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Post-COVID: Why the Canadian office will never be the same again

Many businesses have adopted special measures in order to address the coronavirus pandemic. Much of this has centered on remote working and by putting in place protocols designed to protect the health of those personnel who need to go into the physical office.

As workplaces slowly begin to return to normal (albeit at different rates), many companies have assessed the efficiency and productivity of home working and have concluded that many employees can work just as efficiency at home. While there are some issues that need careful attention (such as cybersecurity), there are advantages in terms of energy reduction, office rent savings, and, for the employee, a reduction in commuting costs.

In terms of culture and technology, the coronavirus pandemic has helped to accelerate digital transformation initiatives substantially. In some cases, digital transformation initiatives have advanced at a pace that would have previously taken several years.

This rapid period of change has been assisted by many technology companies, such as Google and Microsoft, who have rolled out tools that can support companies and organizations when going remote for extended trial periods or for lower fees.

One country that has seemingly embraced the new normal in a big way is Canada. Here COVID-19 has forced most of the knowledge economy workforce to work from home. This means that IT departments have worked at rapid speed to deliver an always-on, seamless work environment and ensure that critical infrastructure doesn’t creak under the strain.

After this, what will the business landscape look like as the economy begins to reopen, and will the reputation of the IT department be transformed?

The answers may lie in a new global study conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Citrix (titled ‘Emerging from Digital Shock‘). This poll shines a light on how this once-in-a-generation rupture is being dealt with, signalling w the corporate world will probably be reshaped forever.

The research shows Canada is accelerating their digital transformation efforts on average by 1.3 years to accommodate more flexible ways of working IT leaders polled say employees will demand even after the pandemic subsides. As an example, over three-quarters believe a majority of workers will be reluctant to return to the office as it was. And 61 percent say they are expediting their move to the cloud as a result.

The survey also draws out some local variations. For instance, Canadian IT leaders are under extreme pressure as provinces begin to reopen, topping the list as one of the most stressed (82 percent) and admitting they are highly concerned about information security as a result of employees working from home (75 percent).

The survey also finds out that the IT department is even more critical to business success. Drawn out from the survey, 80 percent of professionals agree that the IT function/ department is more valued than it has ever been before.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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