With the COVID-19 crisis leading the world through a rollercoaster during the first half of 2020, many people and companies have seen their working habits and environments changing at dazzling speed.
Luckily, technology had already laid out part of the solution for workforces suddenly being massively confined to the home. The trend towards work decentralization that started humbly over the last decades has now received a stern nudge forward.
The past/the present: remote is the new office
Here's a classic work scheme: alarm goes off, take a shower, eat some breakfast, jump in the car and off to work. In the evening: broadly the same stream, but in the opposite order. Okay, some people work at night or go by bike instead of by car. But we all know this routine in one form or another; it's robust and it's worked for ages.
Still, the classic work scheme did go away for almost the entire globe this year. The fact that every reader of this article will get what we're talking about here, is only a vague indication of the impact we all felt. Will we return to a classic work scheme? We don't have a crystal ball here, but – shh – we think we won't.
At least, not entirely.
The future: hybrid is the new remote
The home office and remote meetings have helped businesses to keep going when confinement and social distancing were king and queen. But still, we miss our colleagues, an actual customer visit would really make a difference in that sale, and there simply are always tasks and jobs that cannot be done at home.
We've seen both worlds, their pros and cons, so now we can start playing around. That's when we arrive at the idea of ‘working in a hybrid environment'. That is: not 100% at the office, not 100% remotely, but a nice mix of both. So we can keep up a healthy work-life balance by working at home, but avoid losing touch with our companies by going to the office.
Technology is what can make hybrid work happen. At Barco, we already offer an array of digital solutions for mixed onsite and offsite collaborative work. In our portfolio, you'll find solutions for hybrid meetings, but also for control rooms environments, healthcare and education – environments in which more and more becomes possible thanks to the cloud, big data and IoT.