“As we realise that everyone is in a different environment, seeing children, pets, partners and friends in the background of video meetings becomes part of that overall work experience”
The speed and scale of last year’s disruption led many enterprise leaders to reflect on their purpose and how to elevate their people.
As work surged into private spaces, people were afforded unusually intimate insights into their peers’ lives. And while this was an unintentional consequence of forced rapid workplace transformation, it led to a more “human” approach to support people at a distance, says Head of Workplace at Telstra Purple, Mary Hodson.
Technology humanises the workplace
Hodson says that seeing each other in our homes through video technologies sensitises us to our shared humanity.
“While we’ve always had the ability to work flexibly at Telstra, the past year has definitely shown us that work is an activity and not a place”, says Hodson.
“The benefit of technology is we can be productive wherever we are and on any device. And as we realise that everyone is in a different environment, seeing children, pets, partners and friends in the background of these video meetings just becomes part of that work experience.”
“This hybrid way of working is not going away; employees now expect flexibility and choice.”
“One of the biggest challenges of remote working is maintaining the human connection, by ensuring we have solutions in place that keep our teams connected. It's about having the right tools that enable you to maintain these connections in other ways. Not quite replicating the physical environment, but supporting the ability for our teams and customers to engage and collaborate from any location”.
The ‘Brain Gain’ — How flexible and hybrid work wins the war for talent
Managers should elevate everyone to the same level of presence and value, Hodson says. That extends to hiring and team creation.
“Going forward, companies that provide flexible working environments and ability to work from almost anywhere will be first in line to attract and retain scarce talent. Key to this is ensuring that both remote and onsite employees have a seamless end-user experience and for that you need the right tools, systems and processes but also an inclusive environment to support this.
Unshackled from the tyranny of geography, enterprises can now access a far deeper talent pool — and retain ‘tree-change’ or ‘sea-change’ employees.
“There will increasingly be fewer barriers to employees live in regional areas. It opens the talent pool because we’re no longer restricted to capital cities. In the worldwide war for talent, this provides an advantage for organisations that enable a flexible way of working,” says Hodson.
Are you secure? Balancing workplace transformation risks vs benefits
Although fast-moving Australian enterprises may benefit from recent disruption, now is the time to reassess strategy.
Hodson warns that in the rush towards remote work, enterprises may have inadvertently created vulnerabilities through using consumer-grade communication or file sharing platforms, which may introduce risk from a security perspective.
Data loss prevention is a major consideration for any enterprise with remote staff, she says.
“Understanding who owns the data, where is it stored, and how is it backed up and protected is important to determine if those solutions breach compliance regulations. It’s important to review the current state, identify any gaps and create a plan to mitigate any risks or challenges relating to end user experience.”
That may also include integrating new technologies to work with existing investments. On a recent project, Telstra Purple helped a customer integrate their existing video systems with their collaboration platform deployed rapidly in the pandemic. This enabled them to create a seamless end user experience to support their hybrid working environment, while maintaining their existing investment in technology.
“We are seeing more examples of customers looking for tighter integration with existing solutions, in order to create a great experience for their end users.”
The Telstra Purple edge
No other Australian managed and professional services provider has Telstra Purple’s breadth and depth of capabilities, Hodson says.
Backed by its Telstra heritage, Telstra Purple enables workplace transformation for Australian enterprises. Our Workplace team includes capability and experience relating to unified communications, video and collaboration solutions, mobility, modern workplace applications and advisory services relating to workplace change and adoption.
For instance, Telstra Purple migrated industry super fund, UniSuper, to Microsoft cloud technologies including Teams and Telstra Calling for Office 365 to deliver immediate efficiency dividends such as fewer emails, better mobility and workplace flexibility—which will grow in importance in the years ahead.
Why wellbeing is your hidden superpower
Telstra Purple drinks its own champagne as video calls over Microsoft Teams leapt by a factor of four last year. The realisation is there are now limits and “people do need to take a break in using the technologies to maintain our energy during the day”.
“We’re normalising a wider variety of work styles within Telstra Purple, and enabling the choice of secure connection from anywhere on any device, is key in creating a flexible environment for our people.”
Start your workplace journey by contacting Telstra Purple and let us show you how you can lay the foundations for a hybrid workforce.
5 ways to get the most from remote workplace transformation
- Lay a foundation for hybrid work — Cybersecurity and data loss prevention tools safeguard collaboration solutions to reduce risk.
- Look outside your window — Collaborating fluidly with partners, customers, and suppliers is as important as internal communication.
- Focus on what is important — Attitudes to the space and pace of work emphasise outcomes and productivity.
- Discover your wellbeing ‘superpower’ — Maintaining people’s motivation and engagement with virtual tools will multiply benefits.
- Understand that people have lives — Normalising a more varied way of work will ensure people maintain their focus, energy and passion.