Glad you didn’t spend too much money on that large office space you were planning on purchasing? There may be others out there who are probably feeling the same. While business leaders like Bill Gates may have seen ahead of time what could happen in the wake of something like Covid-19, the majority of us did not imagine life like it has turned out to be in 2020. First, lockdowns- total and partial, and then getting used to working and learning from home while remaining wary of the outside world is something totally new.
To many, however, working and learning remotely has not been the worst thing. For employers, it has meant cutting down on overhead expenses like renting furnished office spaces or start-up spaces, air conditioning, electricity and water bills, travel reimbursements, etc. However, on the other hand, it has added the expenses that come with using digital technology that enables working remotely.
Still, there is great positivity in this. It’s high time that companies invest in upgrading their digital technologies that allow for teleconferencing, remote collaboration on projects, and other such work necessities. Employees also feel empowered when they are acclimatized with new technical processes that make life easier and work smarter. This doesn’t take a great deal of investment, either. It’s all about investing in simple, easy-to-use technology that will get the job done. For most, this will only mean purchasing secure and uninterrupted bandwidth.
Firstly, employers must ensure that there is a safe remote access to digital platforms. We can’t just assume that all employees have remote digital access from their homes. Companies will need to provide the tools that enable employees to work from home, such as proper Internet access and remote work devices. Then, company managements will also need to provide adequate training on how to effectively use these tools, rather than expecting their employees to waste time figuring things out on their own. Furthermore, managements will have to decide whether their employees should be provided with official devices to carry out their work rather than use their own, as this could mean taking a huge security risk.
There should also be secure access to business assets and online services. In order to do this, companies need to provide a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network), which employees must be required to turn on during work. This will mean that managements also have to have and communicate a clear VPN Usage Policy to avoid misuse and optimize work effectiveness.
It is also necessary to remember that we are pretty much used to sharing our office spaces and enjoying the company of colleagues. This is what makes a mundane workday more bearable. Not being able to enjoy these now means that work fatigue could set in quicker. So we need to find ways to keep this worker connectivity going. Having employees log in their work successes, meeting online frequently to touch base and coordinating on projects will be essential in the post Corona Virus world of work.