Remote working in the new normal era: how do you do that?
Remote working will continue. The crisis has shown that far more is possible than we’ve ever imagined. It has significantly reduced the resistance to remote working. Many organizations are finding more ways to reinvent themselves because those who adapt to the new normal have the best chance of entering the post-COVID era with a head start. But how do you avoid returning to the old patterns?
Hybrid working already existed pre-COVID. An example of this is blended learning, an innovative mix of online and offline learning. In the financial world, video banking was on the rise. And in healthcare, people were already experimenting with video consultations. However, there was resistance to change, mainly because of the need for personal contact.
It has become evident by now that we cannot put the genie back in the bottle. Many employees believe that they work much more effectively at home. The idea of being stuck in traffic again is a nightmare for many people. Going to the office remains necessary to ‘connect’ with colleagues, but this does not have to be every day. Many companies are anticipating this and are already disposing of office space.
A crisis: the right time to seize opportunities
Organizations that embrace hybrid working do so because they see opportunities to reorganize work and private life. Sometimes literally: by adapting their offices to meet the social distancing rules. Some have not wasted any time-transforming their business.
Others need a bit more time. Retailers are many of their physical stores but are now making more profit online. The reason is that companies came up with new opportunities. In the sports industry, brands succeeded because they developed and promoted a home workout app.
In care for the elderly, smart glasses are making a comeback. Wound care nurses use those so that experts in the hospital can watch and provide remote support. It saves patients a trip to the hospital, reducing the pressure on healthcare, where parties already struggle with staff shortages.
The event sector sees possibilities in the long term to reach a larger target group with, for instance, hybrid conferences. Both visitors at the location and people at home participate. Event organizers also can invite more (international) speakers if they are unable to travel.
Embrace the positive aspects and leave the past behind
Organizations discover through trial and error what does and does not work. The challenge is to learn from positive experiences and disregard the negative ones. Cisco is deeply committed to ensuring the well-being of its employees. It is important to provide good conditions and resources to ensure a safe environment for remote working, both digitally and physically. The use of video screens prevents employees from spending their days bent over their laptops.
Furthermore, Cisco pays attention to creating a good balance between work and private life. Attention to exercise and taking breaks. The aim is to ensure that the conditions are suitable for every employee to perform their job. At the office, at home, or on the road.
Digital transformation: it’s all about the content
The lesson learned by front runners in remote working is that digital transformation is not an end in itself but a chance. They benefit from new opportunities by putting content first and using technology to support this. An increasing number of people are becoming convinced of this.
Would you like to know more about the impact that the changing working environment has on business operations, work activities, and people? How to stay in touch with customers, students, or patients if you are increasingly dependent on online contact? Cisco has made a talk show about ‘The communicative connection,’ in which we talk to the experts Noreena Hertz, Jet de Ranitz, Francoise Wiedenhoff, Wilbert Mulders, and Kim Dijksman.
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Mar 16, 2023 — Tanuj Goyal