New Year | New Normal
Guess what – YOU MADE IT THROUGH 2020! Some might say it’s just another year, while others are really looking forward to what this fresh start could bring. Regardless of where you fall on the “thank goodness 2020 is over” spectrum, this new year will mean a new normal in a lot of different ways.
This “new normal” will look different for different people, businesses and industries – but there’s no denying that 2020 changed a LOT. Some of you might be working from home, some might not be working at all. Students have navigated learning virtually. Businesses have embraced remote working which has added a new level of trust in the employee / employer relationship.
Working From Home
For those of us working from home now – talk about a transition! Having worked from home myself (before it was cool) for 2 years, I can relate to the pros and cons of what that’s like. Most have more flexibility than they’ve ever had before. That also means they have less structure. They have to hold themselves accountable to not sit on the couch in their pj’s and watch Netflix all day. It can be a struggle. You mix that in with some make-shift home offices – a.k.a. the kitchen table – and it can be a recipe for an unproductive environment. Luckily, a lot of employers have been accommodating with home setups, wifi hotspots, and the technology needed to be successful.
This was another transition that millions of American families had to adjust to. Learning from home didn’t just affect the kiddos, but also their parents and guardians, their teachers, and the staff and administrators too. If anything the switch to virtual learning might have been easiest for the students, as they have mostly grown up with technology and are generally very comfortable with it. Parents, teachers and staff – not so much. We recently connected with the Director of Technology Operations at Blue Valley School District who shared some insight into this:
“Getting devices into the hands of kids and our teaching staff was easier from a technology standpoint because they already had laptops. What isn’t easy was our office staff – they come to an office that has desktops and that was their workspace. So we had to think through getting them laptops, they have never had to worry about a VPN connection. Now they are at home so you are dealing with a home environment with multiple internet service providers, firewalls, routers – oh my gosh! That was honestly the biggest heartburn up front.”
— Kent Corser, Director of Technology Operations
You can see how learning from home has a huge impact across the board. Technology played a big role in that and most likely will continue to do so in this “new normal”. For more on our conversation with Kent, you can read our Customer Highlight blog or listen to our Between Two Tablets podcast.
Businesses Become Remote Friendly
The history of corporate America tells us that business is done best when you are in the office, tied to a cubicle, Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm. Shoes shined, ties tied and suit jackets on. Today’s corporate America looks a lot different. Zoom is a household name, employees have (mostly) learned where the ‘mute’ button is and business attire below the belt has become optional. Is this also the “new normal”?
This Washington Post article from last May talks about how big tech companies (including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter) were some of the first to make that remote shift – and are still embracing that as a way of doing business. In our most recent blog, TCS Managing Parter Ben Guertin talks about how this shift forcibly enhanced the trust between employees and employers as I alluded to earlier. Employees had to be trusted to actually be productive, do their jobs, and also not spill coffee all over that work laptop. Easier said than done for some.
The Role of Technology
Now more than ever, people are relying on their devices to learn, work and live. That’s why we are excited for this “new normal”. Technology allows us all to stay connected wherever we are – in the classroom, in the office, or on our couch. It is a powerful thing and capable of so much. That’s why we do our best to keep those devices where they should be – ready to work for you. Whether its finalizing a project for work, writing a paper for class, or meditating to your Deep Focus playlist on Spotify. Technology does a lot for everyone. And without it, life might not keep moving.
We are incredibly grateful for everyone who trusted us with their technology in 2020 and look forward to serving many more in 2021. Here’s to a new year and a new normal!
All the best,