Getting to grips with the normality of remote working
Things we are used to doing regularly have changed. On a personal level, I’m still expecting to see live football games every weekend. But like many others, I’ve accepted remote working as the ‘new normal’. Spotting my colleagues’ children in the background of video calls is not as novel as it was six weeks ago – but it is still a welcome relief.
Establishing how best to work from home has not been without its challenges. But the good news is that we are learning a lot about what is needed to keep businesses running as normally as possible, whatever the circumstances.
On one hand, companies still experiencing a high demand for products and services need to invest in supporting their people. Without the right technology to sustain remote workforces, they simply cannot deliver on customer expectations. On the other, it’s important that corporate purpose doesn’t fall to the wayside. Now more than ever, employees and society are keeping a close eye on how businesses are giving back.
The remote working toolbox
While mass remote working is new, collaboration technology isn’t. Our Future of Work report found that 78% of employees expect employers to provide them with the tools needed to work collaboratively, regardless of where they are located.
These technologies have really come into their own in recent weeks. There are countless options out there, from established players like Slack and Zoom to emerging technologies such as Spatial, which allows users to hold AR-enabled conference calls. The success of these tools comes down to one quality: ease of use. They are intuitive, interoperable and responsive. They help colleagues work together on the same screen and on the same document, regardless of device, operating system or location.
We are also seeing the enthusiastic adoption of AI throughout this challenging time. When used well, it can help keep businesses running when standard working practices are disrupted. For automating repetitive, admin-heavy tasks, this tech is invaluable.
Giving back while staying in
However, we can’t keep the wheels turning purely for the sake of business productivity. Businesses must bear their wider purpose in mind.
At Ricoh, we are continuing our efforts to make a positive impact on local communities. This has helped to strengthen our sense of spirit and teamwork, despite working apart from one another.
The relaunch of our Printed Memories tool with Alzheimer’s Research UK is one example. The new website is mobile-friendly and allows people to send personalised photographic postcards to loved ones anywhere across Europe, helping them to stay connected. The cost is just £1 with all proceeds going to the charity as they support those living with dementia.
Embracing business as usual
There’s undoubtedly a rocky road ahead. But investing in people and the technologies that support them in their jobs will make the journey smoother. Ultimately, the best way to thrive during our new era of remote working is simple: put your people first. It will increase employee engagement, boost collaboration, and keep morale high. These are the vital ingredients that keep businesses running smoothly, whatever the weather.
Click here to discover how Ricoh can help to keep your employees connected with remote working solutions.