The Next Normal Is Approaching – Are You Ready?

Cristian MiculiBlog, Featured

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Next Normal remote productivity is the driver and differentiator

Covid-19 effect: businesses have been adapting on the fly to accommodate people to work remotely.

It has only been half a year since the COVID-19 ground our world to a halt and this “new normal” was forced upon us. Overnight our homes became the venue for practically every facet of our former lives and were now tasked with replacing all the amenities of offices, classrooms, restaurants, gyms, playgrounds, and more.

Businesses were forced to adapt on the fly, crunching years of digital transformation into just a few weeks. For many, the transition came faster than infrastructure could handle, resulting in us trying to do more than ever on overloaded networks and untrusted Wi-Fi hotspots. 

There were growing pains then, and there still are now. We’re all feeling it in some way.

The world we return to won't be the same one we left

The professional post-pandemic situation will benefit the ones who will be most productive, regardless of their location.

Before the pandemic hit, only 7% of workers regularly worked from home. Now? 64% of us not only WFH, but we’ve gotten used to it.

At the start of the lockdowns, it was widely accepted that this would be a temporary inconvenience. Surely by Easter we would be back in our offices and classrooms. Then, it slipped to Memorial Day - then mid-summer. But all the while, the old normal was slipping further away, bit by bit, while the end of the pandemic seems ever more distant.

Whatever we return to won’t be the world we left. In this next normal, productivity is the driver and differentiator - those who can’t keep up will lose.

The future of work in the next normal world

Are we going to work from home on the long term or are we going back to the office? There’s no clear answer on this one.

Online learning company Chegg was one of many companies that believed productivity would plummet because of remote work, estimating its productivity loss would be between 15 to 20%, as detailed in a recent NY Times article. One senior executive tried to micromanage his way through the transition, which predictably didn’t work, leading to him easing off his employees.

Then a funny thing happened. Everything started to not only work, but work better than before.

Workers were ahead of schedule and asking for more tasks. While individuals have struggled with childcare, sickness and distractions at home, many companies found the overall productivity of their teams to be as high or higher than pre-pandemic levels. Chegg’s internal survey found that 86% of employees believed their productivity was as good as or better than before.

Cisco, Citrix, Deutsche Bank, Eventbrite and Microsoft are just a few other companies that have found that to be the case.

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Remote workers are able to better focus without the distractions of the office. They save time by not commuting hours each day back and forth from their homes to the office. They take shorter lunches and have fewer unnecessary meetings. One extensive study from 2013 found that productivity increased by 13% when workers were at home.

Remote work pays off when a supportive corporate culture is in place and people are given the tools they need to make it successful. That doesn’t always happen, and you need to figure out how to make the best of your situation.

Will we return to the office in the next normal?

Some remote workers will have to return to the office. But there’s others, more than before, who will continue to work from home.

Despite the clear benefits of remote work, many companies still cling to the idea that working remotely may be temporary or should be limited. But, workers don’t share that opinion.

According to recent research by Gallup, three-fifths (59%) of US workers who have been working remotely during the pandemic prefer to continue remote work as much as possible after public health restrictions are lifted. Before the pandemic set in, more than half (54%) of employees would quit their jobs for one that allows them to work remotely, according to Gallup’s January survey. That number is almost certainly higher now.

And on the other side of the employment equation, Gartner found that the majority of companies (74%) expect at least some employees will work remotely after the pandemic ends.

Internet connectivity is the new differentiator that determines productivity in the next normal

The secret to remote work next normal productivity is being able to stay connected regardless of the state of your Internet connection.

With the recent dramatic shift to remote working, both employers and employees find themselves having to create an office outside of an office. Unfortunately for most, the experience has been far from frictionless.

Without truly reliable Internet connections, employees experience intermittent disturbances and slow experiences with apps such as VoIP, video, and virtual apps and desktops. This inhibits productivity as valuable time is wasted trying to reconnect just to get work done.

Over 60% of telecommuters face connectivity issues when working remotely. Don’t be one of them.

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Connectivity is the key to productive remote work

If you want to be more productive, start considering how you will achieve blazing fast internet connections with superb network quality, and find the right devices, equipment and tools that will help you collaborate, video conference and take work anywhere.

Our Next Normal series will help you do that, by providing you with the tips, tricks and technologies that will help you optimize your remote work experience to become a WFH Superstar.

Together, we can make the Next Normal better than the old.

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