As we return to work over the coming weeks and months, our workplaces are going to feel very different, that’s for sure. As organisations now begin the process of making the workplace safe for our current surroundings, how different could it really be? And more interestingly, will any of it change how we do business for good?
Thermal Camera sales worldwide have had a significant rise in sales since Covid-19 began, with many believing this will help detect and monitor human temperatures within the office. As much as it is true, we must also be aware that these cameras are not medical devices and can’t diagnose if we have a virus. Also, we must tread carefully that all our teams are aware of the camera, what it does and who is monitoring it.
On a more positive side, could be game-changing for providing peace of mind for all colleagues in the office knowing themselves and their colleagues don’t currently have a temperature.
Data Security of those staff working from home
We’ve all heard the horror stories in the media of data being stolen, sold or misused, and now we have the majority of our country working on possible vulnerable networks?
The reality for most is not everyone will return to the office at the same time to account for social distancing, for the foreseeable future, we will have a mix of office and home workers, possibly rotating. As organisations, we must protect our data for those not connected to our internal networks. Some reading this may say a simple VPN will sort this, and while this is true, how many small businesses know this. We need to educate.
Social Distancing Monitoring
I was in Tesco’s last week and was ‘told off’ by a member of staff for walking down the aisle the wrong way (an honest mistake), I almost was offended, before I had a reality check. We’re in this together and must adhere to social distancing.
With our typical office environment in mind, this will be much more difficult than a substantial warehouse-type building such as Tesco. Desks will have dividers and be further apart, strict handwashing policies, small meetings at a safe distance etc. In reality, we won’t even answer one another’s telephone. I believe in the short term; this will manage its self. However, in months to come, members of our team will start to slide back into their usual ways, and this leaves the question, how will it be managed?
Staff mental health returning
The Corona holiday is over, members of the team are returning after three, four or even five months not working, how does this go in reality?
Our colleagues need some time to adjust; they will not simply pick up where they left off. Managers need to prepare to support them in what may be a stressful time learning the ropes again. We must also remember, in technology, the landscape changes at a rapid rate; training needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s return along with the business protecting their mental health.
The use of the desk phone, or lack of it
Has Corona killed the desk phone? No doubt this will have a mixed bag of opinions. Many of us will be returning after several weeks/months using new technology, such as browser-based softphones or mobile apps, where does this leave the desk phone?
We need to be more open to the adoption of new technology, and allow members of our team to use whatever type of device they feel most comfortable with. There is no question a lot of us miss the plastic on the desk, and in this case, new ways of working such as click to dial and CRM integration may enhance our use of what may be deemed as old technology.
Be under no illusion, visiting customers premises is a thing of the past for non-essential work, but where does this leave sales staff, networking and all other aspects of business meetings?
We’re all aware of the massive uptake in video calling, using software such as Zoom, Teams and Google Meet. Could this be the new normal for non-essential meetings and will customers or prospective customers be open to this? We always find a video call smooth with people we know. However, it may be different having a video call with someone we don’t know. Hopefully, it will be viewed as a fantastic opportunity to open our horizons on new ways to do business.
Utilising technology to our advantage, alongside safe and secure data is a must for us all moving forward, and thankfully Covid-19 has accelerated this and opened our minds. We can only hope video calling, softphones and utilising cloud base services stays in our workplaces to help improve business efficiency and customer experience.
However, I think we can all agree, and the sooner restrictions are lifted the better for social distancing and health screening. Only when safe to do so, of course.