The New Normal: Realities of Working from Home

For many people, their place of work has moved much closer. The hectic rush hour on crowded roads or on packed public transport has been replaced by a quick journey along the landing or down the garden to the home office. In due course, many will return to the previous way of working in central office locations, but it seems highly likely that the “New Normal” will be marked by more people than ever before working remotely – particularly since it has only accelerated an existing trend of enabling remote workers.

We all know that many advantages are proffered for home working, and indeed I am a great fan of doing so. Of course, there is a range of technology that helps with online meetings and other forms of office communication, but there is also a danger that matters that would have been covered in the informal interaction between colleagues in an office will be missed. We no longer have the coffee machine chats, the quick conversation with the colleague at the next desk, five minutes grabbed “on the fly” with the boss, and so forth. This impacts us all but it’s especially acute among younger and, thereby, less-experienced employees. Personally, I can vividly remember in my early career how I was rescued from several professional “faux pas” after a few wise words from a more senior colleague! Would I be so fortunate now?

I have spent most of my recent career in the analytics industry, so not surprisingly my thoughts have wandered to how this challenge might play out in that world.

Let’s imagine you are searching for a report. One obvious way of starting this process would be to see if anyone has produced anything like this before, and that may likely involve asking around your office. If you are working remotely, that informal collaboration is not so easy. In today’s data-centric world, business users were already faced with the challenge of finding reports and the necessity of trying to work out which, if any, were relevant to their needs. Now that challenge is compounded because everyone is working from different locations. Enterprise data and documents are scattered all over the virtual work ecosystem. Even once access is set up to the ecosystem from remote locations, this “virtual clutter” makes it even harder to determine who owns what data or report, particularly when business users are using different BI and analytics tools.

Report clutter kills productivity. The ability to search a catalogue of reports to identify the right reports for your needs – and reports that are similar that could provide additional insights – would save you time. If you can readily see the wheel online then you won’t need to reinvent it! And wouldn’t it be even better if the available reports were rated as to their suitability for particular purposes by appropriately qualified colleagues?

These are among the business challenges that ZenOptics can help solve, thereby dramatically improving your decision-making process – regardless of where you may be working.

Find out more about how ZenOptics makes finding the right reports at the right time easier, read our white paper “Report Management in the New Normal – A Guide for COOs.

Many thanks to Peter McQuade, vice president of Alliances and Channels at ZenOptics, for authoring this blog.

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