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Blog · 05 Aug 2021

Get ready for the new way of working

It's been a huge disruption to the way we work, live and play. How do you prepare for moving into a hybrid way of working?

Roy Woolnough
Digital adoption specialist

In the coming months, will you be permanently working from home?

Travelling into the office one or two days a week? Or maybe staggering your hours and shift patterns to accommodate new working environments? Preparing your devices and workstations to embrace a seamless transition is key.

Here are some ways to prepare for the new way of working.

Learn to accept change and change quickly

Since early 2020 you’ve probably been forced to adapt to functioning in a new way. Lockdowns, online meetings, home schooling, social distancing, isolation, and technical issues are some of the things you’ll have been affected by. With many offices starting to open you’ll have to adjust your habits again to working smarter, commuting, scheduling more meetings and short-notice changes – like school or office closures due to someone testing positive.

Become more tech savvy

At the beginning of lockdown you quickly had to adjust to working between mobile and desktop devices. You’ll have had the joys of searching for the best place to get a reliable internet connection and the best background for your video calls. Add to that the fact you were probably feeling self-conscious about how you looked on camera, this would have inevitably led to searching the internet for a better web cam, lighting and headset or microphone. You may’ve even been one of the many who watched the ever-increasing YouTube videos about how to look good on video calls or researched how to optimise your PC resources for a better meeting experience. Undoubtably, you’ll have been using more collaboration tools to meet, chat, share and call colleagues. You’ll now see a need to quickly swap a meeting from your mobile device to your desktop, or even a meeting room device. You should be setting up your remote work area to look as professional as your office location. Video meetings are going to be the norm, so not having video on, or sitting in shadow with a scruffy background just isn’t going to be acceptable anymore.

Prepare your systems

Make sure all your devices have the latest apps installed and updated to the latest version so you can switch seamlessly from one to the other. It’s also important to check you have the necessary encryption, VPN and firewall protocols installed that your organisation requires. Try to become disciplined with keeping documents in the cloud. This is vital for accessing and collaborating on documents on different devices. You should also ensure that a suitable back-up process is in place. If you lose your laptop or a device breaks down, you’ll be able to carry on where you left off.

Things are getting smarter

You’ll start to see more virtual and augmented reality with artificial intelligence in the workplace, allowing people to work smarter and be more productive. Anyone who’s worked with collaboration tools or cloud software suites recently will have noticed that almost every week — or at least every month — there’s some new feature available, from virtual backgrounds to virtual assistants and chat bots. There’s even technology available now to tell you if there are too many people in a meeting room. It’s worth getting familiar with these technologies now so you can grow with them as updates and improvements are released.

Re-evaluate your time

You’ll start to see people’s calendars look a little different when scheduling meetings and you’ll need to think differently when scheduling your own day. Instead of your day being booked up with back-to-back meetings, you’ll need to block out time for travel, breaks and school pick-ups etc. For example, you might spend a couple of hours in the morning working and in a meeting or two, then travel to the office for a brainstorm, then to a coffee shop to send some emails before heading home again for another online meeting. Be sure you block out travel time and breathing space between meetings, so others don’t schedule calls in those gaps between events.

Build better connections with people

The pandemic has left a lot of us feeling isolated and disconnected. As things start to move forward and a new hybrid way of working unfolds, try to find long-term solutions to socialising with people in person and virtually. Use video during calls and schedule time for a face-to-face catchup to help with your wellbeing.

In the end do what’s right for you. Find a way of working that suits your organisation and gives you the flexibility to navigate these choppy waters ahead. Be prepared to be flexible, open minded and willing to embrace change.

Learn how to get the most out of your online meetings at our support centre or talk to your account manager.

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