2020 is clearly defined as “Before COVID19, During COVID19 and After COVID19“. The impact of COVID19 pandemic is everywhere and businesses are changing their ROI models to reach their customers in a best way. Here are thoughts from experts in the Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security and Cloud Computing. Check the data and know more about the impact of COVID19 on the workforce at companies around the world.
Thoughts from Industry Experts
|Most discussions around COVID have centred around technology. There was a rapid rush to the likes of Zoom, MS Teams and Google Hangouts to get workers online and able to group communicate visually. The tactical fix was pretty quick, resulting in an influx of demand for laptops and tools to meet the Work from home demands. We then moved into the reflection and appraisal stage where businesses started talking about what systems need changing, updating etc. Having been on many panels’ discussions around this, interestingly the conversation whilst headlined to be around such matters inevitably shifted to the people matter. We have quickly gone from a time when the norm was to deflect conversation to email, SMS, Whatsapp, social post, etc to wanting to speak.|
Verizons CEO just cited that they are seeing more phone calls per day, every day, than they normally see on their 2 peak days of the year (Mothers Day and New Years Day). We are seeing a time when employees want to engage with their colleagues and other people. The challenge we face is that we need to consider the mental strain on the employee; working in an isolated day and evening the same environment with distractions such as pets, kids, deliveries etc. Take also that the video group calls we are all too familiar with now are more draining on the individual than an in person meeting.
Our brain is working harder to interpret a 2D face of the caller than when in person in the office or on a voice only call, add to this 6,10 or 20 other faces on a single call and unconsciously your brain is working far harder, hence we come away worn at the end of the call and day. Normally you are sat in a meeting and do not sit looking at flat faces, you look around, vary who you focus on and have 3D context. We are in a time when PCSD (Post Covid Stress Disorder) may become the next challenge businesses have to face.
|The new organization and the way to collaborate have changed. Definitely moving so abruptly from a physical and centralized paradigm to a virtual and distributed one, it is an abrupt change, but one to which we must adapt since everything indicates that, perhaps with some nuance, it is here to stay.Evidently the necessary logistics is the first challenge to be faced. It is necessary to say which non portable equipment is better to move and to which to give them remote access, it is necessary to maintain a new balance between information security, physical security, adequate bandwidths, having active and sufficient VPNs, in addition to adding to this, the collaborative tools necessary for the coordination of business teams and secure and efficient videoconferencing.|
And for me this is the most important paradigm shift. Productive collaboration is not done by generating a bunch of whatsapp that everyone writes about. Because those types of groups are eminently anarchic and what is needed now is an organization that allows us to achieve specific objectives. That is why the fundamental challenge is to understand how we work remotely, and not just try to emulate physical interaction in a virtual environment, because everything changes with respect to the form of relationship we are used to. There are new ways to understand the “etiquette” of conferences, to discern when video is necessary in them and when it is not (I particularly with my team do not use it frequently), for example.
The biggest challenge is to adapt to the new cultures of the teams.