Communications Blog • 4 MIN READ

The new norm: Remote working and the road to recovery for Hong Kong and Taiwan

Wayne Chin

Written by Wayne Chin

With the greater China region beginning to relax its COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, organizations are taking their first tentative steps on the road to economic and social recovery.

Since January 2020, businesses in the region have had to make unprecedented adjustments to their normal working culture by being forced to adopt work from home (WFH) policies. Around 200 million people were working remotely by the end of the Chinese New Year holiday.

In a recent blog, we explored the developing acceptance in APAC of remote working as a new standard.

What will be the ‘new norm’?

With the crisis by no means at an end, working conditions (in the short term at least) will be a mixture of remote and office-based working. Social distancing, regular disinfection practices and health checks have been integrated into new rules in the workplace.

Some businesses are allowing only some of their employees back to the office, and asking some to alternate shifts, adjust work hours, and combine their work day with part remote working, part office-based.

Such work practices are unparalleled and will leave a lasting impression on the way people live and work for years to come. Many businesses have had to build whole new UC infrastructures, and have made huge investments in new UC technology to facilitate remote working.

What are the challenges in the new workplace?

Remote working comes with setbacks and challenges.

Effective remote working starts with the basics, including a fast, stable, and secure internet connection, as well as setting up a comfortable, ergonomic home office environment.

Expanding Virtual Private Network (VPN) access and bandwidth is one of the first steps many CIOs took to enable their employees to access systems remotely. Remote working is also empowered by a suite of Software as a Service (SaaS) technology tools that allow teams to effectively co-create, communicate, share documents, and manage processes.

Many companies in Hong Kong and Taiwan have rapidly adopted local productivity solutions such as Zoom, LINE and Webex to communicate and deliver weekly meetings, training, and lectures. Many multinational firms accelerated roll-out of productivity solutions they were already using elsewhere, like Slack, or Microsoft Teams.

While these solutions have enabled businesses to continue operating by keeping the lines of communication and collaboration open, they also add an additional element of complexity to already multifaceted ecosystems. Blending these cloud-based solutions with existing on-premises platforms and infrastructure can be a challenge, especially when deployed remotely and at speed.

IT – unsung heroes, but they can’t fix everything

Remote working is here to stay, and this means extra pressure on IT teams. While an organization’s UC ecosystem might be set up to handle most user needs, there are a number of outside factors that IT has no control over:

  • Internet quality in the home
  • User’s telco mobile network quality
  • Bandwidth
  • Using non-supported headsets, speakers or other equipment
  • Security breaches

With limited time and staff shortages, IT teams need to be able to manage their time effectively to have the most impact and meet KPIs and SLAs. With staff shortages and challenging circumstances, it would be a waste of precious time and resources trying to fix call quality for a remote worker, when it’s their home internet bandwidth that is the problem.

So, what’s the solution?

A solid UC monitoring, troubleshooting and management platform should be a core part of every organization’s UC infrastructure.

IR’s solutions provide experience and performance management assurance for enterprise voice, video and collaboration ecosystems. Ensure your IT team is providing the best possible user experience by equipping them with the tools to pinpoint exactly where problems are occurring, proactively prevent them from recurring, and allowing them to focus on what they can control.

Topics: Communications Customer experience Performance management Microsoft - Teams - Skype Video Cloud and hybrid UC

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