Anthony Lamoureux, CEO at Velocity Smart, the IT smart locker provider
If there’s one thing the last 24 months have taught us, it is the art of adaptability. And as we knock on the door of 2022, the next stage of change is upon us.
Every aspect of our personal lives has undergone significant change, but there’s been a massive shake-up on the professional side as well.
Who would have thought this time two years ago that a significant majority of employees would be working remotely? Probably not the 83% of UK office workers that think flexible working is here to stay.
But not having all workers in the office has has had a negative impact on the way tech support is provided, with almost half (45%) of remote workers having had to wait longer for an issue to be resolved whilst working from home
Change is the only constant, as the old saying goes, and there are certain IT trends that will play out over the next 12 months that businesses will need to stay on top of to ensure competitiveness and deliver the workplace of the future.
With remote staff being away from their computers at any given time or working more flexible hours, the moment has finally come to pivot and learn how we can operate out of sight and out of “sync”.
What business should be considering is an asynchronous way of working as it is a crucial enabler of a productive, engaged, and innovative team in an in-between arrangement.
Technologies such as robotic process automation, natural language processing and intelligent document processing are continuing to reduce the dependence on repetitive, manual labour while taking out the risk of human error creeping into critical tasks.
In 2022, businesses will be tackling the shift to this new way of working as it is a crucial enabler of how productive, engaged, and innovative teams prefer to work.
Instead of collaborating in real-time – such as strolling to the next desk to ask a question – remote work has driven businesses to become more reliant on collaborative technologies as their primary mode of communication.
Deploying intelligent automation strategies is making a big difference in beating a competitor to market. Hiring internationally-based staff is one of the biggest challenges when expanding globally, but this could be overcome in the short-term in the same way websites use automated chatbots during hours when staff aren’t online.
Intelligent automation is leading to process streamlining, increased efficiency, and reduces the need to put employees in charge of repetitive or time-consuming tasks – liberating them to focus on more creative and collaborative tasks.
2.Improved Remote IT Support
With the flexible working genie firmly out of the bottle, workers expect the flexibility to work around childcare responsibilities, family commitments, and personal errands. And with the eradication of the daily commute, this new world has completely knocked the previous working rhythm out of sync.
Offices and employees are also starting to be dispersed across the country. And while all an employee needs now is a functioning laptop and steady internet connection to fulfil their duties, they’re always just one technological hiccup away from grinding to a complete halt – 73% of employees said they had to wait up to an extra five hours for an issue to be fixed whilst working remotely.
Although remote tech support was already a thing pre-Covid, employees always dreaded being on the phone for hours while IT gurus scrambled for a solution. But as IT teams themselves have started to work more flexible hours, businesses and employees still require round-the-clock technical support in case the worst happens.
Thankfully, IT support has evolved from this. Remote desktop apps such as Teamviewer are becoming much more commonplace on work laptops, so too are IT asset management software tools that can help prolong the life of devices by preventing and predicting issues before they happen.
When it comes to replacing hardware, Smart Lockers that store IT equipment backed up by the cloud are starting to pop up in locations close to offices and remote workers, reducing the time taken to source new devices and get staff back up and running.
Indeed, by using systems such as smart lockers, broken devices can be swapped for loaned replacements. Instead of being placed on hold, employees simply log their request in a support portal and swap out equipment at their closest hub — saving valuable time, resources, and costs.
3.Demand for Skilled IT Engineers
Many employers emerged from the pandemic like a bear emerging from winter hibernation, hungry for talent and skilled IT engineers.
Recent figures show that despite the Government furlough scheme ending in September 2021, there’s still a healthy demand for skilled labour. The number of job vacancies has also skyrocketed, with experience in technology and IT one of the top demands.
It’s an employee’s market. Experienced professionals are now more selective than ever about their employers and won’t settle for just any job offer. If you’re looking to find top tech talent, it’s important to focus on what really matters to them.
The technology a company uses can say a lot about them. Although you may not be able to afford all the latest cutting-edge tech tools, investing in your technology stack so that it is current, relevant and interesting is a key to attracting many IT candidates.
While a piece of technology may work and be functional, if it’s not interesting or something that will capture the imagination of IT professionals, you risk being viewed as outdated or not a place to go for career progression. This can be a major factor in accepting or rejecting a job offer.
Failing to take advantage of the latest technology to improve business outcomes can quickly put you behind.