Until recently, many IT companies had firm rules against working remotely. Work happened only at the office premises. While Marissa Mayer famously put an end to remote work at Yahoo in early 2013, many other companies followed suit, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and several big and mid-sized companies. COVID-19 has forced companies around the world to allow employees to work outside of the office for their own safety. Many employees that switch to remote work find it to be less stressful than working in an office, particularly if doing so eliminates a long commute.
Enterprises worldwide are redefining the work dynamics to better adapt to the status quo and ensure a sense of normalcy during these trying times. Many are creating systems of communication and collaboration so that employees can work from anywhere in the world and still get their work done without needing to be in the same office.
CXOToday speaks to some executives in the tech industry who throw light on the changing enterprise workplace dynamics amid lockdown and how they are adapting to the new normal.
Prashanth G J, CEO – TechnoBind
The workplace has changed – not only for now but for the future as well. We at TechnoBind itself have realized that working remotely is a very viable option and has no significant effect on the efficacy of work delivery. In fact, we have realized we can actually be more productive with the new dynamics – travel time, stress related to being stuck in traffic, positive environment of being able to work in the comfort of home – all are adding up to increased productivity. Of course like all this comes with a caveat as well – which is the employee’s professionalism in terms of being committed to official tasks mostly during the 9 to 6 period – and not getting distracted.
This remote working has been greatly enabled by a multitude of tools being available today. We ourselves are at the forefront of distributing the world’s leading technology platforms which are helping remote working – be it meeting room solutions, or remote access or secure access through the highest level of authentication. We believe, what is being called the “New Normal” will soon become the “Normal”.
Satish Kumar V, CEO – EverestIMS Technologies
“What we are observing during this lock-down is a complete redefining of workplace dynamics and interactions. What used to be the domain of personnel congregation in a fixed location has now transformed into a hub and spoke or even a multi-spoke “hive” system with the company’s ethos and objectives focusing the core of this unique new work entity.
Communications channels of different types – voice, data, and video support the system and team protocols drive efficiencies and outcomes. In the Software Sector, this new approach has been successful in repelling the effects of the lockdown as we have created our own “New Normal” in terms of keeping the show running. At EverestIMS Technologies, our products support the systems that keep communication, IT, and enterprises running so it is crucial that we do not ebb or fall back. Over the last few weeks, we have discovered a new approach that may rethink how we interact with spaces in the future.”
Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director – Arrow PC Network Pvt Ltd
“The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed us to modernize and harness the power of technology. Businesses are rapidly adjusting to the changing needs of their people, their customers, and suppliers. We see exacerbated use of hybrid cloud and hyper-converged platforms as people have realized the importance of cloud-based communication-enabled business processing. It has now become imperative for organizations to establish a secure borderless workspaces model to ensure business continuity. In the long term, work from home could cause huge challenges in terms of data security and effective collaboration. Utilizing online collaboration tools can help the workforce to stay connected and conduct virtual meetings without any disruption to the business. Keeping employees safe, informed, and prepared by providing proper guidance, training and open lines of communication has become the top priority of enterprises to ensure sustainability in these unforeseen times.”
Sunayana Hazarika, Marketing Manager – ATEN
“ COVID -19 pandemic has hastened the transition for workplace flexibility. Organizations are now forced to step out of their traditional comfort zone to build a collaborative and secure infrastructure that breaks down location barriers. The organizations are upgrading IT systems, business processes and are participating in digital transformation to enable seamless functioning of business operations from anywhere. The majority of business processes across Sales, HR, R&D, Marketing, Customer Services, and IT are enabled by Technology tools such as productivity and collaboration applications and Mobility devices like laptops, smartphones. Changes and advancement in existing IT infrastructure is the need of the hour and we at ATEN are helping organizations in this hour with our advanced technology products for remote working solutions for secured data centers, control rooms, smart meeting rooms, or broadcasting.”
Shibu Paul, Vice President – International Sales – Array Networks
“COVID-19 pandemic has majorly impacted workplace dynamics and has forced leaders to reshape their businesses to align with evolving demand and find new growth pathways. Companies are relooking at new and secure ways for the majority of their employees working from home amidst lockdown. As WFH becomes the new normal, enterprises are turning towards SSL VPN to remotely access important network resources and connect remote users to web and internal applications. The business processes are being changed for enterprises to survive this crisis which would entail proactively incorporating several converging social and demographic trends into the workforce-planning activities. Employers are investing in robust business continuity infrastructure and allowing employees to continue work from home. Every organization will cost-effectively deploy resources considering the global economic slowdown, proactively making plans to get back to growth once the Covid-19 pandemic situation improves. Going forward, AI integrating into the work environment, increased per-person space requirement and workplace social distancing norms are few of the emerging trends that will deeply impact the enterprise workspace dynamics.”
Despite some challenges, the present-day crisis has unveiled a remarkable facet. The WFH culture, initially feared as unproductive by all employers, is proving to be a more efficient mode of working. It has been instrumental in making us realize that work and healthy camaraderie can go beyond the office premises, believe experts. It can then be said that this isn’t merely a ‘new normal’. It might as well be a modern revolution altogether.