Productivity beyond the physical office

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It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic that’s coursed through the first half of 2020 (so far) has twirled our lives in ways we’ve never imagined. Undeniably, we’re all witnesses of the largest global public health event to occur in modern times.

As the world adjusted to life during Coronavirus, one of the many changes worth admiring is how swiftly people and businesses have adapted to operate safely. Many for example, have discovered that they can work seamlessly full remote and communicate effectively using extensively online collaborative tools.

While digital transformation and Artificial Intelligence have already created huge shifts on labor markets, the level of remote work done during COVID-19 has surpassed recent trends. In some societies, people with lesser digital skills were nudged into using more intensely the technology, which on a long run can only be beneficial for their adaptation to the digital economy.

At Payvision we ‘live’ technology, it’s what we do best. We’re proud to have kept business continuing as usual, along with high levels of employee engagement and productivity. Thinking about what’s next for us however, has brought to mind a few considerations.

Is Work-from-Home here to stay?

Working from home (WfH) for an extended period has been a vastly different experience, depending on factors such as the adequacy of equipment available at home, shared family responsibilities, and the ability to keep up one’s mental wellbeing while working in somewhat isolated environments.

In an internal survey Payvision ran at the beginning of June, almost 80% of the employees said they were satisfied with their overall situation during lockdown confinement, while over 90% noted their’s and their team’s productivity had soared. For many employees living far from urban areas, WfH helped them reclaim valuable commute time which could then be dedicated towards family or other social activities which they had less time for before, improving work-life balance tremendously.

WfH en masse has also proved that not only can some companies run their organizations with a fully remote workforce, but also that having the right technologies in place can keep business thriving when unforeseen circumstances occur on a global scale.

As COVID-19 restrictions start to ease, the question that’s undoubtedly on everyone’s minds is ‘how long can this work?’ At Payvision we’ve strategized how to reopen our offices and prepare for a socially distanced way of working. One of the biggest challenges we faced is how to adjust to the new normal while keeping our corporate culture and values – which are interwoven with social interaction – alive and flourishing.

Looking ahead – rethinking the office as we know it

We’re aware that until there’s complete certainty that commuting and working in crowded spaces will be safe again, people are cautious about changing the current status-quo.

The same internal Payvision survey revealed that more than 75% of teams prefer to continue WfH or come into the office for just one or two days a week. Some companies are already going as far as to denounce the concept of office work altogether, as it opens access to significantly larger talent pools without geographical constraints.

At the same time, this also places the issue of real estate in front of businesses – what happens to the fancy offices in which companies have invested so much? How much of it will be still used to host employees and how much would need to be leased or repurposed?

Current studies show that some companies are debating to turning the offices into ‘dynamic workplaces’. In this set up, employees might not strictly be required to come into the office for regular ‘9-to-5’ working hours, but rather use the space more thoughtfully to collaborate with team members, management, and external partners. Instead of being mandatory work venues, corporate buildings might become a complex socializing medium that gives employees a space to maximize meetups, brainstorm sessions and joint work when necessary.

Payvision is a medium-sized enterprise with a strongly bonded culture, where people are always encouraged to speak up, and where open-door management has always been the norm. So, here’s the question: how do you keep this door open and foster the same family-like dynamic when all traditional employee engagement routes are swapped with digital, remote interactions?

Thus far, Payvision has done a sterling job in responding to the lockdown and securing business continuity by safeguarding our customers’ operations and providing employees with all the resources they need to do their jobs properly in these unprecedented times. And it hasn’t stopped there – we’re also actively looking ahead and readying ourselves for a post-pandemic way of life.

What’s next: re-imagining ourselves

Each day brings us deeper into a more complicated and challenging landscape of work, where it’s necessary to re-imagine how we conduct business in the future, along with multiple new public health laws and expectations we need to meet.

From a communications perspective, we’re exploring ways to re-invent and elevate digital and visual connectivity between our people, ensuring they stay informed and feel like they’re a part of the community. We’re looking at how to replace the Friday drinks, the internal events, the social gatherings and all the social interaction which keep the team together and engaged.

At Payvision, we’ve always been driven by curiosity and an appetite for challenge. It’s in our DNA to jump on the right trains and keep up the good vibes in times of uncertainty. Our ways of working might not revert to exactly as it was before, so it seems pointless to revisit old patterns.

So as we continue to embrace the unknown, we’re sure of one thing – to always be as prepared as we can, and to stay positive while navigating change. We’re committed to staying strong for our staff, customers and partners, and look forward to welcoming a new era of business, whatever comes our way.

The author

Razvan is our Communications Manager. In this role, Razvan handles the internal and external communication projects. With a professional path which includes market and regional management positions in highly regulated industries, Razvan brings with him a long experience in corporate communications and stakeholder engagement.

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