Working from home forced companies around the globe to invest in new tech – but is this new way of work here to stay?
The coronavirus pandemic has transformed our working lives in a whole host of ways – including where we work, when we work and even how we work. It’s undeniable that technology has become a bigger than ever before part of our lives; from hosting complete working setups on our dining tables to holding virtual meetings with people around the globe – tech has allowed the world to continue with some form of normality.
Accelerating the adoption of technology
When we were told those who can work from home must do so, companies around the world found themselves unstuck due to not having the facilities for employees to effectively carry out their roles remotely. Research from McKinsey & Company found that responses to the pandemic have speeded the adoption of digital technologies up by several years – and that many of these changes could be here for the long haul.
In many instances, the pandemic was the tipping point that pushed companies to invest more heavily in technology than ever before. Dramatic moves towards online and digital channels have created a rapid shift in businesses both small and large and interestingly, these changes were made at a faster pace than companies anticipated being possible. Any question about whether the investment was a priority pre-pandemic was quashed by the immediate need to move towards a digital way of working.
How will this impact the future?
The pivot to a more digital world will inevitably have knock-on effects for years to come, and the acceleration of investment brings with it a host of positives. Not only have companies that invested in both IT infrastructure and digital technologies typically come out of the pandemic better than their counterparts who didn’t, but these changes are set to facilitate the way we work in future.
From allowing the possibility of remote working through to collaborating with people oceans away, the benefits of increased technology are limitless. Whilst this digital shift was ‘new’ at the beginning of the pandemic, over the last 18 months the reliance upon technology has become increasingly normal and part of daily life, which is only set to continue.
And whilst the implementation of new technologies might have caused headaches in the short term as people got used to new systems and new ways of working (stay tuned for next weeks blog!), this has proved to be a great learning opportunity for businesses and the people within them. This allows future investments to be more easily adopted, as users have become more used to being agile and flexible with the technologies they use.
What about FMC?
Here at FMC, we were lucky to go into the first lockdown having recently invested in a range of new technology. Not only did this allow existing employees to seamlessly transition to remote working overnight, but we were able to onboard new employees throughout the pandemic – meaning we were able to run business thanks to up-to-date tech and easily accessible software.
“The new technology and software FMC invested in a few years back put us in a solid place when the pandemic hit,” says FMC Managing Director, Iain McCracken. “One day we were in the office and the next, our entire company was successfully up and running completely remotely.”
From a broader perspective, the technology FMC now operate from allows for improved inter-team connection across our two offices, alongside allowing a handful of employees to work fully remote – with one even living overseas! We’ve also been able to build closer relationships with clients, and can hold more meaningful conversations with candidates through hosting video calls – both of which we will continue to do post-pandemic.
So, is this the future of work?
We think it’s safe to say that the investments many companies have made into technology in the past two years have helped to steer them in a new direction of how they operate. Business communication platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom have made connectivity amongst colleagues, clients and candidates effortless – and reduce the need for travel and in-person meetings.
The FMC Future of Work series aims to explore what the future holds for our professional lives. Over the next few months, we’ll be providing weekly updates where we’ll be discussing different aspects of how, where and when we work.
We’ll also be undertaking some research into what the future of work may look like for us all, and will be sharing our findings with you. There’ll be an opportunity for you to take part in a survey on what you think the future of work will look like, so keep an eye out on the FMC Blog for more information in the coming weeks.