The evolving digital workplace

The new norm

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a paradigm shift in social norms on a global scale. The pandemic has forced businesses to take drastic measures such as shutting down entire office workspaces to limit community spread. As a result, most office-run businesses have adopted telecommuting practices on a full-time basis.

According to Statista, a survey on pandemic-related work trends showed that almost 50% of the respondents have never worked remotely before the pandemic. Since it started, that statistic has been flipped around, with almost half of the respondents now working remotely 5+ days of the week1. Regardless of how unprecedented the situation has been, work-from-home has clearly become the new norm for many businesses and employees around the world.

Pre-pandemic telecommuting

Telecommuting practices have been remarkably profitable for companies that transitioned to remote work in some capacity before the pandemic. Global Workplace Analytics states that companies like IBM and Sun Microsystems have saved over $50 million and $68 million respectively, while Nortel has saved $100,000 on costs for relocation per employee2. The wide-scale adoption of telecommuting has the potential to be a gold mine for corporate sustainability.

Telecommuting stats before the pandemic have shown that remote work can also bolster productivity. In a Cisco survey, 69% of employees cited higher productivity from working remotely, with improvements in timeliness, communication, work quality and more3. Telecommuting offers greater flexibility for employees, saving them the time and stress of accounting for long commutes in their working schedule.

Long-term telecommuting

The world is more than a half a year into the pandemic and remote work has already started to pay dividends. Business Wire states that in a study conducted by Prodoscore, a company that analyzes user data from Google Cloud applications, Office365, CRM systems and VoIP calling platforms, productivity has increased by almost 50% during the pandemic4. The increase in productivity coincides with an emerging trend of companies re-evaluating the need for seldom-used office workspaces. KPMG reported that nearly 70% of large company CEOs plan to downsize their office spaces5.

With increased productivity and potential savings in real-estate and relocation costs, many businesses see telecommuting as a long-term solution post-COVID. Gartner reports that 82% of company leaders would like their employees to work remotely on occasion, with more than half preferring full-time remote work going forward6. Companies like Google and Twitter have already announced long-term telecommute plans, with more companies likely to follow suit as the pandemic continues.

Refining the remote work experience

While telecommuting has become the new norm, companies have had to make on-the-fly adjustments to accommodate full-time telecommuting. For companies with outdated IT infrastructures, many of their employees are working with subpar hardware quality, which has hindered working efficiency. According to Gartner, over 54% of HR leaders indicated that poor technology and infrastructure are the main barriers to the effectiveness of remote work7.

To address this issue, businesses should reassess their IT infrastructures. Newer and faster IT upgrades are conducive to improving the work-from-home experience so that employees can get their work done with greater efficiency. General laptop upgrades such as memory and SSD upgrades will help mitigate issues related to outdated hardware. Robust hardware solutions such as low latency memory, rigorously tested network equipment and reliable storage devices are critical for upgrading data centers to facilitate high-user traffic.

An upgraded data center minimizes downtime by eliminating recurring IT issues and improving the responsiveness and reliability of IT-based applications. The upgrades will enable businesses to provide a seamless telecommuting experience for employees, leading to greater productivity.

Budget-friendly solutions

Quality IT maintenance is critical for keeping data centers up and running nonstop 24/7. With the economy reeling from the debilitating effects of the pandemic, businesses set on upgrading their IT infrastructures should prioritize high-performance data center upgrades and maintenance services that better accommodate a limited budget.

OEM products and their maintenance contracts/services are priced at a premium, which means that solely utilizing OEM products may strain company budgets to an even greater extent. Third-party maintenance (TPM) delivers technical support, extended warranties and remote monitoring with a more customer-oriented approach, at a fraction of the cost of OEM solutions/services.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms are perfect for tasks such as contract management. Manual, offline contract management can be more difficult during the pandemic when most employees are working off-premises. Cloud-based contract management platforms consolidate contract details onto a centralized interface, allowing IT managers to access important contract information anytime, anywhere. With automated alerts, a ticketing system, and a maintenance history backlog, IT managers can make the necessary adjustments to keep their IT systems running 24/7.

How Axiom can make a difference

As uncertainty looms over the pandemic, futureproofing IT infrastructures has never been of greater importance for businesses. By doing so, businesses will be able to stay more in-sync with a working culture that increasingly embraces a more telecommute-focused working environment.

With over 25 years of experience in developing hardware and software solutions, Axiom understands the difficulties of telecommuting and the importance of upgraded IT solutions and infrastructures. Axiom offers a diverse lineup of critical budget solutions featuring low-latency DDR4 memory, an assortment of SFP transceivers, ultra-fast/high-capacity SSDs/HDDs, our signature TPM platform Axiom Maintenance Services (AMS), and Axiom’s cloud-based hybrid management contract tool Cover3IT.

Upgrade your IT infrastructures today with Axiom IT solutions. Contact our team for more details on our lineup of IT infrastructure upgrades.

References
1 Arne Holst, “Change in remote work trends due to COVID-19 in the United States in 2020,” Statista, last modified July 3rd, 2020, https://statista.com/statistics/1122987/change-in-...
2 “Advantages of Agile Work Strategies For Companies” Global Workplace Analytics, accessed October 21st, 2020, https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/resources/cos...
3 Cisco Study Finds Telecommuting Significantly Increases Employee Productivity, Work-Life Flexibility and Job Satisfaction,” Cisco, accessed October 22nd, 2020, https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?a...
4 “Prodoscore Research from March/April 2020: Productivity Has Increased, Led by Remote Workers,” Business Wire, accessed October 22nd, 2020, https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200519005...
5 “KPMG Survey: Many U.S. CEOs Remain Confident Despite Challenging Environment,” KPMG, accessed October 20, 2020, https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/media/press-releases/...
6 “Gartner Survey Reveals 82% of Company Leaders Plan to Allow Employees to Work Remotely Some of the Time,” Gartner, accessed October 22nd, 2020, https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases...
7 Coronavirus in Mind: Make Remote Work Successful!” Gartner, accessed October 22nd, 2020, https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3981830/coron...

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