The COVID-19 pandemic will one day pass. However, the remote work trend can stay with us

The coronavirus problem highlighted the lack of preparation of many companies to operate in times of crisis. Those who subjugated him are convinced that the new way of acting can also be perfect in a less turbulent future.

It is a truism to note that the coronavirus pandemic surprised almost everyone. Many enterprises turned out to be completely unprepared for forced social isolation, without any procedures for remote work or even IT infrastructure that could enable it. These companies are experiencing enormous losses, and some of them had to suspend or cease operations.

However, many of them were ready for the crisis. Is it due to the acceleration of the implementation of appropriate solutions, or due to the use of them for some time. Applications and resources hosted in a public or private cloud and Cisco Webex team work tools mean that our employee's office can be located virtually anywhere - including at home.

We have already talked about technology necessary for remote work . It is much less common to talk about an employee in this unusual situation. This one does not have to be highly flexible in terms of the workplace, computer use or work alone without physical contact with the team. It is hard to blame him, after all, these competences were not required at the time of his employment. Appropriate technologies, however, help reduce discomfort and ensure that the employee's performance and emotional relationship with his work is not affected.

According to an internal survey conducted by Lufthansa Systems Poland, 80 percent company employees evaluate remote work well, declaring that they are productive, properly informed and trained. According to the company itself, the performance and productivity of many of them have even increased.

Communication in large companies is always a challenge, both for supervisors and HR departments, because to reach the recipient, you need to meet the different needs of groups. Communication in the times of COVID-19 is a completely new competence that we had to build very quickly and after this result we think we have achieved some success in this field - says Aleksandra Oszajca, HR Director at Lufthansa Systems Poland.

The Gdańsk branch of Lufthansa Systems, one of the leading IT companies providing solutions for the aviation industry, employs over 800 people. Apart from the obvious in the form of providing convenient and secure access to its digital resources, the company also provided its employees with online training on both the change process and stress management. The Cisco Webex platform was used for both workshops.

Lufthansa Systems Poland employees unanimously admitted that internal communication during remote work is at a very high level. According to an opinion poll that was conducted in the company, 97 percent. employees declared that they felt well informed about what was going on in the company. What's even more interesting, enthusiasm goes beyond "you can work like this . "

For example, during one of the last company-wide meetings, employees asked as many as 150 questions via the messenger chat function. In the case of a traditional meeting, this would not be possible due to time restrictions - says Dariusz Przywara, President of Lufthansa Systems Poland.

Not every tool will work. It is a mistake to put only on his knowledge by employees.

Instead of investing in specialized solutions , some companies use tools available on the consumer market. Popular instant messengers support the function of group conversations, there are also many tools for sharing data and other digital resources. This approach is not stupid if we operate as a very small company and digital communication does not apply to confidential or sensitive data. Unfortunately, the use of these solutions in a larger enterprise seems highly unreasonable. Not because consumer services are badly or crookedly created, but because their creators did not plan to implement enterprise-class security. After all, they were not created for companies.

Sevenet SA is an IT company that has been supplying advanced ICT solutions for enterprises and institutions in Poland since 1997, and is undoubtedly an authority in its field. This company as a gold partner of Cisco perfectly understands the needs of its customers to have a secure communication solution, which is Cisco Webex.

Webex systems are simply secure. On the one hand, they offer encrypted communication between users, and on the other, they have rich security mechanisms of the meeting itself. An example would be blocking access to a meeting by the organizer or forcing the user to enter a password when connecting from a telephone or video conferencing system - says Rafał Chomicz, President of the Management Board of Sevenet SA

You can build great things on a solid foundation.

According to research conducted by Cisco for 89 percent. IT directors from around the world increased use of remote work meant a cultural change in their company. 87 percent admitted that maintaining a normal level of activity was a challenge for them, as was ensuring the security of the dispersed workforce.

However, the same analysis shows that the changes introduced in companies will survive not only the pandemic, but also the times that follow. Investment in solutions such as Cisco Webex - like all investments - involves costs and the need to train employees and ourselves. This, however, seems to pay back quickly , because providing manpower with flexibility at work and the ability to perform it regardless of place has a positive effect on employee comfort and productivity.

Coronavirus has made many people appreciate the value of remote work. I think that the introduction of a mixed work model in companies will be one of the more permanent changes caused by the current situation - says Przemysław Kania, CEO of Cisco Polska.

These predictions sound plausible and there are hard data behind them: in April, Webex had 500 million users worldwide, three times more than before the pandemic. A significant part of new customers intends to use this platform permanently.

We - the team at Spider's Web - know the benefits of working remotely.

We don't work in the physical editorial office and are often scattered around the world. However, thanks to convenient and secure IT tools, we can no longer imagine returning to a stationary workplace. Thanks to this, we save a lot of time and resources, while being able to work together on subsequent materials.

Undoubtedly, this model will not work in every enterprise - but we are convinced that home office is a new normality for the world. If we use the right tools, everyone benefits: management, the IT department and the employees themselves. COVID-19 has only accelerated the pace of transformation, and it may soon be that an enterprise without proper procedures and solutions for remote work will grow more slowly than it is more flexible. And, as we all know, the free market works ruthlessly. The further we drift away from trendsetters, the smaller the chance that we will survive - whether in a pandemic or after it.

* The text was created in cooperation with Cisco

The COVID-19 pandemic will one day pass. However, the remote work trend can stay with us


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