What’s next for remote work – the strategic value of future work styles

The changes to work styles that have been brought on by the challenging conditions of 2020 are going to result in a permanent change to the way we work.

According to Gartner, 41% of the employees that are working remotely will continue to do so in some capacity going forward. A second survey later found that 82% of company leaders plan on allowing employees to work remotely when their role allows it.

The underlying reason to this is that remote work benefits both employer and employee. The employee can enjoy a better work-life integration, allowing them to do away with the daily commute and grind in favour of a more flexible schedule that suits their work styles, and a shift in KPI performance from attendance to results. As a Forrester report into changing work behaviours and expectations found, 27% employees are frustrated that they lack the flexibility to decide where to work, and 26% found that the physical workplace was not enjoyable. The flow-on effect to that is 19% of employees perceive that the company's attrition rate was growing, and 15% believed that their company lacked the technology needed to attract new hires. For many employees, having adequate access to technology and support to engage in remote work is an opportunity to be unburdened by the distractions of the office so they can let their talents shine.

For the employer, remote working employees are more productive and, while it needs to be managed carefully, remote working employees also tend to be happier and more confident in their company's direction, which helps the organisation minimise issues such as churn. Once the enterprise's policy around remote work has been established, a culture of working from home also means that the company can draw on the talents of employees from regional areas, interstate, or even overseas, without needing to first relocate them.

dellarticle1image.jpg

However, as Dell chairman and CEO, Michael Dell himself has said, this changing approach to work requires some different thinking about technology and processes. "If it's going to be a more permanent feature of the workplace, and I'm starting to come to the view that it is, then I might need something different," he said in an interview with CRN.

"If I'm going to work from home for an extended period of time, or it's going to be a more permanent part of how we work, then we'll need to do something different."

Structuring an organisation around remote work

Dell solutions that are focused on delivering remote work address four key challenges:

o   Security challenges and minimising technology risk.

o   Network capabilities in enabling a rapid increase in video conferencing.

o   Managing consumer technology and simplifying management of the IT environment.

o   Delivering virtualised applications and cloud environments to enable maximum efficiency across the IT environment.

It's important to understand that while "remote work" currently refers to working from home, as organisations continue to grapple with social distancing, looking forward it will also apply to professionals on the road to meet with clients or working on-site, those looking to get some work done while on holiday, or even those who are simply checking in from a café. The strategic imperative for organisations will be to view the "home office" and "working from home" as a "bubble" that travels with the individual, and therefore, solutions should be focused on hyper-mobility and device fluidity.

Technology shifts in remote working

Dell has a long heritage in embracing remote working. As far back as 2013 the media has reported that Dell wanted half of its employees to be working remotely by 2020, and this drive -- both internally and in meeting external demand -- has resulted in the unique Dell Unified Workspace approach that brings together hardware and software solutions that enable that "personal bubble" approach to work.

These solutions reflect the changing infrastructure and solutions technology that is maximising productivity over a geographically disperse environment. For example, organisations can roll out Intelligent PCs with built-in AI to drive edge solutions at the end points, with productivity gains of as high as 552% for any application. What many organisations are discovering is that even with security best practices and robust cloud environments, there is a need to drive new solutions to the desktop and edge to maximise the productivity gains.

Finally, as organisations adapt to this new remote working paradigm, seamless communication and collaboration tools will be essential to maintain organisational cohesion. From enabling multiple people to work on documents seamlessly, to integrating presence, video conferencing, messaging, and other communications tools, Dell's long heritage in delivering Microsoft solutions and deep understanding of the Microsoft Office 365 environment is proving instrumental in ensuring that organisations continue to have those morning meetings, maintain version control over documents, and are able to function collaboratively and productively as a team.

Events through 2020 have accelerated a trend towards more flexible and disperse ways of working, but it was only an acceleration, with indicators suggesting for quite some time that the rapid uptake of work from home is the future of work. What this has meant is that there are already proven solutions available to enterprises that emphasise productivity and performance gains that are available through remote work, especially when they are backed by robust collaboration, security, and edge computing best practice.

Dell Technologies Re-Evolution Virtual Experience. October 14 & 15. Register now.

This 2-day virtual event will target medium business customers to discuss the key market trends shaping today's digital economy, the latest advancements in technology and how businesses can remain efficient, agile and competitive during these times. The first Keynote speaker on Day 1: Workspace, Redefined (on 14th October) is the infamous Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki. On day Two: the next normal (on 15th October) we have Genevieve Bell as the keynote speaker. 

Attendees will also hear from Robert Vinokurov, Adrian Iannessa and Aarron Quach will discuss the changing dynamics of the workforce. To top it off, we will have a leaderboard competition on both days with lots of prizes up for grabs. The major prize is the Dream Remote Working Setup, valued at AUD $8500 which includes a Latitude 7200 Laptop, Dell UltraSharp 49" Curved Monitor, Dell Thunderbolt Dock, Keyboard and Mouse, Alienware wireless gaming headset and a Dell Portable Power Companion (rated at 18000mAh).