As the wave of remote work continues to redefine the path of corporate communication, large and small to medium enterprises have had to restructure how they operate and do business to remain compliant.
No business – large or small – has been spared from rethinking and adopting new ways to operate; those who were unable to expedite their adaption were inevitably disrupted.
The acronym WFH (Work from Home) has become popular within many industries – even those that were not previously synonymous with remote work. I remember the numerous calls of consultation that were coming through at the first announcement of the lockdown – the panic within companies to find an overnight solution to their technical challenges and their quest to find a sustainable solution.
Today, many companies have adopted some of the most effective communication solutions – from Cisco Webex to Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack – these have all allowed for a seamless transition.
Future office desk
Given the sudden shift in workplace culture, companies need to adapt or risk being disrupted. One of the defining aspects of our times is the rapid pace at which digitisation is happening. This has paved way for transformation of what was previously just a norm and has become a pivotal pillar as we devise our way into the 4IR.
While there may still be need for physical office occupation in some places, many organisations have seized this opportunity to fully adopt a WFH open policy for some of their departments and encourage telecommuting going forward. This will bring an end to the traditional office desk and crowded rooms, thereby designating every home, hotel room or holiday resort with fully-functional internet connectivity as an office. With the use of VPNs and other secure means of remote access, employees would be able to carry out their work from any geographical location and meet the diverse demands of the modern workspace.
The collaboration forerunner
While the present workforce has been at the helm of this culture, working with various collaboration tools and testing their effectiveness for various industries, the next generation of leaders and workers will have the potential of taking this new culture and escalate it to greater heights. With Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), the workplace of the future will be entirely alien to that of today. Although face-to-face communication would still be a top priority, virtual presence and other arising technologies will enable advanced collaboration. Adept users of these technologies will be in demand and still be key to the success of many companies. Thus, the need for continued learning and upskilling of employees in any industry remains a priority.
*John Munjoma is a networks and cybersecurity professional, based in South Africa, focussing on empowering upcoming network and security engineers through training.