Workplaces have been in a state of flux for the last few years. New approaches to working practices, many embracing the principles of agile methodologies and activity based working, have slowly been gaining ground, driven mainly by larger enterprise organisations.
Just occasionally, a catalyst occurs that impacts the status quo in ways that could never have been predicted, and we saw this in 2020 with the global COVID-19 pandemic. The effect has been to escalate change in an unprecedented way never seen before in our lifetimes.
The pandemic has forced organisations of all sizes to address totally different working methods, and the longer term impact will be a speeding up of what was already occurring organically. In this blog we look at what is happening and how technology solutions can not only support the changes, but become the cornerstones of different, yet highly effective, working cultures.
We started Ascentae with the strapline ‘Challenge Convention’, based on a deep-set belief that there were better ways of working.
We know organisations have been evaluating the pressures on real estate for a while. Combine that with globalisation, and the result is a growth in offshore and dispersed teams, especially where companies have sought expertise in specialist areas such as software development. Many such teams have adopted methodologies such as agile.
The catalyst of COVID-19
Enter the pandemic, and we’ve seen massive pressures on business, with the need for economies to continue to function in the short term, and hopefully thrive in the future. It has led many organisations to identify different areas that need to change, including their toolset.
Previously an organic process looked at over a period of time, now we’re talking to organisations who are recognising the need to accelerate thinking, in a structured way that’s going to enable them to survive and prosper in the long term.
What’s happened with the pandemic is unprecedented. Bill Gates aside, we didn’t see it coming and as a business community we haven’t planned adequately for this situation.
The transition to hybrid working
Ascentae is working to support a transition to what we call ‘hybrid working’. Organisations will need to look how they change the conventional way of working and give employees choice and flexibility over whether or not they need to come to the workplace. For those who don’t there needs to be the right tools in place to enable them to be productive and remain connected to their colleagues whilst they are working from home. And employers need to have the ability to manage the workplace and meet their corporate responsibilities.
Adapting to new responsibilities
A simple example is how you ensure that social distancing in a workplace is maintained, which will involve monitoring how many people are actually physically arriving into the office.
We offer a desk booking solution which enables the company to identify the number of desks that are required or available for use. That can link into a cleaning process, so if somebody comes in for half a day, the desk can be flagged as requiring sanitising and then made available or released for somebody else to come in and use it.
Another example will be the pressures on the meeting room. How do you ensure that your colleagues remain socially distanced all the time, whilst also connecting to their colleagues who are sitting at home with their devices on the end of a video call?
Nureva’s Microphone Mist technology enables an entire room to be covered with uniform microphone pick up. People can separate physically within the meeting room while still getting good quality microphone pick up and audio. It means they can continue communicating and collaborating. We’ve seen a massive increase in use of video conferencing platforms and that’s not going to disappear. It will become a standard way of communicating for the foreseeable future, and having access to reliable audio is an essential part of that.
Ascentae has always looked at the trends that exist in the market, and the challenges that they represent. We then respond with appropriate solutions that not only enable companies to be functional in what they do, but also enhance and improve the employee experience and deliver a genuine return on investment for their business. The result is a positive experience for the employees, that’s simple to use and understand, and one that also delivers real value to the organisation in the form of productivity and data.