Remote working: The new normal

With millions of workers across Europe now confined to their homes due to the COVID-19 outbreak, an expert has offered advice to the challenges facing many companies.
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By Martin Banks

24 Mar 2020

UK-based Charlie Dawson, Channel Director of IMSCAD Global, an online data specialist, said that, for some, “it is a case of keep calm and carry on.”

He said, “For some industries it’s hard to make remote working actually work, a stark reality that companies are now being faced with amidst the COVID-19 crisis."

“What if you an architect or engineering firm, how do you get your designers to work effectively and efficiently from home? " he asked.


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"Many normal businesses will have a solution in place that will be adequate to service most of their workforce, but not if you use graphical applications.”

“In an ideal world you would already have a functioning remote working solution in place as part of a Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery plan, to allow employees to perform as they would normally day to day in the office at home.”

“Remote working is about ensuring businesses can combat the disruption being caused by Coronavirus”

He added, “Remote working is about ensuring businesses can combat the disruption being caused by Coronavirus. Fully understanding and implementing a ‘remote working solution' will benefit them not only now during this crisis but in the long term as well.”

“Cost is a major factor. Depending on workers' roles, some less expensive, less technical solutions can work. For others using role-specific, software applications, more technical solutions are needed to ensure these employees can work remotely to the same level as they would normally in the office and keep productivity levels up.”

He said once a company has decided on its approach it has to ensure employees are equipped with everything they need and "schedule regular virtual interactions, video conferencing and phone calls, especially early on as it can take time to adjust to working away from the office.”

“Some employees will have only ever worked in an office.”

Elsewhere, the Climate Chance Association says lessons should be learned for addressing climate change.

“Schedule regular virtual interactions, video conferencing and phone calls, especially early on as it can take time to adjust to working away from the office”

Antoine Gillod, from the Paris-based environmental organisation, says the Coronavirus epidemic and quarantine has resulted in a decrease in emissions at national and local level.

He said, “In big urban areas like London, as hubs of economic activities and home of millions of people, downturns in emissions can be spectacular.”

“They can be explained on the one hand by the fact that tertiary buildings are usually making up a large share of a city's emissions, since they require a lot of electricity for lighting and activities. For instance, if you look at Paris' last carbon account, you see that tertiary buildings amount to nearly 10% of the city's emissions.”

“The bottom line of this crisis reveals that urban areas with a high-density of services cannot achieve the substantial cuts in emissions necessary to reach climate neutrality targets set by national states without important reduction in demand.”

“Optimising mobility and improving transport efficiency is not enough - successful climate plans need the reorganization of activities and also to cut demand.”

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