WFH: Remote Work – What Now? Part 2 of 2

WFH Part 2 – What NOW?

At this point, almost nobody wants to make predictions, let alone place bets on 2021. Yet, we in the IT industry have had front row seats for the great WFH experiment of 2020. We think there are a few things businesses should consider as they look ahead to next year.

 

Invest in technology

Of course, an IT company would say that, right? Look. It’s completely understandable if your file server ended up in the CEO’s living room (small businesses, we feel you), and pressure to cut budgetary corners is immense. That said, investing in the right technology has never been a bigger imperative. WFH and hybrid modes of working in/out of office are here to stay. Mobile device management, BYOD policy, and business continuity planning are what 2021 will be about.

Make every employee an IT employee

While that isn’t literally possible, remote work and hybrid work schedules will mean that individuals will need to understand basic technical issues and solve them individually, or over the phone. The good news is that the infrastructure tools – mobile enterprise software – have existed for some time, and made even further strides in 2020, as did higher profile u/x tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and others. So, while remote workers may need to tackle more IT challenges individually, the tools are both easier to use, and have fewer glitches.

Don’t just find the right tools – find the RIGHT tools

You need them more than ever before, and you don’t have time to learn the hard way. For example, SharePoint works great for an IT firm like mac-tech, but if you’re a design firm with lots of Adobe files, you may want to consider other options. We can help!

Secure your data – and review your data security

Breaches did happen here and there in 2020, but nothing like what you might have expected. So, we’re good, right? …That’s how this paragraph originally started, but before we could even post this blog, the Treasury Department was hacked.

Overnight implementation of new systems on the scale we saw this year could, and probably did, result in mis-implementations that haven’t yet been identified. Flexibility will continue to be key in 2021 but so will stringent, frequent reviews of systems and processes. If it’s not already on your January 2021 To Do List, add it.

The future of work

We’d be foolish to make sweeping cultural predictions. We see, as most companies do, that shorter commutes have created work-life balance for some and plunged others into co-habitation hell. Parents and caregivers have taken multi-tasking to a whole new, and unsustainable level. Cities like New York may face a kind of reset that results in lower rents and ultimately makes urban areas truly affordable for middle income workers. We see opportunities for equity, inclusion, and diversity to thrive, but we also see the potential for challenges to those aspirations. We’ll leave the prognostications to others. As the gravel-voiced singer/songwriter, Tom Waits has said, “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”

We wish you and yours a safe and peaceful holiday season.