The coronavirus pandemic appears to be lessening its impact in most parts of the world, and that is a welcome relief to areas of our lives that have been shaken by the devastation it has wrought for almost 18 months. The impact the virus had on our work lives can not be understated, and effects of this will be present for months, maybe even years, to come.
However, the idea that our offices and work lives will return to ‘normal’, whatever normal might mean, is something of a fantasy. So if you happen to be concerned that your intentions to alter your business model and approach to team management may have been for nothing, think again.
Yes, the COVID-19 situation led to many of us working remotely and in many ways far smarter than previously. Indeed many, perhaps even all, of us have perhaps been pleasantly surprised at just how much can be accomplished with the help of the technical resources that can aid our work-day, wherever we happen to be conducting and experiencing it.
This won’t end overnight and many companies are still very much looking to shift operations away from standard ‘in-office’ protocols to a more fluid dynamic technique that is in keeping with the world we live in now.
Team Communication Will Always Be Key
The concept of a traditional office is definitely an idea rooted in the past, and while the coronavirus fades to nothing but a memory, the resulting period of working from home will not.
Clearly, working remotely DOES have its drawbacks and there are issues that must be avoided but luckily this can be achieved with any of the best team communication apps, which are designed to make the process as smooth and resistant to issues (man-made or otherwise) as well as being fit for purpose in 2021.
Communication apps are there to help manage your team and the processes that are the backbone of your company’s day to day operations.
This means anything from an effective email system for both internal and external communication to organizational tools that manage your work processes and daily calendars as well as relevant measurement tools and data analysis apparatus.
In short, a communication app is almost like the office within the office. The best in the business will be compatible with all relevant services and security-conscious as well as adaptable to scaling up needs.
When it comes to the best providers of these services chief among the big players are Spike, whose modern approach to email, which pitches the communication somewhere closer to that of a messaging service and edging towards social media approaches towards a ‘feed’ style operation.
Their outside of the box approach is fresh and helps you rethink the direction you might have previously geared yourself towards in a positive way.
You then have the warhorses of Gmail and Microsoft Teams, somewhat old-school but solid in their respective approaches, but nonetheless dependable. Reliable without being spectacular, and that may well be why so many of us opt for their services.
Slack is another player in the space that’s grown significantly from its origins as a more gaming-based system to one that many offices have adopted.
The Future Office
There were some, even before the coronavirus took hold, who were convinced that most of us would be working away from our HQ offices by 2021, and others who felt that kind of model wasn’t sustainable, not least from a work/life balance standpoint.
The truth lies probably somewhere between the two. In the coming years, it’s likely that a large percentage of the work market will remote work for portions of the week, and capsule working could still be a clever way for companies to manage the conundrum of office space costs.
Indeed that’s why a great deal of the digital communication we rely upon must be backed up by the quality, security and speed of the conversations we have. Be that via chat, calls or video conferencing (something we all got to spend a lot of time getting used to over the past year and a half). In other words, if we can’t have productive in-person interactions, or they are reduced greatly, then we sure as hell need to be able to have them in other ways.
What won’t go out of fashion is the need to be able to manage work operations in as smooth and free-flowing a way as possible. So while employees may float in and out of communal office areas, the work they do and the communication they have both up and down the food chain, will be entirely app and digital-based.
It’s not so much that the individuals who make up your company will have to all be in one place, it’s the resource and output that must be better centralized, a hub where all points lead, like veins pumping in and out of a healthy business-based heart.