Remember when this forced working from home was going to last a few days? Then a few weeks? Then maybe just a month or two? All those markers have been left far behind, haven’t they? If someone were to tell you, in February of 2020, that a large percentage of our population would work remotely for the rest of the year, would you have believed them? No! You’d say, “I can’t do that all the time! That’s lunacy!” Who could blame you?
Of course, we’ve been working from home for so long that we’re trying to remember what it was like to work together. Many firms wonder if their people will ever return to the office when we’re finally able to do so.
Yet, we need to get real about working remotely here: A lot of companies can say that they’re going to make a shift to working from home among more people without a hiccup on delivering their services. But we need to be candid about technology, logistics, people and planning if we’re going to think not only about how we’ll work remotely in 2021 but also many years beyond that if the “genie is out of the bottle” and your people demand the opportunity to work from home at least part of every week. What considerations should you make for that possibility now?
Let’s put some of these ideas under the microscope to explore how they may impact the state of virtual work and whether or not it’s realistic for you to do when the moment presents itself.
Goodbye, GSuite. Hello, Google Workspace.
You may see a shift in only a name, but look closer. One of the things we see in terms of trends, whether Google with Workspace or Microsoft with Teams is a lot of bolted-on integration to ensure customers choose a technological ecosystem and stay there. You had Gmail before? Great! Now you can do a picture in picture video with it. Do you have Microsoft Office with Word, PowerPoint and Excel? Perfect! Now you can use Teams with it.
The result of this “integration arms race” is to create an “all in one” system, so you remain loyal to that brand’s ecosystem. Apple has been notorious for this approach. Are we going to see more brands develop a Hub and then make it more scalable rather than continuously evolve it? It’s entirely possible.
What we’re sensing from tech companies during the pandemic (and eventually, the post-pandemic world) is a type of paranoia about how hard it is now to get customers. They also know how dangerous it can be if somebody else gets a foot in the door.
Think about it: Why else would a company like TikTok pose such a significant threat to the established players like Facebook? Because TikTok seemingly came out of nowhere and it was able to gain a foothold quickly. Zoom is another prime example – at the height of the pandemic where people were forced to work remotely, it didn’t take long for Zoom to gain over 100 million users. You still may hear occasional grumbles of how challenging it is for some people to adapt to regularly using Zoom, but there’s little doubt that most of us are making it work… to actually do work.
We forget that not that long ago, video conferencing used to be a highly expensive proposition. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. Instead of thousands of dollars to use a video conference room and usage that had to be parceled out very carefully, we now can utilize Google Hangouts to conduct highly productive meetings of 10 people at a time.
The bottom line is this: In a new world where people work remotely, if you can obtain a new customer who selects your technology and then adopts it while working from home, the value of that technology could explode at a high magnitude of growth. Therefore, we can expect substantial investment in technology to capitalize on the shift to working from home. As a company considering that level of functionality, now is the time to factor in the technology required so that your people don’t feel a downgrade in the quality of connecting remotely. If anything, you want them feeling that it’s even better remotely than if they were in the office at all.
Talman Advantage #9: A Smoother Transition Into The New Environment
Thanks to close rapport with senior managers and relationships with clients that have lasted for many years, Roy Talman & Associates has the in-depth knowledge of a firm’s work atmosphere that few can bring to the table.
As a result, we can often provide guidance on what to expect from the culture you’re about to join, which hopefully makes your integration into that environment all the more seamless.
Make your first days in a new role better than you ever expected by talking to Talman first.
Planning Around Teams And Partners
The question, as we consider the logistics of working from home and making a shift that works for more people in a company – rather than a few here and there is this: Will we experience substantial improvement in productivity, security and communication when working from home?
In our firm’s case, we would have been skeptical as well three years ago for sure. At the time, our systems were not cloud-based, so if the pandemic hit us at that moment, we’d have to make sure that the servers in our office were running. Then we’d hook up our VPN to GoToMyPC, “tunnel” into a computer in the office and from that computer, we’d have access to our servers. That’s a scenario that’s anything but easy!
Fortunately, preparation served us well. Our firm has a cloud-based technological infrastructure that enables our team to communicate seamlessly. We can remain in the current environment for a considerable time while serving our clients just as strongly as we ever did. Meanwhile, we may be as surprised by the events in 2021 just as we were in 2020 – only this time, we might find that the economy restructures much faster and much more deeply than anybody anticipates.
The message for employers is this: Your company may not experience a large-scale shift to permanent work from home. Still, it’s not hard to imagine widespread adoption of working from home at least part of the week while also coming into the office one or two days a week. As such, your preparation to accommodate your team for such a hybrid approach should accelerate, but don’t merely think about technology and logistics. Ask yourself how your strategic partners can play a crucial role in maintaining consistent, high-quality service during your evolution, no matter what that looks like.
At Roy Talman & Associates, we’re ready, willing and able to step up to the challenge of hiring people in a changing environment, including yours, to help you plan for getting in front of the top 1% of all candidates. Just one superior candidate placed in your environment can do wonders for reaching your goals. Even now. In the most unpredictable of times, put your trust in one of the most established names in recruiting technical talent in this marketplace: Talk To Talman First.