How COVID-19 has redefined the traditional workspace
The global pandemic brought many changes to the way we live and work. Aside from social distancing and restrictions on our interactions with each other, there was an immediate shift to working from home for many people. Twelve months on, businesses are still adjusting to having much of their team working from home and the challenges it brings.
Technology has been quick to adapt and there have been many innovations designed to help the workforce manage this change. Digital transformation has been front and centre, as software and app developers ramped up the roll out of new features to capitalise on the sharp rise in demand. Businesses had to bring planned upgrades and technology roll outs forward to enable their teams to work together in new ways.
From virtual desktops and Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) to more AI and use of video in the workplace, technology is redefining where and how people work. Here are just some of the ways that COVID-19 is redefining the traditional workspace.
Virtual desktops and Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS)
Technology has come a long way from the days of virtual desktops. In the past, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) required highly skilled IT teams to manage everything including hardware, software, licensing, security and deployment across the business.
WaaS technology has simplified this process by providing a complete solution that includes application management, security, anti-virus protection, data storage and back-up in a virtual cloud environment. The advantage of this solution is its simplicity. WaaS delivers accessibility to smaller businesses and reduced the need for additional costly IT resources to manage and deploy across the organisation. The availability of WaaS also enables employees to bring their own device onto the network for more convenience and reducing operating costs.
Adoption of AI technology in the workplace
There’s no doubt that the pace of adoption of AI technology has increased as a result of the pandemic. Business processes have had to change and adapt quickly and advanced technology like AI and machine learning has helped facilitate this change.
AI in the workplace is helping to streamline processes through automation. It reduces the need for humans to complete repetitive administrative tasks and frees up resources for more creative work. Already this technology is being used in the workplace across the systems that power human resources, marketing and legal support.
Data fuels AI and with so much more data being produced and stored at work, AI will be able to learn and grow more quickly.
Video and virtual reality for team connectivity
Innovation in video conferencing also moved rapidly thanks to COVID-19. As businesses moved quickly onto Zoom and Microsoft Teams to stay connected it became clear that video, combined with other emerging technology, could help teams work together and businesses to function efficiently outside of the office. This is critical as working from home continues and the trend towards smaller satellite offices located outside of larger headquarters gains popularity.
Video technology and advances in augmented reality and virtual reality is also enabling businesses to host video conferences in virtual environments, complete with life-like avatars positioned around a conference table. This is changing the way teams interact for meetings, remote learning, training and even recruitment of new team members.
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has had an immediate and lasting impact on the traditional workspace. People, teams and businesses have had to adapt quickly to work remotely, in virtual environments and almost exclusively online. The pandemic has turned developers and companies into early adopters of new technology and delivered new opportunities for the way we work.
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