How the Covid-19 epidemic is shaping a ‘new normal’ of work | HDUK

Through our work over the past 10 years assisting businesses to become more flexible, by adopting the cloud and making the move to remote working, we’ve built close relationships with business owners and managers across the UK, in various industries.

As well as a societal shift towards a more flexible approach to working, there have been a number of challenges over recent years that have promoted businesses to adopt remote working – such as poor weather and transport strikes, but nothing quite on the global scale of the Covid-19 outbreak, which some have dubbed the world’s largest homeworking experiment.

We’re just beginning to see some of the results of that experiment now – with Riverbed reporting that companies are preparing for a large-scale, long-term shift to remote work, where employees will ‘work from anywhere’.

Through our conversations with new and existing clients over the last few months, we’ve made several interesting observations.

Primarily, the vast majority of our clients have been pleasantly surprised by the consistency of productivity in their teams despite working remotely. Where some business owners may have been nervous about allowing their teams to work from home, they have been reassured that productivity has been retained at the same level – if not improved.

There is a general feeling that the days of the traditional, office-bound workplace are over and once lockdown restrictions have eased, flexible working will be the future. Managers and business owners also recognise that there is a responsibility to ensure employee wellbeing whilst homeworking, so adapting HR practices to safeguard employee’s mental health will be critical to employee happiness and retention.

Business grade connectivity for systems will also be required to provide a consistent service for customers, ensuring that their communications are as seamless and accessible as if they were in the office.

With an increased awareness of the impact businesses have on the environment, many are re-evaluating their green policies. In a survey of 500 UK-based business decision-makers, almost three-quarters (72%) said that the pandemic has made them reconsider the environmental credentials of their organisation, including shortened supply chains and working from home. Having a homeworking workforce can significantly boost a business’s commitment to the environment.

Throughout this unprecedented period of lockdown, and through our conversations with business leaders, we have been impressed by the resilience and forward thinking evident across a wide variety of industries and sectors. HDUK is proud to provide the products and services to help businesses become more flexible, innovative and available, and support them through this challenging period. We’re excited for this next chapter of the new normal for UK businesses, and look forward to helping more organisations embrace this brave new world.

Ben Foulds, UK Business Development Director at HDUK

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