Modern Workplace Trends in 2020 Affect Technology Decisions

The remote workforce and the cloud. In the context of business and modern workplace trends, neither one is new. But for the remainder of 2020 and beyond, remote workers supported via the cloud are increasingly impacting the technology decisions businesses must make to stay competitive.

Or in some cases with the stinging impacts of Covid-19, these two trends — more than any others — are dictating the make or break decisions many companies are considering just to stay in business.

The remote workforce… an increasing necessity

The coronavirus pandemic won’t last forever — hopefully. But in necessitating the work-at-home model and the technology that supports it, the remote workforce has become a bigger centerpiece of the modern workplace.

For many businesses and their employees, working remotely has been triggering a transformation in the past few years anyway. Before the pandemic, the trend was already gaining momentum due to shifting norms that are both cultural and generational. Thank millennials and the generations who’ve followed them.

After all, these generations have been raised on technology, most of it mobile, and they’re accustomed to it. And with so many endlessly emerging mobile platforms and apps at their fingertips, they will continue to reshape the culture of the remote workforce.

Over the next five years, in fact, one workforce projection says 75% of workers will be millennials who are considered “digital natives.”

Ongoing, the trends these generations set in this reshaped culture will raise the tech-driven levels of availability, security and productivity as well as mobility. For the productivity aspect, at least, the results of a June survey by ZipRecruiter provide a current glimpse.

Of workers surveyed, 80% said working remotely has either enhanced or had little impact on their output. Technology also allows employees to always be available, with security as a constant backdrop. By more than 50%, employers in the same survey also said they see productivity gains from their remote workers.

Interestingly, too, and despite the Covid-19 situation, ZipRecruiter’s survey results show remote workers as being happier and less stressed. Moreover, employees said they’ve seen increases in employee retention and decreases in absenteeism when employees are remote.

Now because of Covid-19, the volume of employees working remotely has increased more quickly across the cultural and generational board.

Given this shift and the pandemic’s sudden impact on supply chains, consumer demand, and how businesses position and offer products and services, businesses have had to be more agile than they ever anticipated. They’ve had to pivot rapidly, adjusting workforce strategies and policies almost on the fly.

Put in perspective, even while things like virtual meetings and data sharing have been disrupting how people work remotely for some time now, the pandemic has made such disruption more necessary on a larger scale. With notable success (go back to ZipRecruiter’s survey results).

Looking past Covid-19, many businesses are now saying they plan to adopt the remote workforce model permanently, offering it to employees as an option or even a standard practice. Add that a remote workforce reduces costs for office space and equipment, and the remote workforce is quickly climbing on the list of modern workforce trends.

One potential downside

A potential downside of supporting a larger remote workforce is that it can put pressure on revenue and cash flow, impacting IT spend.

Before Covid-19 changed everything, office environments dictated a business’s physical technology infrastructure. These foundations are mostly premise-based, perhaps with a portion of cloud-based systems and apps and a secure external VPN for remote access as needed.

Businesses that have rarely relied on a cloud-based infrastructure to support workers should therefore consider cloud-managed services. (If your existing premise infrastructure does include portion of cloud-based systems and apps, that’s a good first transition step.)

Turning to the cloud

It’s a given that businesses must maintain a smooth working relationship with customers. It’s also clear that the need for communication and collaboration between teams outside of a physical office has grown exponentially.

Knowing, then, that the workplace of 2020 must be reimagined, moving to a cloud-based system allows businesses to:

  • Improve remote customer interaction through cloud transactions and ecommerce.
  • Meet the expanding demand for collaboration solutions for remote workers.
  • Improve internet connectivity and security of critical data.
  • Reduce physical technical infrastructure and IT overhead.

Throughout the remainder of 2020, cloud adoption strategies will influence more than 50% of IT outsourcing deals. Organizations are pursuing these strategies because of the multiple values offered by cloud services, such as agility, scalability, cost benefits, innovation and business growth.

More so with the uncertain timeline of Covid-19, many businesses will continue to make these strategies a heightened priority.

Yet even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, cloud technologies were on the way to becoming a major investment for all kinds of organizations. The appeal of a cloud solution is that it can help a business reduce costs, reduce risks, ensure server availability and plan for disaster recovery.

Now in making their technology platform decisions, many businesses are looking to the cloud first and foremost in support of time-to-value impact via speed of implementation.

Visual Edge IT can help you make the transition to a cloud-managed service while keeping your data secure and your employees productive and available. Especially employees who are increasingly working outside the office.

Contact us to schedule a consultation. We’ll help you determine which services are right for you as you usher in Modern Workplace Trends for your organization.