, and pivoting from short-term solutions to an optimized distributed workforce. We'd like to share a few highlights of innovative ideas and strategies presented during this session, hosted by our moderator, Mike Zimmer, CompuCom Senior Vice President.
The Need for Technological and Organizational Changes
In the "Best Practices" segment of the webinar, Gartner's Vice President and Analyst, Mark McDonald, urged organizations to step back and re-examine their basics, from the ground up when considering what it needs to look like when coming to work in the future, continuing to work from home, or a hybrid approach:
- Make it safer for people to work where they're most effective and efficient. Consider the practical details, such as what the process will be for taking temperatures, how to help protect people in elevators, what your physical environment will look like, where to erect plexiglass barriers, and assigning responsibility for other health and safety protocols.
- How do you restrict access to information and maintain security? Revisit your controls over who can access what areas of your operation: what can they see, read, do or touch now that they couldn't before (and vice versa)?
- How do different kinds of visitors – employees, customers, vendors – experience your worksite, both physically and virtually?
- Is there a logical, seamless transition between the different environments – at-home, in transit, in the office?
- And how do all these pieces fit together?
In short, a holistic approach coordinated across all domains is important to a coherent response.
Focusing on the Importance of Continuity and a Long-Term Strategy
As Intel's U.S. Director, National Solution Providers, Jared Quoyeser explained in his "Responding in Crisis" segment, the key theme is continuity: business continuity, healthcare continuity and – especially as back-to-school is here – education continuity, whether in-classroom, online, or a mix of both.
Fortunately, he continued, organizations are embracing the need for continuity in the face of a resurgent COVID-19 virus that will force them to be very agile and adopt all elements outlined in Mr. McDonald's Best Practices recommendations. Early on in the pandemic, Intel noted waves of innovation and adaptation – and a significant spike in technology purchases – as organizations scrambled to create a remote work force on the fly. Now people are stepping back and making sure they do it right, developing an activation strategy, getting the right infrastructure of all key components in place.
Pivoting from Short-Term Solutions to an Optimized Distributed Workforce
In the Q&A segment of the webinar, Mr. McDonald shared three Best Practices strategies for collaborating across engagement platforms:
- Onsite organizers must enable remote users to participate – Make a conscious effort to include remote collaborators on whatever videoconferencing platform they're using and consider a "wormhole" strategy in which a conference room has an always-on video connection.
- Declare core office hours – Establish a standard but flexible timeframe where everyone should commit to being online and available for conferences, huddles, or other engagements.
- Blend creative collaboration with agile style techniques – Use all these collaboration tools to keep everyone apprised of project status changes, schedules and other dynamic information, similar to how agile teams function in a "wall of work" environment.
Addressing Common Myths Surrounding Remote Work
One portion of the webinar focused on addressing common myths, such as whether remote workers are less productive than office workers. Mr. Quoyeser responded that in fact his organization has worked 25 percent more since switching to a remote working model. One of the key objectives to making it work is maintaining the right prioritization.
For their part, companies can provide all remote workers – even those in rural or remote areas – the resources and baseline connectivity to be productive and successful. For example, a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) equips remote workers with all the tools for a rich yet secure computing experience – and it's a virtual environment that will continue to transform with new technologies.
Future of Work Webinar Series
Click here to watch highlights from the June 24 Future of Work webinar.
Our August 26 webinar, "Reset Your Business Strategy in Times of Uncertainty," talked about adjusting for the future with the deployment of advanced technologies and services with panelists from Microsoft, The Heart of Tech, and CompuCom.