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Fast transformation of work environments due to COVID-19 crisis

The Covid-19 crisis has created shock-waves in all aspects of our lives, in particular, the workplace. It’s safe to say that workplaces will never be the same again. Starting with the very word, “workplace”, previously it was a place where people traveled to work, now is blended with the places where we eat, sleep, exercise, play, and socialize. It’s impacted how people learn, work, and socialize in so many ways.

On a positive note, this crisis has created an opportunity to design something that many organizations were slowly trying to embrace. Many were scared even to contemplate it. From an organizational perspective, the crisis is a valuable opportunity to change the way we work, benefiting the business and the precious people that work in them. Thus, bringing us to the subject of “Fast transformation of the work environment”. By digitalizing our communications and putting in place tools for remote collaboration, we can redesign how our employees converse with each other, as well as with clients, customers, and vendors. And if done well, this can potentially be a significant winning point for success.

Switch to fully digital working environments

Post-virus winners will be the organizations that have quickly recognized the change and have the courage to jettison their old paradigms and start afresh. Many organizations have promptly figured out how to adapt and how to serve customers and clients remotely. From public schools remote-learning, streaming fitness classes, to tele-medicine in hospitals, every industry has accelerated its own digital working environment transformation.

Leaders need to prepare, setting expectations for the ways of working that will benefit the organization down the road so that employees can focus on the strategic business priorities of the future.

Many organizations will see and sense the opportunity to capitalize on the cost savings by switching to full digital working environments, thus reducing their operational costs.

Switching to fully digital working environments doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s not something to check off a list, but instead a mindset that becomes part of the organization’s culture and experience.

Let us now cover the key elements that bring about the best results as part of this digitalization.

STRONG COMMUNICATIONS

Companies must endeavor to remove all roadblocks and provide more streamlined information flow across the organization. Effective communication is an integral part of a well-performing group of people.

Many organizations have already embraced technology by using off the shelf communication and collaboration tools, reinforced by quick training sessions for their employees. People are using video communication more often, and organizations should create a governance structure that will remove all barriers and empower frequent interactions with local decision-making.

TRUST AND TRANSPARENCY

Leaders and employees must understand and support each other like never before. With transparency and positive criticism being championed to bring about the best results. Additionally, it doesn’t have to be all about the negative side of the spectrum (i.e. problems/challenges). Positive transparency is equally, if not more, powerful and important. Public recognition of excellence amongst our teams will earn even greater trust and loyalty from employees.

Leaders who seize this mindset, sooner rather than later, will be better prepared to engage employees for the long term, regardless of what is happening in the external environment.

FOCUS ON RESULTS

Let us be honest and clear; change is hard! Ideally, leaders need to champion “ways-of-working” that will help the organization down the road, rather than stagnate and hold it back. Employees must focus on the strategic business priorities of the future.

Instead of worrying about how employees spend their time, how they do their tasks, and the time it takes to get the job done, organizations should be focused more on the results and the value delivered from their work. i.e. the outcomes.

Motivating employees to perform will require modeling and measurement of their outcomes and being clear on those metrics. Companies must set expectations for what drives organizational priorities and goals rather than discrete tasks.

THE FUTURE

We will see the end of this Coronavirus episode, and many people will desire to get back to their old working habits in their original working environments. Still, many will want to continue working in “the new way”, thus creating a beautiful mix of old and new, leveraging the best of both worlds.

We never know what the future will bring. We don’t know when and where there will be another crisis. If we wish to succeed, we should always be prepared, knowing how to adapt fast. Learning from previous experiences, and the unique challenges that present themselves, we can be ready to take advantage of the changes that come.

AT IT Labs

For us as a team, all this came more naturally, and we adapted overnight. We could even say, almost instantly. Since day one, we already had our online digital tools and processes set up, working remotely and in mixed teams with our remote colleagues, clients, and partners. With an accumulated wealth of experience, knowledge, skills, the palette of remote managed services we offer, and the range of clients we support, we even helped many of them transform and switch to a fully digital working environment.

We take pride in who we are, what we are about, and how we can adapt to change fast. The fast transformation of our work environment is part of what we are. It’s in our bones. We will continue to learn and adapt and teach others to do it as well as we do. So reach out and find out more.

Vladimir Ilievski,

Co-Founder and Managing Partner of IT Labs

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