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Sovision IT - Award Winning Bristol IT Company | IT Support Bristol | Software Development Bristol

Back to the factory or not?

*Expert advice on post lockdown tech opportunities from our software development team

Now your company can get back to work soon – are you going to make any changes?

As lockdown eases and guidelines start flying this week about getting back to business – are you considering your business?

Many companies with bigger teams have, for the first time, had them working remotely and managers have very quickly learned that this can work rather well.

By being more task-focussed and less ‘time’ aware about staff being in an office environment between nine and five – some companies are already questioning whether they need as much office space. And that’s just one outcome.

Are you are looking for more flexible ways of working? Can you see how this might work well for your brand in the future?

Are office spaces going to be less important?

Many towns and cities have had problems with finding office space to keep teams together and to allow for expansion. Across the South West, there are plans afoot to build a couple of large HQs. However, has a three-month lockdown changed that kind of business plan?

Do teams always have to be sat on a seat in an office every day? Or can a back-office team work from home routinely – or would a smaller office space be an option for those staff who still want to ‘go’ into work on a daily basis?

A survey by Business Live has found that more than 15% of businesses plan to downsize their premises.

If these are the kinds of questions on your mind or the minds of fellow directors – now is the time to talk about future-proofing your tech and ensuring it’s flexible and secure enough to cope if you decide to give up some of your office space.

It may seem easy to just move into smaller offices or give notice to terminate or exit a lease, however investment may need to be put into the homes of those who want to work remotely. To date, it may have been ‘okay’ to cope with an employee’s poor connectivity or ‘office in the kitchen’ scenario however that’s not sustainable long term and it’s not secure.

Here at soVision IT, we see a more balanced approach to office space being introduced by many bigger organisations. We believe the best companies will provide a scenario where staff can work flexibly – between home and an office – and those companies will adapt their tech infrastructure accordingly. We do think that we will see some larger companies reduce their office requirement and help staff to securely fit out an office at home if that works for their particular role.

We believe that some companies will even have satellite offices for employees who are working from home permanently.

Both Twitter and Facebook have announced they will allow some of their workforce to work from home, and Facebook expects up to half of its staff to be doing that within the next five to 10 years.

  • What about the warehouse or factory?

For larger companies working with teams in warehouses or factories, they have different issues to consider when it comes to their employees’ safety as lockdown eases.

Of course, there’s the issue of PPE and social distancing for as long as that’s required. However, this situation may easily have thrown up systems, software, processes and software development plans, problems which were difficult to overcome with remote working back-office teams during lockdown.

Some staff have to physically work in the warehouse or factory, either collecting products from shelves and packing them or working machinery. However, certain operations can be moved to home working, such as producing picking lists, or co-ordinating operations.

A company providing parts for Nissan and Honda have only got 16 out of their 90 workforce back working in the factory. They are only back to 7% of normal workloadhow are they going to continue to move forward while all of these different factors are affecting their income?

In the medium term, this type of business will have to find ways of minimising staff on site and make use of technology to support them. We can help with this, we can help your new normal to work safely and efficiently. The days when the factory or the warehouse are excluded from the tech are dwindling – it’s time to get smarter.

  • And what about retail?

Many High Street retail businesses are closing their premises – lockdown has thrown into sharp relief those businesses which were limping along prior to Covid-19.

Bigger companies which wish to keep premises in our town centres will have to embrace what many experts have been saying for years – if it isn’t a good experience then people will shop online.

Entertainment, amusement and experience have to be at the heart of those retailers who have a chance of surviving the changes in buying habits. Some already know this, others have a long way to go.

Tech is at the heart of this – and lockdown has shown this to be the case. In order to even visit a town centre, shoppers want to know what they are going to see and experience before they get there.

Using tech from videography to VR and AR people want to know before they buy, they want that kind of experience in the shop, café or restaurant; over time they will want to be treated with the ‘Disney’ experience where every visitor matters. Town centres need to embrace tech to make them a ‘destination’, a ‘day out’, a ‘selfie’ paradise with no obstacles in the way. Shoppers will tend to come less often however tech can help them stay for longer, spend more and even shout about it!

  • How can we help you?

You may have a new vision now and you may not know what you need to bring it to reality for your team and your business.

The change you envisage may be game-changing for your sector and you want to be a pioneer in that change. We have more than 25 years of experience to be able to help understand your needs, and the unique technical requirements of your business.

We can provide ecommerce, mobile app and software development services to create customised online shops and software to suit your business exactly, whether you are a High Street retail business, a company with a warehouse, a business based in a factory, or in fact any company where you have a team split between your premises and home offices across multiple settings or even multiple countries.

Get in touch - we can help you be at the forefront of change. Are you ready?

Contact our software development experts now.

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