CCS Insight Predicts: Remote work and collaboration

The shift to remote working as a result of the pandemic has had a fundamental impact on the way we work.

Analyst CCS Insight hosted its annual ‘Predictions Week: 2021 and Beyond’ earlier this month. It’s always a must-attend event on the Earnest calendar – providing some great insights into the big tech trends impacting the B2B world today.

Here’s the first in a blog series sharing some of the key insights. This time round, we focus on the very topical subject of remote work and collaboration.

While offices will still exist in the future, they will no longer be the primary place of work

The shift to remote working as a result of the pandemic has had a fundamental

impact on the way we work.

It’s opened the eyes of many leadership teams to the benefits of remote and

flexible working and is likely to have a longer lasting impact on the way we work.

Business leaders are seeing there’s an opportunity:

  • To make cost savings by rationalising physical office space (e.g. BP expects to operate with half of its current physical footprint moving forward)
  • To provide greater flexibility to employees in how and where they work
  • To extend the potential of their firm to tap into the best talent globally, no longer constrained by their physical location

CCS Insight Predicts:

“In 2022, more than half of office employees will still work from home”

Tech winners in the space:

  • Zoom has seen a 300% rise in revenue (however, unlikely this growth will be sustained)
  • Microsoft Teams hosts 5 billion meeting minutes per day

Earnest comment:

This has big implications for B2B marketers both in their internal and external comms strategies – and channel choices. Those holding out for the mass return to the office and for ‘normal’ campaigning to resume may need to rethink their approaches.

Employee mental health and wellbeing is a key concern

Last year, CCS Insight predicted that more people would see the value of a regular ‘digitally detox’.

While many employees are enjoying the flexibility working from home brings, they’re also working longer hours and finding it harder to switch off – with real concerns about the impact on mental health.

Interesting tech developments are emerging in this space:

  • Wellbot – a ‘corporate wellness workplace platform’
  • Unmind – a ‘workplace mental health platform’
  • Microsoft – also taking a leading role with new analytics features in Teams designed to ‘harmonise productivity and well-being’

CCS Insight Predicts:

“Features that track and promote well-being appear in all collaboration and HR applications by 2021.”

Earnest comment:

B2B marketers need to be mindful of the emerging wellbeing crisis. There’s also an opportunity for their brands to do good – creating content, applications or partnerships that genuinely help their customers to de-stress and support their mental health.

Team collaboration and productivity is a big area of focus for enterprises

A recent CCS Insight Senior IT leadership investment survey 2020 explored the biggest non-technical challenges for remote working:

  • 41% said ensuring teams can work collaboratively
  • 29% said enabling networking and community building when teams are remote
  • 26% said fostering innovation, creativity and agility when teams are not co-located

Technology is needed that supports new interactions, collaboration and innovation in a remote setting

There are tech players landing substantial investment in this space:

  • Miroa ‘collaborative online white board platform for remote and distributed teams’
  • Murala ‘distributed workspace for visual collaboration’

This is likely to grow to become a major area of competition – through small players and larger companies like Microsoft and Google

CCS Insight Predicts:

“Online whiteboard and co-editing technologies become a hot area of investment in 2021.”

Earnest comment:

Despite people adjusting to life on camera, there’s still much work that needs doing to fully leverage video-based collaboration tools to really get the creative juices going. Miro and Mural hold much promise for agencies and clients alike – which could turn awkward PPT based workshops into something a lot more illuminating and engaging.

Next in the trend watching series – The rise and rise of the Cloud

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Photo by PressFoto.