The pandemic showed us the need for Unified Communications. With millions of people suddenly being forced to work remotely, companies were required to adapt to this “new normal.” This meant licensing and adopting new technologies and using them in new ways to allow employees to do their jobs effectively while remote.
The New Normal: A Hybrid Work Environment
As the world starts easing restrictions, employees are returning to work, but work is not the same as it was pre-pandemic. Now people are insisting on being able to work in a hybrid environment or working remotely to some degree. Before the pandemic, it was the norm for people to communicate and collaborate in real-time in-person, with remote users dialing in or video conferencing in to attend. Today, companies are being forced to adapt to employees that are working in a whole new way, as employees may have an optimized home working environment and come to the office with an expectation of working just as effectively. I previously mentioned in a recent podcast episode that this creates new challenges for the company as we now have a paradigm shift, with the primary being that a worker is remote.
The Importance of a “Virtual First” Work Environment
During the pandemic, companies added to their software and hardware toolbelts, as needed, to keep their businesses running. In some cases, these were corporate-wide decisions, whereas others may have been department-led. As employees adjust to their new hybrid environment, companies need to focus on “virtual-first” and streamline not only physical work locations but also adopt software solution sets to help solve the Hybrid Work Paradox. Employees need to have an equal voice and experience, regardless of their location.
Adapting to Our “New Normal” with Technology
We are in our “new normal” and software and hardware providers are rapidly evolving their offerings to accommodate it. Cameras and audio can now follow the speaker around the room in real-time, and virtual whiteboards have been reimagined with the hybrid worker in mind. Another favorite is Microsoft’s Whiteboard app, my go-to as a remote worker. Microsoft has introduced new enhancements like Collaboration Cursors, showing where each collaborator is on the whiteboard, built-in templates, and Fluent Toolbar. With these updates, you can not only be productive, but you’ll feel like you’re collaborating in real-time, in-person. And Microsoft has added Whiteboard to just about everything, including Teams Channels, Chats, Meetings, and more. Soon it will be hard to distinguish between someone working at the office versus from a remote location.
Guidance & Support with Technology Shifts
At Infused Innovations, we specialize in helping companies understand and adapt to technology shifts. Before and during the pandemic, we have performed hundreds of accelerators to demonstrate the power of the secure, all-in-one Teams platform that delivers voice calls, video conferencing, real-time document collaboration, digital whiteboard, chat, and more. No matter where you are in your Unified Communications journey, we can help you reach your destination. Contact us to discuss your particular challenges or let us use one of our accelerators to jump-start your journey.
Another new normal is the pervasive use of IoT devices. See our blog on unique IoT vulnerabilities and how to protect them.