As the COVID-19 dust begins to settle somewhat and consumers adjust to life in the new normal, there is more time to reflect on COVID-19 and its impact going forward. And many of us have realized that despite priding ourselves on our collective technological advancement, we still rely heavily on being in the same physical space to get things done.
Pre-pandemic research from Global Workplace Analytics shows that less than 3.6% of the U.S. workforce worked from home more than half the time (and 80% wished they could). Post-pandemic, an MIT report suggests that 34 percent of Americans who previously commuted to work were working from home by the first week of April.
Companies have responded by hastily cobbling together makeshift remote solutions, but the transition has been far from seamless, even for some of the world’s biggest brands. A recent PWC study finds that 46% of financial leaders in the U.S. expect a lack of remote work capabilities to lead to reduced production.
But COVID-19 could be the catalyst to change that, with some people suggesting that it’s driving one of the most rapid workplace transformations in history. The pandemic has shown us a new reality: that we really need to be prepared for the unexpected.
That requires a certain degree of decentralization so employees can truly work effectively from home. And that doesn’t just mean web mail and video-conferencing—it means giving front-line workers ready access to all the communication platforms they need to do their job, whether they work in accounting, HR, finance, or marketing.
In our post-COVID world, there’s no doubt companies will continue to take a hard look at their communication systems in the weeks and months to come, with the realization that decentralizing these systems may in the future be the key to keeping their workforces unified.