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How has COVID-19 changed the way we work?

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year has dramatically changed the way we work and where we work, with millions of employees now working remotely.

Now that lockdown restrictions are easing, it makes sense to think that perhaps now things will go “back to normal” but this isn’t the case. In fact, research shows that even when the pandemic is under control, remote working will remain the norm on a global scale. The Labour Minister in Germany, for example, has introduced a new “right to work from home” law due to the success of remote working during the lockdown there.

For those who work with graphics-heavy applications, such as architecture firms and product development companies, this change to remote working led by the COVID-19 outbreak has been especially challenging. Many architects, designers and engineers depend on physical workstations to edit and visualise 3D models, and these workstations cannot usually leave the office.

However, industries are responding quickly to these issues and drawing on the services of virtual desktop infrastructure software to enable designers to work remotely.

The trend towards remote working was starting to rise even before the outbreak of COVID-19, with several large companies already beginning to see the benefit of virtual workstations for 3D applications. Many multinationals in the architecture and engineering sector, for example, had already set up virtual workstations to enable their BIM and CAD designers to work remotely when needed.

However, there were still a large number of CAD users working with processes that keep them physically tied to their large desktop computers in-office. When coronavirus struck, however, suddenly thousands of businesses of all sizes had to deal with the realities associated with remote working. So, what has this taught us?

  • Remote working is viable for most industries and jobs – people are still productive even when they are not in the office

  • Many employees have found that working remotely is better for them, and they can concentrate on work better as there are fewer distractions

  • However, some face-to-face contact is still valuable as it can help to shape company culture and more quickly resolve certain issues

Many companies were forced to quickly adapt to remote working when the first national lockdown was introduced, and so something that normally would have taken months of planning had to be completed in a couple of weeks or less. As employers and employees continue to adapt to remote working, there were and will continue to be some changes to working patterns, such as:

  • Allowing employees to continue to work remotely full time, with the closure of many physical offices

  • A more flexible approach to remote working from many companies also, with rules around how many days per week staff can work remotely

  • Some companies may have limited availability for remote work, of course, dependent on the type of work they do

If your company relies heavily on graphics-intensive design and you want to continue to support remote working now the coronavirus lockdown has lifted, then you are going to need a long-term solution – so you may be interested to learn that virtual workstations are available as a subscription service, which can offer you advantages such as:

  • Being a much lower cost per month than investing in high-spec laptops

  • It is significantly faster to access a virtual workstation that resides in a data centre than it is to work on a physical desktop via a VPN on the corporate network

  • No specialist IT knowledge is required by your employees to work with a virtual workstation, unlike other remote access technologies

So, although we are still in lockdown in some shape or form in many parts of the world, it is becoming increasingly clear that remote working is going to become a permanent part of the future of work for many employees. If you want to start preparing for the future now and explore how virtual workstations can play a part in helping your team to work remotely, then please get in touch with the team at ebb3 today.

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