There is a lot of chatter on the net at the moment about how the world looks in the COVID restricted atmosphere, that we are living through, and what this means for the way in which we might work after the ‘zombie apocalypse’ passes us by.
There are some really interesting perspectives, which I am keen to discuss here, and then ask for your comments and your views on where you think that this will be taking us in the future.
In this post I will explore what will work from home the new normal look like, but first what have we experienced so far…………….
The Success Of Remote Working
It would seem from what I have been reading and researching on the web to date, that there appears to be general agreement that we have reached a watershed moment in the way that work is going to be doing in the future.
While many companies have dabbled for some time with some remote and dispersed working, it has been less than 15% of the workforce globally, that have had the opportunity, or privilege, depending on your perspective.
Those who do it by choice seem to swear by it, citing a range of advantages, both corporately and personally, that I will discuss here in a moment.
But the forced nature of the lockdown has caused many to look at working at home, or remotely, in an altogether different light. Some issues have been raised which may not have been hitherto quite as obvious, before the pandemic, that show that working from home, or working remotely, does not automatically suit everyone.
In the next part of this article I will explore some concerns, some upsides, and also go on to recommend examination of an opportunity that might suit those, fortunate enough to have found themselves favourably disposed towards the joys of remote working from home.
A number of people seem to have been quite surprised, even potentially shocked, by how they have reacted to the realities of remote home working. Many have actually described having feelings of, loneliness, isolation, lack of motivation and an inability to get organised, as just some of issues that they have faced during the enforced work from home period. This is not all though….
There have also been accounts of an inability to easily separate worklife from home life, and wide experience of increased stress and longer working hours being the norm for some, often without breaks or time away from the virtual office, which may actually be the end of the dining room table or the corner of the master bedroom.
This has led in some areas to mental and physical stress related illness.
Interestingly, a surprising number of companies or organisations realised that, in many cases, there was scant evidence of business continuity planning (BCP) or disaster recovery (DR) having been thought through, planned, exercised or rehearsed, and therefore validated, for contingencies like the COVID 19 pandemic. This is an area which has resulted in welcome even it was forced improvements for the future.
A surprising number of organisations also found themselves totally reliant on business premises fixed, fat client IT infrastructure, that just could not lend itself, in any
way whatsoever, to remote or mobile working, despite cloud technology being available for nearly a decade now. Organisations have had to think about what are their kelly systems critical to business continuity that they must be able to access remotely in order to be able to function at least at a basic level.
Large numbers of people have proved to be incredibly resilient, adaptable and despite, potentially working longer hours, surprisingly content at worst, and sublimely happy at best, with the dispersed home based working arrangements. Many have welcomed the opportunity it has provided for, better family life balance, and for partners to be able to better share in the responsibilities of parenthood. The latter has been particularly well tested, in the light of the school closures, and the requirement for homeschooling, supported by various technology options.
In acknowledgment of the stresses and strains, that this new way of working has been having, on those more susceptible to the downsides of lockdown, organisations have been taking far greater interest, in their dispersed staff’s wellbeing, and in particular, their routine occupational and mental health support arrangements. This has extended to the development of better communications, and monitoring of staff wellbeing, becoming an essential part of the leaders and managers daily routine and checklists.
Mobile and online, particularly cloud, technology has come into its own during this period, with the accelerated adoption of the mobility options available, being taken for granted, in both hardware and in software applications.
Many organisations, because of their lack of preparation, have had to act quickly and put adhoc architectures in place, that will require revisit, and considerable rework, to make them fit for purpose, for future such events.
Cloud is clearly the technology way forward given, the flexibility, time to adapt, and the, ‘follow the sun’ 24/7 opportunities that can be afforded by it.
The environment is enjoying the respite, from being slowly choked to death by fossil fuels being burned, in particular by private motor cars, almost all of which, are currently parked up in home garages unneeded, as large scale commuting is suspended for a significant period of time.
The global air quality is discernibly improved for the better, and it will be hard to return to the pre pandemic pollution levels within anything other than disappointment, and uproar from the green lobby, when the pandemic has sailed through and left us in the world of new norms.
A Potential View of The Future
it will be virtually impossible to ignore many of these developments in a post pandemic world, and the prospect for both the good and the bad of putting the genie back in the bottle is potentially extremely unlikely even if it were possible.
While it is unlikely that we are yet in a position, nor do we have yet the collective desire, to move to a universal working from home paradigm. There are likely to be significant stay behind behaviours that will come out of this enforced experiment in a different way of living and working.
I predict that investment from fixed horizontal infrastructure (buildings and office space) will over time now be diverted to investing in horizontal, mobile, information and communications services infrastructure to allow the flexibility of dispersed, mobile, virtual working.
The daily commute could soon be reduced from, the 1 hour train or car journey, at the beginning and end of each day, to the walk from the bedroom, via the ensuite, to the home office, for significantly more of us than has been the case in the past.
Maybe this is the silver lining bin the dark cloud that is COVID19?…….
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Do You Have A View?
I hope that you found this article of some value. I welcome any feedback or discussion on these pages and I would invite you comments and opinions in the reply section below this post. I always reply within one working day.
Thanks for reading my Blog page, I hope that it was of value and I hope to see you at WA.
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