The ‘new normal’ of uncertainty

After everyone’s plans were thrown into the air, we can all breathe a sigh of relief having passed the first hurdle of the coronavirus pandemic. The immediate impact has been dealt with and we can all feel proud to have come out on the other side.

That’s especially true for many businesses, which have had to go through “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the road back to normality could be long and winding. After new cases fell in July and August, we’ve seen fresh clusters popping up as staff return to work, kids return to school and people head out on their holidays.

The question is – how does this affect your day-to-day operations? In this post, we’ll explore the new uncertain normal and how to prepare your business…

Why uncertainty is the only certainty…

While many businesses have chosen to embrace remote working for good, others have understandably stuck to their guns. With lockdown restrictions easing, people have been able to return to the office and move closer to the old way of working – albeit with two-metre distancing, extra hygiene and no hugs or handshakes.

The problem? Their plans might be open to disruption. With a view to avoiding a repeat of April’s outbreak, the Government is employing a range of measures, including:

  • Local lockdowns in areas where there is a sudden spike in infections
  • Two-week quarantine for people returning from countries with high infection rates
  • School closures, with entire classes and year-groups being sent home if cases are reported

Unfortunately, that poses a range of problems for those back in the office:

  • Offices in areas which have been put into local lockdown will most probably need to work from home again
  • Staff may need to work from home if they are forced to self-isolate having been on holiday in a ‘high-risk’ country
  • Business meetings in high-risk countries will have to be cancelled or put on hold
  • Staff may need to stay home at short notice if their children are sent home from school

That’s not even mentioning the possibility that your business has to go into full lockdown because of a coronavirus outbreak at the office.

Dealing with uncertainty

In an ideal world, none of the above will happen. Unfortunately, 2020 isn’t an ideal world and it’s likely that some employees won’t be able to make it to the office for one reason or another. That could be five people stuck at home after returning from France, half the workforce looking after kids or the whole office working remotely because of a local lockdown.

Whatever the case, it doesn’t have to lead to downtime. Instead, businesses have to learn how to become more flexible to adapt to this uncertain period. For the most part, that means continuing to support employees who are forced to work from home. Employees need the right software, along with equipment like headsets and laptops, so they can still be productive wherever they work.

It’s also time for collaboration software like Microsoft Teams to make its way into the office. While spring and summer saw most people working from home, going forward we’re more likely to see a mixture of locations. The core team in the office, the parents working from home and the sales team stuck in Spain after their flights are cancelled – let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a surprise at this point.

Whether you’re an optimist, pessimist or somewhere in between, we can all agree that uncertainty is set to continue for the foreseeable future. The question is, are you prepared?

Are you prepared?

Flexibility is undoubtedly the best remedy for uncertainty, allowing you to continue operating whatever happens. At Aura, we specialise in planning and deploying flexible solutions for global businesses. The same array of solutions that have kept our own team fully prepared throughout the pandemic.

To find out more, arrange a consultation with a member of our team.

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