Is this the Biggest Proof of Concept in History?
We recently created a study on the effect COVID-19 has had on businesses, and here are the results…
Since the proliferation of Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS), over the past ten years or so, the debate around allowing employees to live more flexible working lives through remote working has been ongoing. In recent years Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Office 365, Teams, and Zoom are making it increasingly easier for businesses to mobilise their workforce, collaborate with their teams, and continue speaking directly to their customers from any location, on any device.
Despite this, progress has been surprisingly slow. According to the Office of National Statistics, the percentage of the UK population mainly working from home in 2019 was 5.1% compared to 4.3% in 2015 with only 30% of people having “ever” worked from home.*
That is until now, in June 2020 at the height of the Pandemic the ONS stated 49% of workers reported working from home at some point in the seven days to 14 June, up from 41% the previous week.* As we head into a second lockdown we would like to think that businesses will be better equipped to work from home.
Is this the biggest Proof of Concept in history?
If you asked the average Financial Services IT department 9 months ago to enable every member of staff to work from home tomorrow, or a retailer to close high street stores and transition to a 100% virtual shopping experience within days, they would have told you it can’t be done!. Yet this is exactly what they were asked to do. (and they did it)
These businesses- thousands of them, were forced into the biggest Proof of Concept in history. While many would agree “The Concept ” has been proven, we should now ask what we have learned and what we will do differently?
It’s time to ask yourself some questions.
How confident are you that the platform is scalable enough, secure enough, reliable enough, easy to use, cost-effective at scale? How prepared are you for when something like this happens again?
• How has this changed your business?
• Will this change your approach to remote working?
• Will you reduce office space?
• Does this mean you can now hire from a broader talent pool if the location is no longer an issue?
• Will you offer more flexible working options in the future?
Will we go back to how we worked before?
No-one knows for sure but I believe the short answer is probably not. In a recent Netpremacy survey of UK knowledge workers 82.6% said that pre – COVID-19 lockdown, they were expected in the office every day
Fast forward to now.
47.8% said that they would be allowed to choose how to split their time between working from home and the office.
39.1% said that they would now be working from home permanently. Leaving just 13% of the respondents having to go back to the office full time when the pandemic is over.
This is a big shift and if we listen to the 95.7% who prefer working from home and the 60.9% who felt like they were more productive, then, I believe the majority will have to offer more flexible home working practices in the future.
And those that don’t?…
Well, at the very least, now more than ever, they understand how SaaS and the Cloud platforms such as Google Workspace, Teams, and Zoom, can help prepare for an ever-increasingly unpredictable future.
In our whitepaper ‘Three ways Google Workspace helps business thrive and plan,’ we outline how our customers have been using Google Workspace to thrive throughout this pandemic as well as plan for an increasingly uncertain future.
Dan Sullivan is a Cloud and SaaS technology veteran currently working with Google Cloud Premier Partner and Google 2019 Work Transformation Partner of the year Netpremacy. With more than 20 years of technology experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses deliver game-changing business and technology transformations.
If you would like to learn more about how Google Workspace can help your company adapt and thrive, please contact Dan on: firstname.lastname@example.org