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Covid-19: A real opportunity for business change!

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There is no doubt that Covid-19 is causing headaches for organisations across the world. Organisations that don’t currently entertain work from home, remote working or who are reluctant to, are suddenly being forced to address the challenge, and in many cases, without proper or any planning.

Whilst there are clear concerns around Security and Governance and Teams lifecycle management, and how to address Adoption & Change Management (ACM), all of which can be resolved easily, I want to look at the wider impact of the situation.

If you don’t make a mess of rolling out Teams, then the Covid-19 situation is the perfect time to start moving towards a task or results driven model for your business, there will always be certain roles that require bums on seats yes, but most roles these days can support a large amount of remote working. This is a real opportunity for organisations to take a long hard look at how they operate, start thinking about how much you really need your staff to be physically in the office? Think about how they interact together whilst apart and whether that can help them in their daily job. Most issues that arise about collaboration at work are because people don’t communicate efficiently. This period will show and highlight how it really needs to work. Take advantage of it… your staff are unlikely to be able to pop over to their colleague because they can see them at their desk, so they will need to learn to work more collaboratively using the technology available. This is a worrying time for businesses and staff alike, but it is also a massive chance to reimagine your business and reshape for the future. If you are going to be forced to have staff work from home over the next few months, capitalise on it.

Years ago, I wrote an article that was very tongue in cheek and about how technology will save the day. http://tecchange.com/communication-will-save-the-world/ Part of that article goes on to describe the future of working from home, the change in the role of the office in society and how people will communicate in the future. It would appear that in reality, this position in some form, is about to be forced upon much of the working world.

Covid-19 will make very little impact on my team, or indeed our business, other than some face to face meetings becoming video-based ones, but that is about it. We already collaborate heavily, share information, use video for nearly all our conversations and work openly. Give your users the ability to be creative and allow, even encourage, them to find a natural way of working that enables them to get to the conclusion/ output, faster.

Throw the opportunity open to your workforce to get feedback on their major challenges and use Teams and Office 365 to address those challenges, find new ways of working. It is a golden opportunity, but be warned… if you decide not to apply the basic Security & Governance and deliver some form of ACM then you run the risk of a poor user experience and working from home is no good, if you lose that reputation, you will be playing catch up with your competitors for a good number of years.

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