We have been speaking with many of our clients across the Channel Islands throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. From the initial invocation of their tried and tested business continuity plans, through the switch to homeworking for all, to today thinking about what is next. Each business has faced different challenges through this time based on their specific technical requirements. Many companies have been forced to deliver tactical IT solutions to ensure that their users can continue to work from home during the pandemic. In a lot of cases these solutions have been implemented in a rush, with systems that have not been designed to accommodate the influx of remote workers. Our Head of Product Solutions, Vincent Le Gallez, has been considering what business as usual currently looks like and what it may be in the future for businesses in the Channel Islands.
‘User experience is key for engagement and productivity, but many users have been frustrated that they have slow applications and sporadic connectivity. The business has expanded its security footprint to manage and protect additional endpoints. IT teams now need to support whole companies of employees who work remotely battling their unique home networks, over-utilised firewalls and saturated internet connections.
Some of the questions that we’d like to ask you are:
- What were the challenges you had to overcome to mobilise your workforce?
- Were their compromises that you had to make that you normally wouldn’t?
- How do your staff, and the business, feel about working from home after lockdown?
- What are you going to do differently?
With such great progress made against COVID-19 in the Channel Islands, we may see an end to the lockdown before many other parts of the world, but what does that mean? Does it mean a return to normality or something else?
Twitter announced on the 13th May that lockdown had been a success and that their staff could work from home forever! One of C5’s clients, a 40-user Trust company has recently surveyed their staff asking them if they would like to return to the office or work from home. Only 3 of 40 staff said that they would like to return to the way things were before.
Now some businesses may be sceptical about the idea, as some have seen a general drop in productivity where others have seen an increase. For those with families and home-schooling obligations you would expect to see a performance reduction due to these exceptional circumstances, but would that be the case when the kids are back at school? Some sceptics also believe that their employees may spend more time doing other things than doing their jobs.
Researching this question; I read many articles for and against, but then stumbled across a TEDx from 2017 by Scott Mautz, keynote speaker and author, ‘Find the Fire’ and ‘Make It Matter’. He had concluded a 2-year Stanford study, where a company had sent half of its workforce home and measured their performance over time against those that remained. You can watch the TEDx talk here: Stanford Study TEDx.
The results were interesting, the headlines you can see below:
- Home working productivity 13% increase according to study for some, as it is not for everyone
- Giving employees the choice, seems to be the advice
- The study showed an increase in staff retention
- A $2,000 cost of employment reduction per employee per annum
If you’re not having these conversations within your organisation already, we expect that you soon will be. Whatever the outcome, there may be new technical challenges to conquer. Like “What business processes need to change to ensure mobility, without compromising our data security?”, as an example.
Get in touch if you would like to find out more about how C5 Alliance can implement technology solutions for the future of working post COVID-19 at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 1481 722 575