Remote Work Before and During COVID-19 | HCLTech

Remote Work Before and During COVID-19

Remote Work Before and During COVID-19
March 31, 2020

COVID-19 is a humanitarian crisis of the highest order. While organizations such as WHO are leading efforts to stop the spread and flatten the curve, many countries are in lockdown, and individuals have begun practicing techniques such as social distancing.

This imperative is truly universal, with businesses striving to protect the workforce as their foremost responsibility. But these are challenging times for any industry. Travel is banned, conferences are cancelled, production is delayed, and supply chains are disintegrated. COVID-19 is expected to decrease global economic growth by at least 0.5% and could go up to 1.5% or even higher.

Travel is banned, conferences are canceled, production is delayed, and supply chains are disintegrated. COVID-19 is expected to decrease global economic growth by at least 0.5% and could go up to 1.5% or even higher. Read the blog to know more.

Businesses have adopted varying measures to protect their people and their customers, from tackling telecommuting challenges, as is the case here at HCLTech, to implementing travel bans and reevaluating their in-office operations. The latter, specifically, deals with the logistics and challenges of working remotely. Currently, employees across industries are increasingly working from home. While this new development will be a challenge for our IT frameworks, remote working has long been a part of an industry-wide shift to a new work paradigm.

The Rise of Remote Working

According to a report by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, remote work in the U.S. has grown by 91% in the last decade. More than 80% of respondents in the same report confirmed that they would reject a job which didn’t offer flexible working. Clearly, work from home is a significant aspect of modern roles, and one which has only seen greater significance in recent years. This is in line with the four-day work week policy, which has seen greater traction of late, with companies already achieving quantifiable benefits, such as a 40% boost in productivity.

Leading up to COVID-19, these measures showed great promise in changing how we work but at a pace where all transitions would be seamless, uncoerced, and beneficial to all. Today, we are an unwitting part of the world’s largest remote work experiment. And most organizations are not ready.

The Challenges of a Coerced Change

Remote working has a diverse set of challenges for the multiple parties involved. For employees, collaborating with their peers to deliver quality work becomes difficult in the absence of robust and accessible platforms. Productivity can take a hit, especially under the circumstances of protracted social isolation. Access to the requisite resources is a must for the workforce to conduct operations as before. However, this can be hard to fulfil, given that such resources are defined by the requirements of the work at that moment and can lie outside an organization’s existing purview.

For organizations and Internet service providers (ISPs), the challenge now lies in provisioning more connectivity to residential areas, where work from home influx is higher. Another key challenge area is leveraging technologies such as cloud which can run business-specific applications for employees to access from remote locations. Even with cloud, there’s a very physical aspect in the form of datacenters. Workloads can be managed remotely but most cloud setups require human intervention, whether it is cables that need to be patched or servers that need to be rebooted.

The coerced movement toward remote working setups did not permit further advances to be made in due time. This includes, for instance, a complete shift to hybrid cloud infrastructure, which would allow for flexible data provisioning and storage on demand. Enterprises could have done with more time to support work from home at this scale. But this crisis represents an opportunity for leaders to make rapid, well-informed decisions and expedite arrangements to safeguard their workforce, mitigate business disruption, and ensure that critical operations are continued. Such decisions can be the gateway to more trustworthy relationships, greater resiliency, and an innovation culture where every individual can actively engage with emerging technologies for better and seamless work.

But this crisis represents an opportunity for leaders to make rapid, well-informed decisions and expedite arrangements to safeguard their workforce, mitigate business disruption, and ensure that critical operations are continued.

But this crisis represents an opportunity for leaders to make rapid, well-informed decisions and expedite arrangements to safeguard their workforce, mitigate business disruption, and ensure that critical operations are continued.

The Future is Fluid

The leadership imperative now is to take the first step toward becoming a Fluid Enterprise. For a Fluid Enterprise that is flexible, agile, and connected, Fluid Workplaces that are adaptive and scalable are mandatory.

The prime intention of the HCLTech Fluid Digital Workplace Solutions is to create a human-centered environment which enables, guides and supports the new ways of working to foster productivity growth. This entails enabling remote working at scale. Key solutions that serve this urgent need to enable remote/virtual working and ensure business continuity are

  • Remote Productivity Assessment and Consultancy - Accelerated Data driven Telecommuting Readiness Assessment and Consultancy covering all essential tracks
  • Cloud Workspaces - Fully managed Intelligent, Flexible and Secure Digital Workplaces On-the-Go enabling end users to be equally productive while they are working remotely along with upholding the end user experience
  • Remote Collaboration - Unified and Personalized Chat centric Remote Collaboration for teams that need to engage from anywhere anytime
  • Secure Remote Access – Cloud Based zero trust network access (ZTNA) approach to prevent unauthorized access to enterprise network or sensitive data.
  • Remote Support and Guidance - Cognitive AI and Augmented Reality based Realtime Remote Support to ensure minimal downtime
  • Remote UX Monitoring - Big Data Analytics based Preventive Support and Realtime Remote Worker User-Experience Monitoring
  • Behavior Change Management - Enterprise Gamification based Behavior Change Strategies incorporating Multiple Channels and Management

The means to this fluidity is the HCLTech Smart Workplace Model that recognizes the touchpoints which experience the majority of the human-machine interfacing. Leveraging cutting edge solutions, the Smart Workplace Model ensures employees are enabled to innovate irrespective of their different ways and preferences of working.

It is upheld by the four cohesive pillars of our SMART Workplace Model.

  1. SMART IT - Leverage the power of Big Data Analytics to enable Predictive Support, Continuous Authentication and delivery of Hyper-Contextualized support and services
  2. SMART Machines - Leverage the power of Automation to enable Self-Sense, Self-Heal and Smart Mobility
  3. SMART Users - Leverage the power of Cognitive AI to enable Virtual Personal Assistants, Peer-to-Peer Support and Instant delivery of solutions
  4. SMART Spaces - Leverage the power of IoT and AR/VR to enable Smart Immersive Collaboration, Remote Guidance, Health & Wellness and Asset Monitoring

COVID-19 is the impetus for an immediate shift to a SMART Digital Workplace. But we believe that the new ways of working we devise today will go a long way in not only safeguarding current business continuity but also shape the business practices of a healthier and safer tomorrow.

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