The Reliance on Technology for Remote/Hybrid Working

by Patrick Gallen, Partner, People & Change Consulting at Grant Thornton Ireland

The notion of digital transformation as a futuristic concept has been updated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the initial period of the pandemic, most organisations had to undergo a dramatic shift to remote working, implementing a variety of new technologies and platforms, which accelerated their digital transformation by many years.

Since the onset of COVID-19, we have now all seen the shift in working patterns towards a hybrid model, which was previously unfamiliar territory for the majority, forcing organisations worldwide to advance their digital transformation to support this new way of working.

The shift towards the hybrid model of work, initially driven by necessity, has accelerated organisations’ digital transformation, becoming the norm for employees globally. Utilising technological advancements is no longer a choice, rather, a business necessity.

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Needless to say, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed virtually every aspect of our life. From the way we work, to the way we socialise – nothing remains as it was. This impact has changed our attitudes and behaviours regarding the workplace for the long-term and has resulted in the need for digital transformation.

As a result, we are increasingly inhabiting two worlds today; the physical and the digital. While the hybrid model holds many variations in association with the digital transformation journey, it is vital that we utilise technological platforms to ensure businesses continue to perform, and employee experiences across the different environments remain engaging.

There is no denying that organisations are facing challenges while they are digitally adapting to support the future of the blended workforce. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to an organisations’ digital transformation strategy. The key is strong leadership, who should lead by example with a clear and transparent vision. This will result in organisations being ready for the next phase of the new normal.

Although the shift towards the hybrid model has both positive and negative aspects, the benefits on the digital front are immense. In order to reap the rewards of this transformation, organisations need to identify how their values need to evolve to support the acceleration of the digital transformation.

Our reliance on technology has significantly enhanced, not only as individuals, but as organisations. According to McKinsey, the pandemic has increased the pace of digital transformation by seven years. The pace of digital transformation is continuing to accelerate as organisations are currently resetting their strategies and ways of working.

The scope of technology’s role throughout the pandemic is stark. It is vital for organisations to reap this opportunity to transform our digital landscapes. Make the most out of this shift and the availability of the varying technological platforms, and upskill your people with the skills they need to successfully navigate this new territory.

About the author

Patrick is the Partner leading Grant Thornton’s People and Change Consulting practice in Ireland. He has over 30 years of experience in People and Change, working right across Ireland, the UK and on a global basis. He specialises in delivering behavioural change through capability building, which can range from working on complex transformation projects right through to coaching senior Board members on a one-to-one basis. Patrick has deep cross-sectoral experience and his clients include large global banking and financial institutions, utility companies  and well-known global brands in the food and drinks sector. His clients in the public and semi-state sector include Government Departments in the UK and Ireland, including Treasury and Finance Departments, Transport, Health and Utilities.