The business landscape has rapidly transformed as companies were pushed to shift to remote work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a year of virtual meetings and events, companies are now rethinking going back to the standard business arrangement. In the age of fast-transforming business models, technology providers play a crucial role in enabling the landscape to shift to whichever way companies choose to. For global innovation leader Lenovo, tech players have become more agile as businesses take on a new path, which came with a new set of needs to address. 

Michael Ngan, Lenovo PH President & General Manager

“We see more companies taking advantage of the accelerated digital transformation. Through innovative technology, they are reimagining business models to foster a better work environment and people-first culture. As part of Lenovo’s vision to deliver Smarter Technology for All, we continue to design with their evolving needs in mind and strive to provide smarter solutions to help them navigate this new normal,” said Lenovo Philippines President and General Manager Michael Ngan.

Remote working has created several new experiences, marking itself as the root of workplace innovation. As it continues to deliver success, some companies are now viewing remote working as a permanent solution instead of temporary. Lenovo’s recent study on the Future of Work and Digital Transformation showed that a vast majority (83%) of IT decision makers (ITDM) surveyed around the globe expect post-pandemic work to be remote for at least half the time. With this mindset in place, what’s next for the “workplace”?

Business technology

As the world deployed a remote workforce, the standard business model was disrupted and companies were pushed to find new solutions in making it work. Since the workplace is no longer confined to a traditional office space, it became wherever employees are connected. Technology made this transformation possible, while tech providers continually innovate to support the needs of the workforce.

Since the adoption of remote working, tech providers have had an increased focus on portability and flexibility in developing devices for professionals to allow for better mobility and convenience. For instance, Lenovo’s newest commercial offerings were mainly designed to cater the needs of the remote workforce. Among these are the ThinkPad X1 Fold, the world’s first foldable single-screen PC that marries form and function into one portable device, and the ThinkPad X1 Nano, the lightest ThinkPad ever that offers supreme intelligence and battery life for work-from-anywhere setups. Most recently, Lenovo launched Eyesafe®-certified monitors that come with Natural Low Blue Light technology and TÜV Rheinland Eye Comfort, reducing harmful blue light without compromising performance. 

Moving forward, Lenovo predicts that tech companies will be focusing on developing camera and audio enhancement on devices, changes in collaboration technologies, improvement on ergonomic designs, and larger, moveable, and portable displays.

Collaboration tools

Face-to-face working conditions enabled people to build reciprocal productivity. Its absence has brought inefficiencies or decrease in productivity in varying degrees for employees, resulting to minimized results. Before the pandemic, offices were needed to gather employees together and were deemed critical in driving collective creativity and productivity. The rise of collaborative tech tools challenged the need for a traditional office space as they enabled businesses to maintain operations despite having to work remotely. 

Answering to the demand, tech providers engineered their offered devices in partnership with collaborative software developers to ensure that such programs reach businesses with ease. Striving to empower communities with technology, Lenovo partnered with Microsoft and Zoom, two of the leading industry players, to develop products such as the ThinkSmart Hub and ThinkSmart View. These devices were designed with built-in collaborative programs for smarter collaboration as well as boost individual productivity.

According to Lenovo’s remote work study, 85% of companies surveyed have adopted collaboration software. Tools such as videoconferencing, instant messaging, web-based software, and other forms of digital platforms used for collaboration immediately became vital in keeping businesses operational during the pandemic. 

Reshaping the office

Companies are now deviating from the standard business arrangement as technology empowers them to modify structures as necessary. A hybrid work arrangement is likely to be a trend, where employers will allow workers to come to the office two to three days per week in a five-day work week. In fact, Lenovo’s global study further revealed that most employees (83%) surveyed prefer a hybrid work model post-COVID, which businesses say they are more than happy to accommodate because they know it’s a way to drive employee engagement and attract new talents.

The future of the office is expected to be a hybrid “business center” model, equipped with collaboration technologies, but business leaders are still to communicate with their employees to identify pain points and work with them to understand their strategies and needs. As the role of the office changes, alterations in the specific ways companies do business also come into play to match the new culture. This means reconstruction of traditional practices, while leveraging technology, will most likely be the foundation of transformation.

“Organizations are reinforcing their tech infrastructures in preparation for the future of work. We at Lenovo are committed to delivering a service-led intelligent transformation to support and encourage them to transition to new ways of doing business that will be most beneficial to them,” said Ngan.

Technology saw years’ worth of evolution in several months. Portable and ergonomic devices and collaboration tools became the mainstream as employees work remotely and keep connected through digital platforms. As businesses continue to restructure norms and welcome different work arrangements, new needs arise and technology strives to keep up to support this transformation. On the journey towards the next normal, tech companies like Lenovo remain crucial in enabling organizations to effectively navigate the way to an innovation-led future. 

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