The Future of Work is here and now, and organisations need to think even more about people, collaboration and innovation.
Remote work is an accelerated trend and an essential consideration for businesses today. In the transition into a post-pandemic world, working from home (WFH) – whether in a hybrid or completely remote format – is evolving into new norms. This has clear benefits, such as reducing commute times, increasing productivity and providing a better work-life (or some say life-work) balance. However, the WFH trend also comes with people challenges, such as lack of social interaction, difficulty in collaboration and blurred work-life boundaries.
Today’s organisations need to digitalise to enable flexible and collaborative work, provide fast and secure access to corporate databases, as well as equip employees with the necessary mobile devices to work productively wherever they are. They need to invest in digital infrastructure, cybersecurity and training to support remote work.
Embracing digitalisation is at the heart of this new norm as businesses determine the right benefit-cost equilibrium. Digitalisation enhances efficiency, improves access to information, reduces costs, fosters innovation, and drives business growth. It starts with adopting and integrating digital technologies to transform traditional processes and systems into digital formats. This makes digitised documents and related materials easier to share, improves tracking and protection of records, and enables simpler information gathering. This is the Future of Work.
American industrialist Henry Ford once said, “You can take my factories, burn up my buildings, but give me my people and I’ll build the business right back again.”
People are indeed each company’s greatest asset. They are the ones who drive growth, innovation, and profitability. Therefore, it is essential to prioritise their safety and well-being in the workplace. Beyond providing a conducive work environment, organisations should also make taking care of their physical and psychological wellness at the core of their policies, procedures, and practices.
As an example, StarHub holds town halls to provide open and transparent updates and answer questions about business and people matters. We also support remote working by letting employees purchase WFH equipment. A company-wide mental wellness programme provides on-demand mental wellness resources, webinars, and an app where staff can reach out to a counsellor for one-on-one support. To combat online meeting fatigue, we have a “no meeting on Thursday afternoon” policy.
Collaboration is crucial for success in remote or hybrid working environments, where teams are spread across different locations and even different time zones. Effective collaboration enables remote workers to work together efficiently, communicate effectively, and achieve their goals.
When remote workers collaborate effectively, they can leverage each other’s strengths and skills, divide tasks and work concurrently to get more done in a shorter time. By working together virtually, they can pool their knowledge and expertise to make informed decisions, leading to better outcomes for the team.
Collaborating remotely also connects team members, building trust and strengthening relationships so that they can better help and support one another.
Organisations need to embrace digitalisation and incorporate technologies to make the post-pandemic way of working a success.
Every mobile worker needs connectivity and the right tools to connect to the corporate network.
Connectivity must be fast, reliable and secure. For instance, internet access is a must for those working from home or are on the move, transiting between home and office, or in between meeting locations.
In addition, all devices need to be secure. Devices need to be updated with the latest security patches, a necessary evil that can be a time-consuming process if done manually.
The number of company-issued mobile devices in the workplace will grow. One way to better manage costs is to consider the device leasing model. Besides lowering the total cost of ownership, leasing also promotes sustainability.
For instance, StarHub has a fully managed device lifecycle management solution that ensures all devices are built according to the customer’s requirements and delivered to ready to run. The solution encompasses device management, technical support, shipping, warehousing, and logistics. This means that StarHub will take care of repairs, pick-up and return services, and provide a courtesy device loan during repairs.
Zero touch provisioning
Managing a vast number of devices is enabled by StarHub’s zero-touch provisioning. The solution lets organisations easily deploy new devices and manage applications, content, service, and security. Whether it’s implementing a new security control or enforcing internet access, zero-touch provisioning makes it much simpler for IT managers to configure devices online.
With remote access comes the need for security to protect mobile devices as well as the corporate network. Consider a mobile threat defence (MTD) solution, such as what StarHub has partnered Zimperium zIPS mobile intrusion prevention system to provide on-device protection by leveraging advanced machine learning. The app detects both known and unknown threats by analysing deviations to a mobile device’s various system parameters. What’s best is that it provides protection even when the device is not connected to a network.
Preparing for the future of work
The Future of Work is all about digitalisation and creating workspaces that are adaptive, flexible and responsive to the needs of the remote and hybrid workforce.
It is exciting and packed with potential but requires a shift in the mindset of both employers and employees to adapt to new technologies, work arrangements, and skills.
Organisations that embrace new technologies and flexible work arrangements will thrive in a rapidly changing world. By prioritising employee well-being, collaboration and innovation, they can create a workplace that is not only productive and profitable but also fulfilling and purposeful.
By Tan Kit Yong, Head of StarHub Enterprise Business Group
Related article: Hybrid work depends on trust, not just technology