Remote working norm for the foreseeable future
Working remotely is set to be the norm for the foreseeable future, with employers developing more flexible workforces and organisations drawing up business continuity plans to ensure their sustainability, said Krishnan Gopi, group chief disruption officer at Gems Education.
Speaking at the Remote Workforce Summit 2020, Krish highlighted how the current office environment, as we know it, is dead and how one of the worst pandemics in the history of mankind has given rise to a new norm.
"Over the years, our office work environment has significantly changed," he said. "Where we used to see cramped and congested offices, we now have spacious work stations that focus on comfort. Alongside that, the technology that we use in an office has also gone through several advancements. Another difference is that the workforce of yesterday was very minimal in terms of collaboration. Today, workforces are extremely collaborative. What lies ahead in the future is completely global connectivity through virtual offices."
Krish also shared several statistics that highlight the impact of increased remote working. According to data acquired by Atlas VPN, by 2030, US companies can save $4.5 trillion by letting their employees work remotely. In addition, 37 per cent of companies confirmed that letting their staff work remotely had increased productivity by approximately 40 per cent.
When looking at the situation of remote working before the Covid-19 lockdown, 62 per cent of employees globally said that they were working one to two days per week from home. Presently, 31 per cent of organisations said that Covid-19 was the trigger for them to begin allowing remote work at their company. Zoom has reached 200 million daily participants - up from 10 million in December 2019. Data also showed that remote workers are 35-40 per cent more productive than people who work in corporate offices. Around 77 per cent of businesses also admitted that remote working could lead to lower operating costs.
The key guidelines to prepare for the future workforce, Krish said, involve setting a clear vision, establishing strategy and company policies, promoting a culture of agility, and designing flexible physical and digital workplaces. The key technology trends that will influence the future include public cloud adoption, which will accelerate. In addition, Desktop as a Service (DaaS) will see a surge. Workforce communication apps will digitise the employee experience, while systems of agreement will become increasingly paperless.
AI, he said, will drive the show. "It will drive an agile, better prepared future workforce. Robotic process automation will transform customer service operations, while VR and AR, which is mixed reality, will offer great potential. The Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics will drive business intelligence."
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