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One modern workplace specialist details how the pandemic pushed him to practice what he preaches

In Consulting Services, Thought Leadership, Indirect Resellers, Direct Customers

 I decided to join Crayon as a Modern Workplace Specialist at the end of February. I was looking forward to meeting new teammates, advising new clients and having a shorter commute.

Then in March, the coronavirus pandemic put the country on lockdown and everyone was suddenly forced to work from home.

I wondered where that left me. Starting a new job is challenging enough, and now I had to do it working 100% remote for the first time ever.

It was time to practice what I’d been preaching: A modern workplace allows you to collaborate anywhere, anytime on any device increasing productivity and keeping workers happy.

Through using the Microsoft 365 suite and Teams, I was able to start my new job, 100% remote and it was fairly easy. Certainly much easier than it would have been years ago.

Not everyone had such as seamless transition to the abrupt move to the modern workplace.

Many businesses weren’t prepared for it, and many are still just muddling through for the time being, waiting it out until things “go back to normal” and they can do thorough research into the best long-term solution.

However, there has never been a better time than now to understand and adopt a modern workplace.

Businesses need the ability for their employees to be agile, on the move and contactable in our ever-frantic world. The office is no longer the desktop computer you travel to Monday through Friday. The office is now about remote working: Using your laptop, mobile or tablet at home, in a coffee shop or at a hotel.

Changing times

If companies do not innovate and move forward, then they will be left behind. Take Kodak and Blockbuster for example. These companies were huge in their day and leaders in their fields. As time went on, technological advancements were made with camera phones and streaming services like Netflix. Kodak and Blockbuster didn’t fully embrace new technologies and a new way of working, which meant they were left behind. Two great brands collapsed.

The ability to collaborate with colleagues and work anywhere, providing the flexibility and license to carry out their work without being chained to the desk empowers teams. Modern workplaces of course have many direct advantages but often overlooked are these indirect benefits such as employee happiness, retention as well as attracting top talent.

Time to focus

Technology will benefit all organizations when it comes to creating a modern workplace. If it’s on your company’s agenda to implement a modern workplace between now and the next 12 months, that’s great, we can help with that. However, businesses need to focus on what outcome they want from this modern way of working. What does success look like to you? Having clarity, a clear vision and understanding why it is both important and necessary will help towards achieving the goals that have been set out. If you’re not sure what success looks like for your business, we can help with that too.

For the time being, there are some simple, quick things you can do to ensure you’re being as productive as you can while working from home:

  • Each morning get up and ready as if you were heading to the office – Feeling smart and fresh will get your mindset right and where it needs to be for the day.
  • Have a designated space for work - I know how tempting is to just work from your bed but this will make you feel lethargic and less productive.
  • Set yourself working hours with breaks - allocate time to go for a walk or have a cup of coffee.
  • Set clear and achievable goals for the day – don’t worry if you don’t achieve them all, they are there to maintain focus and purpose.
  • Have daily catchup calls with colleagues – there’s nothing wrong with chatting about what you’ve just watched on Netflix. We used to do it when making coffee, why not on Teams?

Since starting at Crayon, I have yet to meet any of my colleagues in person. Thanks to our virtual meetings, I only know them from the shoulders up. But also thanks to our modern workplace, I have learned who has watched Tiger King on Netflix and who hasn’t, played bingo over Teams and met my colleague's lovely families and their pets which always brightens up our calls! 

Though we’re working remotely, we’re connected, productive. If you’d like to know more about how your business can adapt effectively to the changing world, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Alan White - Modern Workplace Specialist

I am a technology enthusiast committed to customer success. Got questions? Contact me at