I have noticed a clever meme floating around on social media this month – “who spearheaded your company’s digital transformation?” Answer “Covid-19”. Yes, it’s undoubtedly true that when things have settled enough for us to look back on the disruption of 2020 we will see Covid-19 being the catalyst we had been waiting for to rationalise the way we work and let office practise catch up with digital reality. Indeed, experts had warned against the false sense of security many companies had that the warmer weather and the general easing of restrib=ctions would return us to a landscape not wholly different from what we had known in the past.
Without a vaccine readily available, many organizations are continuing to encourage their workers to work remotely. In July, Google became the first major organization to formally extend its work-from-home policy until summer 2021. Other large organizations such as the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, and Japanese technology company Fujitsu took a further step in their digital transformation by announcing “indefinite” flexible and remote working policies for their employees.
Socially distanced work, a novelty only four months ago, has now become the “new normal.” But are countries prepared to make near-term improvements and plan investments for the longer-term, beyond the immediate crisis? And where do they start? This is a macro policy consideration but it is important to think about. In order to have a Work From Home (WFH) new normal we need certain structural elements in place. Not all countries are equal in meeting the challenge.
A study by Harvard Business School shows that America (of course!!!) is well equipped for the challenge as is the UK. But many other European countries do not have a reliable enough digital framework to support a distance-working economy. For business leaders, it raises new possibilities for recruiting and hiring new and diverse talent. Unbound by the constraints of physical headquarters or office locations, executives are free to hire talent in new locations, provided that adequate network infrastructure exists for remote working. This enables companies to recruit and manage staff well outside their normal base of operation. There is a vast pool of talent sitting around on short term recruitment platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr and now, People Per Hour. This influx of new overseas talent means that UK freelancers must work ever more efficiently to compete and thrive in our new world order of digital transformation.
Having an efficient virtual office based in the centre of London helps make this possible and gives a big tactical advantage to small businesses and freelancers working from home. Being able to get your phone calls answered professionally by British staff and mail forwarded through the fastest UK mail channels gives a huge advantage which will be more apparent as the working world changes. This is a good moment to talk with the team at Hold Everything on London’s Regent Street. We have been preparing for this enormous paradigm shift for the last 30 years. We knew it had to happen eventually, commercial properties are expensive to rent and very wasteful on space and resources. Employing full-time staff to answer 20 phone calls a day is an anachronism, it only makes sense to pay for what you actually need. We can show you how you can boost your business or freelance profile and save money doing so. Forwarding mail and answering your phone is just a small part of what is entailed in a virtual office. We can help you, from company formation to your IPO, We want to help you make sense of Post Covid-19 business.