The application of remote working was already growing thanks to its clear business benefits. Now for many companies it’s a matter of necessity. We’re fortunate that our technology can meet the challenge.
As we step away from the office and set ourselves up at home, we won’t be entering a novel situation. For years now, we’ve been familiar with using applications that make our lives easier, from instant messaging to guided meditation – all on a single device. We’re habituated to using the latest technology to communicate and navigate our way through our personal lives.
It’s natural that our experience of technologically-enabled convenience has set our expectations of productivity in the workplace. We’ve personalised our digital experience on the devices we’re constantly carrying, and this level of enablement is what we seek in our professional lives. We’re used to connecting with people instantly and sharing files easily across multiple devices – in effect, we’ve been training for remote work for years.
Sunny Dhami, Senior Director of Product Marketing for RingCentral, describes current employees’ expectations regarding technology.
From an IT point of view, we know the infrastructure is there and the overlying technology is available, it just requires some application – and perhaps some opportunity.
We’ve heard from IT leaders about how younger, technologically-enabled generations enter the workforce with expectations of flexibility around how and where work is carried out. Confining someone to a desk and putting them on the clock are outdated measures or guarantors of productivity. In the fight for talent, businesses have been using the concept of remote working as an element in their employer value proposition, aware of its potency as a signal of ‘forward thinking’.
But the advent of flexible working has passed, and going mobile is no longer forward thinking. Businesses without this capability have already been losing out. Could our current situation level the playing field? That’s left to be seen, but our reality is that many employers – and their employees – are now getting a taste of remote working. It will be a difficult transition for some, while for others it will clear the way for their productivity to finally take off. Whatever happens, I’m certain we’ll never fully go back to the way we worked before.
For help on adapting to remote working, browse the free resources provided right here on our blog.
Originally published Mar 16, 2020, updated Jan 17, 2023