Almost every day there are discussions about how working practices are changing. It is not new; nor is it something that came about due to 15 months of coronavirus lockdown measures. But the mobile revolution, pioneered by Blackberry – which allows people to send and receive work email from anywhere – is changing the balance of power between employer and employee.
Kashif Rahamatullah, national Google cloud practice and alliance leader at Deloitte, said: “The pandemic has forced us to work from anywhere. There are significant opportunities for us to be productive in our individual homes.
“This opens up aperture to define the kind of work we are doing, and what tools are required to be productive. Do people all need to be in one place to be productive?”
Rahamatullah said he has spoken to companies looking at dividing their workforce into three types: those who will always be remote, those who will always want to work in an office building and those who will work in the office two or three days a week. Other businesses are also reassessing their expansions for new buildings and reallocating existing facilities.
Auto Trader uses Slack as its messaging platform. Discussing how the company operated during the coronavirus pandemic, Russell Warman, head of infrastructure and operations at Auto Trader, said: “As with everybody else, we were asked to work from home at the end of March 2020.”
He added that the company has already provided its people with laptops with the ability to connect back to the company’s business systems. Prior to the pandemic, the company used a variety of communications platforms, including Slack, Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business, but with the lockdown, he said: “The whole organisation came together on Slack. We set up communication channels, both to provide business updates and for social activities.”
For instance, Auto Trader established Slack communities for catering, fitness and others around pets and hobbies like photography. “We used persistent chat to keep in touch,” said Warman.