One of the biggest challenges of remote working is the lack of face-to-face interaction , which can lead to feelings of isolation and disengagement .
However , by using technology to facilitate communication and collaboration , we can create a virtual workplace that is just as engaging and productive as a physical one .
Yesh Surjoodeen , Southern Africa Managing
Director at HP
Companies that previously relied on traditional officebased models have had to quickly adapt to remote working , and many have struggled to do so effectively . However , remote working is here to stay , and we need to embrace it as a new way of working that has the potential to bring enormous benefits to businesses and their employees .
Video conferencing , instant messaging , and collaboration tools can all help to bring remote teams together and foster a sense of community . This will require an organisation optimising technology , processes , and culture to meet the needs of its workforce . Technology solutions like these requires designing a technology strategy around connectivity , flexibility , and automation . This means empowering employees with solutions – hardware , software , or a mix of both – that enables them to be productive wherever they touch down .
Emphasis must also be placed on technological assets with built-in protection to guard against , detect , and recover from cyberattacks before they disrupt workflow .
A recent McKinsey study in the USA found that 58 % of Americans had the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week while 35 % of job holders have the option to work from home full-time . The study found that 87 % of workers offered at least some remote work embraced the opportunity .
The affinity for remote working is similar in South Africa . According to recruiters ’ firm Michael Page , 37 % of survey respondents would choose to work remotely for 2 days and 33 % for 1 day a week , while 53 % are looking at 3 or 4 days a week as an ideal work from home arrangement .
The same research showed that 63 % of South African professionals believe their productivity increased while working from home and 46 % feel more satisfied with their jobs now compared to before pandemic-related lockdowns were enforced .
However , it is important to recognise that technology is not a magic wand that can solve all problems . We need to strike a balance between the use of technology and the human touch and focus on building relationships and fostering a culture of trust and accountability .
To achieve this , companies need to invest in training and development programs that help employees to develop the skills they need to thrive in a remote working environment . This might include communication and collaboration skills , time management , and digital literacy .
By providing employees with the tools , they need to succeed , we can empower them to take ownership of their work and become more productive and engaged .
The key to creating the best workforce solutions is not about products , but about people . Clearly , the case for reimagining an organisation and taking bold actions has never been clearer . By investing in our employees and empowering them to succeed , we can build a workforce that can meet the challenges of the future and drive the success of our businesses to greater heights .
Last year , HP acquired Poly , a global provider of workplace collaboration solutions . This brings industry-leading video conferencing solutions , cameras , headsets , voice and software to HP , allowing customers to create meeting equity between those in the room and those who are not . p
20 INTELLIGENTCIO AFRICA www . intelligentcio . com