With unprecedented numbers of employees working from home,
it’s widely acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has been the driver behind
disruptive change in the ways we work, learn and live. In a time when
technology was already developing at a rapid pace, that single event
accelerated enterprise IT roadmaps by at least a couple of years. The question
now is, what does this massive shift mean long-term for the enterprise workforce?
Recognizing and embracing workforce differences
As we’ve seen this year, the ubiquity of mobile technologies
for our phones, laptops and tablets means the “where” of work does not require
spending every day in a traditional office. Within an increasingly diverse
workforce consisting of multiple generations, each generation brings its own
set of expectations and attitudes about technology. This workplace flexibility
appeals to many younger employees, as well as older workers who find it
advantageous for attending to family matters that would otherwise take them
away from the office.
There is no going back to the way we were. The tools and
resources that enable individuals and teams to communicate with each other from
different locations will become even more crucial in the years ahead.
Speaking as a Baby Boomer and with more than 30 years in the industry, I’ve seen how each generation has developed communication preferences, and how succeeding generations are quick to adopt the ‘latest and greatest’ technologies. These changes are generally positive and at times disruptive as they introduce an entirely new dynamic and challenges for employers. Anywhere, anytime, anyhow communications have become the norm. Connectivity must be effortless, ubiquitous and facilitate the easy exchange of communication and ideas.
Adapting to new environments are more important than ever
of “the only thing constant is change” has never been truer than in
today’s digital age. Change is happening faster, increasingly hard to predict,
and is forcing a dramatic re-thinking of the relationship between people and
technology. Do we resist change and risk being left behind in the trash heap of
obsolete thinking and technologies? Or, do we adapt and embrace the change,
channeling the resulting new technologies to our advantage?
It is not the
strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. — Unknown
Adaptability is the key to survival in this
technology-driven world. It enables us to focus on new circumstances and stay
current while facilitating professional and personal growth. Combined with
insight and keeping a fresh perspective, being adaptive allows us to manage the
change before or as it happens.
What does this mean for IT leaders?
When the pandemic hit, IT leaders reacted quickly—acquiring
large amounts of hardware, software, bandwidth and collaboration services to
meet the sudden need for remote working solutions.
Since then, IT leaders should take stock, look at what they
support, and determine what their employees—and their organizations—need now
and in the future. They must balance the demands of multiple generations while
navigating the challenges of operational responsibilities, budget pressures and
customer expectations. They can’t do it alone.
Fortunately, workers and IT leaders are showing an openness
to bridging generational gaps. This “new normal” of remote work and real-time
collaboration from anywhere has brought employees of all generations together.
This is also an ideal time for IT leaders to engage a
technology partner who understands the complexities of today’s workplace and
how the right solutions, aligned with business strategies, can help close the
generation gap and position the firm to make significant gains in productivity.
For example, software has become a powerful enabler,
connecting disparate technologies through an integrated user interface deployed
in the cloud. Seek out a Unified Communications as a Services (UCaaS)
provider that delivers applications through a single user interface. This
allows your IT teams to bring together a diverse workforce, remain competitive
and drive innovation while boosting productivity and enhancing your customer’s
experience through streamlined communication and collaboration.
The way we work has changed. Employees and companies
together must continue to adapt. IT leaders are ready to bring together multiple
generations of workers—and their workstyles—and lead them into the future to
realize benefits for the business. Cloud-based UCaaS is the enabler for today’s
workforce while setting the stage to support the future of work through
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