It’s hard to believe that we have been living with a global pandemic for almost a year.
It seems like just yesterday the world was scrambling to move everyone home as lockdowns became one of the “new normals” across the globe. Yet, less than one year later, the news of a vaccine that will hopefully rid the world of this terrible virus is already being delivered to several countries, with far more to come.
However, even with a light at the end of our collective tunnel, the question becomes: will the vaccine simply change the world back to what it was?
No. It won’t. And that’s a good thing.
Of course, the vaccine will alleviate the stress for all—hopefully eliminating restrictions and precautionary social measures—and that’s something that everyone wants. What I’m referring to is the dream that workers will just magically flood back into offices, sweep the dust from desks and desk phones alike, and pretend that 2020 never really happened—literally living up to the adage of “old habits die hard.”
For decades, organizations were predicated on the notion that offices and cubicles were the only way that business could flourish—the concept of “face time” and the need to see people sitting in a particular space typing madly away was how everything was collectively measured.
The concept of the office space from just one year ago is, in fact, gone forever. It had its day in the sun, but the sun set the moment the world realized that Unified Communications paired with advanced network connectivity meant “work-from-anywhere” literally meant—well, anywhere.
This also resulted in yet another realization: if people can work from anywhere, then talent can be hired from anywhere. And if talent can be hired from anywhere, then why are offices set up the way they are? That too must now evolve.
This is one of the most profound moments in business history—and we all need to embrace it.
As 2021 and beyond begin to emerge from the pandemic darkness, a new age of enlightenment is about to follow. Cloud communications such as advanced UC, networking and so much more will be re-sculpted to mirror the world order.
From a physical office perspective, of course people will return; humans by nature are social creatures and crave face-to-face interaction. The difference will be that people will adapt to evolving office spaces where hot-desking and hoteling along with small meeting rooms will be the new norm, all built to accommodate occasional office visits for important in-person meetings. This alone will impact the size of offices, along with the need for more robust infrastructure to allow for this new interactive model.
This new hybrid model of office space and working-from-home will again force organizations to turn to new and innovative cloud technologies to master their own domains.
Productivity is now an absolute—measurable only through the combined analytics from a plethora of systems across the entirety of corporate infrastructure. The tools required will evolve, new types of reports will become commonplace, and data will be the single greatest driver of success.
So here we all are: a world united in its fight against a virus, paired with a bright new future ahead. People have proven that they can overcome adversity no matter how dire—and emerge on the other side, ready to tackle the world head-on no mater what it throws back at us.
2021 will be better. Business will be better. We will all be better.