Changing How We Work Post COVID19
I am happy to report that Beta Solutions has managed the transition to remote working relatively easily. As we had already adopted integrated, cloud-based software solutions and cloud-based communication and data storage solutions we were able to successfully continue working on our clients’ projects remotely with minimal disruption.
I cannot seem to stop wondering - how would we have coped with COVID19 lockdown without the technology available today? Yes, under lockdown a large amount of economic sectors just had to shut down, and physically we are cut off from our friends and family. But we could connect remotely with many sectors able to continue operations and people connecting socially via a plethora of platforms. Is this just a forced once off phenomena or has the way we work and socialise changed forever?
The pandemic forced people across all sectors of society into the extensive adoption of technologies and new ways of working that, due to various social and cultural barriers, have previously only existed in isolated pockets.
According to Ismail Amla, chief growth officer at Capita Consulting:
“This is just the start of a journey. Historically the technology has been ahead of the cultural and societal acceptance of what a new general operating model might look like. Coronavirus has been a ‘jolt to the system’ that will force us to embrace technology and ways of working – from video calls to virtual reality – that we were previously reluctant to use, because we had a choice not to.”1
With hardly any warning, companies have been forced to embrace remote working and digital tools to adhere to government guidelines. In just a few weeks, businesses have shifted to something experts thought would take years.
Remote working has proven to be beneficial to both employers and employees.
Reduced travel time to and from work means employees have more time to spend with their families, attend important events, be more rested and less stressed. This can result in improved productivity and inventiveness.
Concerns over productivity have been a historical barrier to let employees work remotely. If the lockdown proves that workers can in fact do their jobs just as efficiently from home, companies in certain sectors may embrace remote working and adopt entirely new organisational structures.
With remote working and flexible work schedules, employers can reduce their costs by reducing their real estate footprint - only needing to supply hot desks, meeting rooms, and labs.
As people were confined to their homes, technology became the glue that held both their work and social lives together.
Lockdown has accelerated the pace at which companies embrace digital collaboration tools like Zoom, Slack, Asana, Skype for Business, Google Meet, etc. Augmented and virtual reality tools have proven to be useful in replicating the more personal connection you get from face-to-face meetings - as evidenced in reports of “virtual tea-breaks” where employees congregate on messaging services at the same time to chat.
In the future, technology will bring teams together, both online and offline, as the nature of work continues to shift and be disrupted.
Another key barrier to remote working has been trust - companies relying on “presenteeism” as a crucial way of managing staff. Remote working has forced employers to treat their employees like adults – and for that to work in the long term companies will need to engage their staff in a renewed sense of collective corporate purpose.
Businesses that showed the ability to nurture and strengthen their company’s culture during this trying time will come out of the crisis more resilient and better equipped to face the challenges and disruptions that lie ahead.
Learnability and Inventiveness
As companies and employees are facing a new world of working, the ability to adapt, innovate, and learn new skills or tools faster than the competition will become the benchmark for success. The crisis forced companies to reinvent work flows, make technology fit for purpose, and perhaps highlighted redundancy. Companies have been forced to change their products/services, distribution channels, etc. - as evidenced in the sudden emergence of gyms offering online workouts, virtual training, and starting online shops selling performance tracking apps, equipment and apparel. The financial outfall will also force companies to reinvent their organisational structures, looking for synergies, efficiency, and outsourcing opportunities.
The question is not whether the working landscape has changed, but by how much and will it have a lasting effect?
As mentioned above, Beta Solutions has managed the transition to remote working relatively easily and by taking office equipment home before the lock down (indeed many of our engineers already had their own electronic tools at home for their own personal projects) we have even been able to do a reasonable amount of physical prototyping. The delays we have experienced are almost exclusively related to shipping delays when procuring project materials etc.
Now that we have moved to Level 3 in New Zealand, staff will continue to work from home unless they have to use the lab at the office for building prototypes, assembly, and small production runs. All staff have been briefed on the COVID19 heath guides and we have prepared the office for safe hygiene practices.
Our wide-ranging experience and knowledge of leading technologies enable us to design electronic products for a wide range of industries. With the collective knowledge and experience in our team, we can meet almost any electronic design challenge. Below are some of our company stats:
So, if we can help you with your project or if you are looking for an outsourced electronic design partner, call us today for your 1-hour free virtual consultation.
- "How COVID-19 is Changing How We Work" from https://www.viewpoint.com/blog/how-coronavirus-covid-19-is-changing-how-we-work-part-1
- "How The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Accelerating Change" from https://www.experfy.com/blog/future-of-work-how-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-accelerating-change
- Banner image graphics from Technology Vectors by Vecteezy
- Image of Video Conferencing by Tumisu from Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photos/video-conference-business-meeting-4221401/
- Image of nurse holding the globe by Anna Shvets from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-people-woman-hand-4167539/
- Image of New Zealand Government COVID19 Communication from Whangarei Distric Council http://www.wdc.govt.nz/Pages/Default.aspx