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2021 – A Time to Collaborate & Create

Thankfully we can now see a way out of the Covid-19 pandemic, something that can not come soon enough for everyone across the globe. As vaccination programmes gather pace, we can start to plan for post Covid life. Its apparent there are many change opportunities ahead and with that comes significant opportunities for business leaders to gain advantage by embracing process and technical change and encourage collaborative remote working across their teams.

Although the necessity of home (remote) working has been embraced by many and came with many benefits. It has become clear that a completely remote working environment has its challenges!

I think we have all got used to Zoom or Teams meetings being interrupted by the dog, cat or child, a knock on the door from Amazon or an earlier than expected visit from Ocado (or your supermarket delivery supplier of choice). The real challenges come from a reduction in creativity, the lack of opportunity for those impromptu conversations over a coffee, free from interruption of the repetitive tones announcing your next Teams meeting.

So with the percentage of workers permanently working from home expected to double in 2021, according to a survey from Enterprise Technology Research (ETR). There is a need for business leaders to embrace change in processes and technology to restore creativity and inspire their teams to strive for creative success.

A number of organisations have taken steps to address this challenge, with more progressive teams holding virtual group sessions with little or no agenda, hoping to ignite imagination over what is basically a virtual coffee group. Although there have been some positive outcomes, this still seems to be a false construct with delegates feeling the need to arrive on screen full of inspiration and ideas!

As we progress through 2021 and the vaccination roll out, the more likely outcome will be a flexible approach to work location. A mix of home and office based driven by mutual consent to maximise efficiency and productivity but allow for interaction on a more human level encouraging teams to meet and spend time together, in a clean more socially distanced office environment.

Personally, I look forward to this day when I will once again be waiting for the train, meeting someone new and even getting frustrated with that commuter that always needs to share his phone conversation with the whole carriage…. I cannot believe I actually miss him!!

I am sure that when we come out the other end of the pandemic, we will appreciate the small things a lot more and hopefully be more civil to each other. I look forward to a new working life, one filled with the benefits from working at home and being close to family but intwined with creative sessions and a more physical connection with colleagues and benefiting from collaborative tech. Time has shown us that out of adversity comes strength and opportunity. That is an exciting thought and something I look forward to embracing with my colleagues be that at home or in the office.

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