How Businesses Have Used Tech to Adapt to Remote Work
Once the equipment was acquired, organizations needed to make sure it could be deployed. For many, this meant boosting their existing virtual private networks (VPN) or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
"A lot of customers still use VPN," said Coutinho. "It's a valid technology, especially if you have a lot of on-prem technologies that are sitting in your data center. But making sure you have the right VPN capacity, the right encryption, there are a lot of pieces."
“A lot of our customers had to buy a lot of licenses really quickly to expand the capacity,” said Coutinho. “Now we're seeing the second phase. How do we optimize? How do we make sure our security is set up correctly? How do we make sure everyone’s clear with their audio and their video and that they’re having the right optimized network in their homes?”
Depending on the office setup, this meant a learning curve for employees. Some organizations were more prepared for the shift than others.
"It is probably more a function of the type of business that the customer is in, and whether or not they had already embraced some degree of work from home," said Weiss."We have had some customers that had zero work from home, and now obviously that was a significant challenge because they didn't even have work from home structures."
Businesses are also turning more of their attention to cybersecurity as remote operations become more standard.
“We saw a lot of interest in identity management solutions, multifactor authentication solutions, and a lot of phishing attacks” said Weiss. “It would be fantastic if we could come up with some kind of a truce with the hackers and basically say, ‘Hey, things are tough right now, could you maybe give us a break for a little while until we get back on our feet?’”
Remote Work Has Shifted Workplace Culture
In addition to the technological adjustment, employees are also adjusting to new company cultures. Becoming fluent with new communication platforms and collaboration platforms is one thing, but putting it into practice in an optimal way is also important. Businesses have been adjusting to different workflows, and that requires more touchpoints.
"I put daily checkpoints in place for team members to connect via video," said Weiss. "I think that's one of the most important things that we're going to take out of this, is the importance of video as it relates to staying connected."
The after-hours communication, through things like, virtual happy hours, has proven to be equally valuable during a time when employees have been under unique stressors both inside and outside the office.
"Let's each grab a drink of our choice and let's talk about things other than work," said Weiss. "Because that's one of the things that's the biggest thing that's missing in this environment, is that connection point with people about things that aren't necessarily work related."
Which of these new practices will be carried into the future remains to be seen, but both Weiss and Coutinho agree that it’s safe to say going to work as we remember it will likely be a thing of the past.
"This whole movement is working from home," said Coutinho. "The remote tools, the VDI, the video conferencing. It's really forced customers to think about transformation, but not in the way you would normally think about digital transformation. It's literally transforming the way we all work together, which could actually be a huge positive."