Based on the recent article in Forbes “The New Normal is the Distributed Company” the trend is clear: Gone are the days where employees waste valuable time commuting to work only to be in an office all day to mark their presence, or as the article states even more brutally, warm an office chair.
If previous efficiency considerations had not already limited this practice, COVID-19 definitely put a sudden end to it. And woe to those companies who were not prepared that in almost an instant employees could no longer get to the information they needed because it was stored on hard drives and in file cabinets in largely inaccessible office buildings, and who had primarily relied on in-person meetings in dark conference rooms to facilitate some resemblance of collaboration.
Certainly COVID-19 opened the eyes of many executives that a different approach to doing business was needed, and will be the new normal going forward. A practice where employees can work wherever they are, securely access and exchange information, seamlessly participate in business processes and instantly collaborate with anyone inside and outside of the organization.
But this new approach is simply not possible with manual and paper based practices, processes and systems, which are still so prevalent today in many companies.
It requires a digital transformation of the entire business, i.e. transforming those existing manual and paper based practices, processes and systems to more efficient digital ones. It requires defining new practices and processes that allow employees to work anywhere and collaborate with team members and partners wherever they are, and it requires implementing new systems that enable these new practices and processes.
Digital Transformation will prepare companies for the new normal and set them up for success in a distributed world.