The rapid shift to remote working during Phase One of the Covid-19 crisis, getting workers home, has led to a totally different way of working and a fair few good jokes, such as the one about “the elephant in the Zoom”.
The initial challenges of ensuring all staff had connectivity and hardware to work from home securely has been resolved. Ortus clients were well-prepared, but we still saw 500 more support tickets in the third week of March compared to the whole of February.
Now the real opportunity, as companies become used to the next phase of the lockdown, is a significant increase in productivity and efficiency from the proper use of technology such as Microsoft Teams.
Firms can now communicate and collaborate across their organisation in a way that they never did before. At Ortus, we've been using Teams for the past three years and it's made a profound difference.
For example, internal email has decreased by 95%: where we used to send 100 internal emails, now we only send five. We are using real-time chats or messages and get instant answers, including with engineers on the road from their mobile phones, which has made us much more efficient.
People used to worry that there was no formal record of a conversation or decision without email, but it can all still be tracked and tagged within Teams.
Individual teams have their own channels, we have integrated our own planning tools and can share files securely.
Other clients are seeing similar secure and efficient ways to use Teams. One of our big accountancy practices had never used Teams and accounts were signed off in person in the office.
Now with everyone dispersed, they can use video calls on Teams and sign and approve the accounts remotely. It's super-efficient and they probably won’t go back to the old ways once this is over.
Working landscape to change forever
I predict we will see the working landscape change forever: more people will work from home more often, maybe do three days in the office.
It will get people off the roads and save them their long commute times, save them money in their pockets when they don’t need to buy fuel. For me, it would save more than two hours a day: time that could be used more productively.
Office space could be reduced, company overheads could go down. There are many upsides. We run an application called OfficeVibe to gauge how staff are doing and they said their health and wellbeing had gone up since lockdown.
Productivity up 30%
Our clients have estimated that productivity has gone up by 30% and Paula Gahan from DKC Accountants told us that if they hadn’t listened to our advice last year then they would now “be out of business.”
It's vital that all companies continue to pay attention to security and compliance in this new way of working, but the benefits of remote working and using technology properly are becoming very clear.
Are your remote staff working securely, efficiently and GDPR/ISO-compliant? See how Ortus can help.
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