Deep Dive: Technology and Remote Work
The link between technology and remote work
From the perspective of integrators and end-users, technology can play very different roles. Remote work has played a significant role in how the labor-force adapted to the pandemic in 2020; as AV integrators, we’re interested in how that change has positively affected the end-user, and how it can be improved through the use of technology.
Although we don’t like to speculate, we think this trend isn’t going away anytime soon. That is why we haven’t stopped watching trends and technology that help the remote workforce thrive.
Hybrid and staggered schedules are the next best alternative, but the need for the right technology is still not going away.
There are two conflicting opinions. One is that once the majority of the public is vaccinated, life will trend back to normal, NYC won’t look like a ghost town anymore, and employees will fill those empty office spaces once again. Another is that remote work – if proven effective – will give employees flexibility, reduce overhead costs for organizations, and continue to allow a large part of their workforce to remain remote.
Key Findings: The role of technology for remote workers
A survey from Commercial Integrator analyzed IT decision makers in organizations as to how their organization adapted to COVID-19, and a second survey that surveyed integrators.
The survey focused on three major factors:
- How remote work has changed, how it’s expected to change post-COVID-19
- How organizations are changing based on remote work.
- The type of technology that organizations are adopting to support remote workers
Although these questions are expected, it’s important to keep on top of late adopters, and the continuous changes in navigation.
Results: IT-Decision Makers
90% of respondents saw a rise in remote workers because of the pandemic.
63.6% of respondents had more than 75% of their workforce working remotely during COVID-19.
The majority of respondents noted that after the pandemic, their organizations would be seeing a rise in part-time remote, and full-time remote workers.
79.1% of respondents considered their organization to be responsible for providing their employees with equipment/tech when working remotely.
Equipment provided mostly included laptops, desktop displays, headphones, and cables.
Respondents also plan to make big changes once employees return to the office.
59.1% of respondents say their organizations have considered social distancing measures when returning to the office.
58% suggested that their organizations are considering hybrid/staggered schedules with work from home and in-office on certain days.
In whole, IT key-decision makers are making big changes due to the pandemic. Remote technology is expected to remain a priority after the pandemic is over.
Results – AV Integrators
67% of Integrators said that they’ve provided technology for customer employees to use in their own homes.
Equipment provided includes laptops, headphones, headsets, cables being the most common factors.
Integrators said that they’ve installed desktop displays, microphones, and in-home videoconferencing and collaboration systems.
The office still comes into play, integrators are installing new systems that compliment remote workers. This includes new collaboration platforms, communications platforms, networking equipment, and cloud-based applications being the most common.
Videoconferencing systems have been the most installed.
Only 29.7% of integrators note that they offer any work-from-home packages they sell for customers that have remote workers.
The workplace evidently will change. Organizations are still navigating COVID-19 and we still see that technology is increasingly important. Even without the virus, the need for enabling remote workers to work effectively and comfortably is still a challenge.
Remote work packages may need to be implemented going into 2021. Perhaps organizations are not yet ready to go all-in with remote work. It appears as if we still have late adopters who are torn between investing in technology and finding the best way to enable remote workers.
VisionPoint has been keeping a close eye on these trends. The best way we serve our customers is by remaining objective, and highly adaptive to needs. Throughout 2020 we began to explore touchless tech options, and various solutions and collaboration platforms that make collaboration easier during the pandemic. This includes UNIFY which allows for multi-platform dialing, and even solutions for educational institutes which are dealing with a whole other challenge.