As the world approaches the last quarter of 2020, it is apparent that the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic has forever changed the technology landscape of the workplace. While initially entire workforces working from home amidst a quarantine made for some cumbersome hurdles to clear, in many ways it has empowered and equipped companies to navigate emerging workplace technology mid and post-pandemic.
Most of the globe went from daily meetings, frequent domestic and international work trips, and business as usual in 2019 to the stark contrast of working solely from home, every day, all day. Although in the beginning this change caused companies to drastically change how they conducted daily business, it is yielding a resiliency that most are now hoping to capitalize on as they emerge and embark on yet another journey—workplace technology mid and post-pandemic.
How Employees Are Feeling About Returning to The Workplace
Not all employees feel the same about returning to the workplace according to the U.S. Work from Home Survey 2020 conducted by Gensler in April and May of the same year. The survey showed that:
- 44% employees prefer to work no days at home
- 26% of employees prefer to work one or two days at home
- 18% of employees prefer to work three or four days at home
- 12% of employees prefer to work five days at home
Data revealed that most employees wanting to return to the workplace felt that daily activities such as socializing, meetings, and client interaction were leading reasons to do so.
The survey noted that two of the primary takeaways about the workplace are:
- A majority of workers want to come back to the office in some capacity
- Most employees expect significant changes in the workplace before they are comfortable returning
Gensler’s survey also noted that some of the top practices that employees expect to feel more comfortable upon returning to the office include:
- Stricter policies regarding working in the office while sick
- Increased opportunities to work from home
- Increased cleaning of office spaces
- Better spacing between workstations
- Provision of hand sanitizer
- Touchless doors, bathrooms, etc.
- Air purification systems
- Less in-person meetings
- Increased private office space
- More defined private space
- No shared workstations
Age also seemed to play a roll in returning to the workplace, with younger generations reporting that they felt overall less productive at home and less satisfied with a work from home experience. In contrast, older workers on average tended to feel more accomplished when working from home.
What This Means for Your Office and Workplace Technology Moving Forward
Based on Gensler’s survey, it seems that as employees slowly return to the workplace now and even potentially in a post-coronavirus pandemic world, the way workplaces operate will be forever changed. It is highly unlikely that things will be business as usual moving forward.
Although the survey shows that some employees do want the opportunity to work from home one or more days a week, there are some preliminary indicators that working from home on a permanent basis may not be sustainable in terms of both culture and talent development. That said, some form of a hybrid-model that combines work from home and in-office interaction may be adopted by employers going forward to better accommodate their workforce.
Particularly with this in mind, employers will have to be strategic about putting practices in place that help employees feel more comfortable about their return to the workplace, which may include new protocols, but more specifically, new technologies.
Specific Considerations Needed for Workplace Technology Mid and Post-Pandemic
Employers should think about the way their office is set up and consider the following:
- What technology changes can be made that will support employees’ work environments?
- Will employees need new or improved technology devices to support a hybrid work environment?
- What technology will the office need to support both in-person and virtual employees?
- How can employees participate in workplace meetings while still observing social distancing protocols?
- Is there a way to group smaller departments together for meetings while observing social distancing protocols?
- How can you facilitate client meetings with your employees?
- How can employers effectively budget for all these technology provisions?
In many ways, this list is simply a starting point for employers to consider. In reality, the needs of virtual and in-person employees will likely fluctuate as the nation progresses through various stages of the pandemic.
How Data Projections Is Already Helping Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Data Projections has been committed to assisting companies with audio/visual solutions that enable them to affordably connect and collaborate with other businesses and institutions for more than thirty years. The arrival of the coronavirus pandemic brought with it an opportunity to serve businesses in new and innovative ways during a time of crisis:
- In March of 2020 as most of the United States quarantined at home, we accepted a contract to work with the Texas Department of Information Resources to assist in providing information technology products and related services to public and government entities during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
- In April of 2020, many senior living communities across the nation found that their residents were experiencing increased loneliness and depression due to being isolated from loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic. Since we are in the business of connecting people, we equipped Belmont Village Senior Living with user-friendly and portable technology that enabled their elderly residents to virtually see and interact with their loved ones from the comfort of their own room to help alleviate those feelings of isolation and loneliness.
- In June of 2020, Data Projections Inc. wanted to help employers better navigate communication and collaboration challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic via the SimplyConnected Huddle and Home Office Starter Kits. The SimplyConnected Huddle package facilitated small groups of employees in the office to effectively work with clients and remote colleagues. The Home Office Starter Kits were specifically designed for companies with nothing in place to help create a successful work at home environment for employees.
What the Data Projections Difference Can Mean for Your Business
When it comes to technology that can help your business run more smoothly during and post-pandemic, we offer a variety of technologies and solutions that can help bring your employees and clients together:
- Video/Audio Conferencing: A solution that allows businesses to provide their employees with video/audio conferencing that features excellent quality, compatibility and usability.
- Video Streaming: Allows a client to seamlessly stream video. Live video streaming may also allow real time interactions depending on available technology.
- Projectors: Many business meeting rooms utilize LCD projectors which provide bright color saturated images.
- Interactive Flat Panels: This technology enhances communication and collaboration between colleagues and clients.
- Digital Displays and Screens: We can provide LED and LCD technology that allows for digital displays and screens to be used for outdoor signage, interactive displays, video walls and microtiles.
- SimplyConnected ZoomRooms: Allows a business the ability to seamlessly set up private audiovisual conference areas so that groups of various sizes can interface with other colleagues and clients.
- SimplyConnected Huddle Package: This package allows small groups of employees to work with clients and remote colleagues while in the office.
- Home Office Starter Kits: These kits can be particularly helpful for companies with nothing in place to help employees build a successful work from home environment.
One the aspects that sets Data Projections apart from others in the audiovisual industry is its ability to make technology solutions more affordable for employers. Most of our technologies offer modern AV solutions without requiring a large upfront investment. This typically means a business can make smaller monthly payments instead of a large upfront sum, and this can have a number of benefits, including:
- Smarter use of cash flow
- Better credit preservation
- Reduction in risk
- Better budgeting
If your company is ready to tackle and simplify the challenges of technology mid and post-pandemic, please reach out to Data Projections today to see how we can help with a user-friendly and affordable solution.
- What Is AV? - January 13, 2021
- Smyser Kaplan & Veselka Bench Trial Via Zoom Case Study - January 7, 2021
- Data Projections Is Now A Premier Partner With Zoom Communications - November 12, 2020