I expect we are going to be hearing this phrase, “The New Normal”, an awful lot over the next few weeks. As the lockdown restrictions slowly start to ease across the country, there are businesses everywhere that are planning on what they do next to ensure they can both operate and effectively recover from this pandemic.
This road to recovery is going to be different for every industry and every business, as they review the way they work they will have to create a “New Normal” way of working to ensure the safety of their staff while still maximising their operational ability. For some this may be as simple as plastic partitions and PPE for staff, for others this could be a change in direction to a more internet-based business. One thing for certain is that the effects of this pandemic will impact the way we work for some time still.
One of the biggest positives of the lockdown has been the ability for IT to cope and enable businesses to continue to remain active in some form of operational capacity. The emergence over the last 10 years or more of the cloud technologies provided businesses with the platform to work from any location. When you add to that the increase in broadband connectivity across the country there becomes the basics needed to enable businesses and staff to work from home.
With all the changes that have taken place during the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no doubt that some of these changes will become normal practice moving forward. If you consider back in 2019 there was only around 1.7 million people working from home, due to the pandemic this has seen an estimated 20 million people relocating to home offices.
So, what will be “The New Normal”?
Well as mentioned, that’s going to be different for everyone and every business. From an IT perspective we believe there will be a further increase in cloud technologies. Whether this is because businesses have struggled with their IT through lockdown and now need to adopt these new technologies, or whether it’s because working from home and in the cloud is going to become their “New Normal”. With the range of cloud technologies available it’s certainly possible to build an entire business in the cloud.
The personal element of what we do as businesses may also change. When we thinking about attending face to face meetings, do we shake people’s hands? Will people be put off if we wear PPE to a meeting? Should we avoid face to face meetings? All of these personal interactions that we have always taken for granted may have to change or indeed could be defined by new rules or social distancing requirements. The safety of everyone is always a concern and if people agree with that mentality then consideration and different should be accepted and not influence situations.
For some businesses the use of PPE may be the only steps that are possible, I saw a post from a friend in the motor trade and their new normal was simply some clear plastic barriers on their desks with plenty of gloves and sanitiser gel. For other businesses we work with who run factories, they are having to completely plan their factory process and layouts to ensure they can adhere to the social distancing rules. Other business are advising that they will continue to work from home and online for the months to come, with no plans to re-open any office space.
There are many different routes dependant on the industry and type of business they are, there is certainly not standard way forward. However, every business needs to ensure they are ready and have the plans in place so as this lockdown eases further, they can be as successful as possible. There is no doubt that IT will continue to play a big part in all of this, as it’s such an essential factor in virtually all business.
If you are struggling to see how your IT will enable you to move forward out of lockdown or if you have seen weaknesses in your IT that need to be addresses. Please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be glad to speak with you and see if we can help you find your “New Normal” way of working.
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