In the last month the world has changed and it’s not going back to what it was in the near future. People will behave differently. Work will be done differently. We will all interact differently.
Three months ago asking for multi-gigabit VPN capacity that can handle all your staff would have been at the bottom of the priority list in your business. But here we are and that’s probably what most people have wanted most in their work lives in the last couple of weeks. For the next few years this will be what is expected.
Should this be the new status quo? I think it should and any company that has previously frowned upon a work from home (WfH) option for their staff needs to take note. Many people will be more productive, the company doesn’t need to provide office space for everyone and we now have the tools (if not the etiquette yet) to really be part of a virtual meeting or standup. Teams, Slack, Zoom and others are doing a good job in this craziness.
Equally if you’re working from home, you need to accept that adjustments need to be made to how you work. The boss wants you productive so minimise the slack time watching YouTube videos and don’t be tempted to jump on the Xbox/PS until after work. You have some good benefits here too. No more hour long commute each way to work, nervously looking at the person who just coughed or sneezed. No more excuses about not making your lunch and spending another $70 or more a week on food. You can be as productive and you can use your time better while saving money.
There are of course some downsides and the new approach to work won’t fit for all. If you work in manufacturing, or are active in a role in logistics or transport, it’s just not going to work sorry. Those that can make changes to schedules and make virtual meetings work will benefit and the technology needs to work.
I personally hope that working from home becomes a 50/50 option for almost any office worker. You choose a couple of days a week to be in the office and the rest you work from home. More time, more money and with many less people moving about, less impact of all of us on the environment.