Well. COVID-19 if it has shown us anything, its demonstrated that rapid, motivating change can be swift. The unilateral coalition of online communication hubs, companies, governments, sectors and industries is astonishing. Some companies in 'survival' mode and all with a slight edge of anxiety, as to what the future will hold. For my colleagues who work in change and transformation, this is just another day. Probably the most equipped to deal with such circumstances, but even they find the swift adoption of technology in companies and projects rapid and amazing.
So what does it mean post-COVID-19? A lot of people are speculating whether the corporate world will ever operate the same way again. If we can teach old dogs new tricks, perhaps we don't need that huge office in the CBD overlooking central park or high street. Perhaps we can virtually operate and increase the quality of living, reduce our carbon footprint, increase productivity and make more profit! Yes, I too believe projects and the way of life will forever be changed because of COVID-19 and what it represents.
We are at the precipice of a digital revolution. The funny thing is the tools, systems and hardware have been around for at least 5 years, some longer. So why now? Simple. Motive. We all have a reason to change that is more compelling than staying where we are. The removal of choice, the desire to keep companies afloat and earn an income is all going to motivate to change. Whether big or small. Whether we know it now or not. Some changes we will not be able to predict, but they will be a direct result of what is happening today with this pandemic.
It's so exciting to be talking with executives, directors and decision-makers via slack, teams, bluejeans, WebEx, zoom, google and skype, to name just a few. The world of tech has been laid at their feet, and you know what? Its actually helping bridge gaps. Executives can drop in on team stand-ups and say a few words, the efficiency means we can get more done effectively and see more people in a day. But I agree, there are some drawbacks to virtual working. I don't think we will ever be able to fully replace face to face interactions. They are far more meaningful. But perhaps, traditions like the handshakes will be replaced with a bow in the western cultures? who knows!
Technology is now getting the break it needed. Looking back now we can see how we were mistreating or abusing technology. We didn't appreciate it, nor did we put it to work for us. Like money. Tech can work for you or against you. On projects we still use non-native systems, we let IT dictate our system architecture and we have no idea how to roll out upgrades or new technology. Projects can now reassess how they work remotely and maintain a slow return of the workforce by leveraging tech. by integrating systems and getting the most out of those hefty SaaS deals that have perhaps been sitting on the shelf for a rainy day. Well, today is a rainy day! get your closet/wardrobes in order. Redo that sock drawer and get your ducks lined up. Winter is coming (GoT fans). We need to ensure our systems can handle the volume and scale of virtual working long term, and we as change-makers can ride this tech-adapting swell that is currently in play, to make a positive and lasting impact on corporate society for good.
Good luck and keep safe.