Xerox COO: The office will endure when the pandemic ends – CNN

Posted: October 8, 2020 at 2:56 am

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But that doesn't mean office life as we knew it is gone forever. While technology enabled businesses to swiftly shift tens of millions of employees to remote work, our shared experience this year has revealed that there are still drawbacks to relying entirely on a remote workforce.

As this global remote work experiment heads into its eighth month, it's becoming increasingly clear the office will endure. But it must also continue to evolve as a hybrid work model that provides more flexibility to work, both in the office and elsewhere.

Companies will only survive and thrive if they keep up with the speed of change, and in-person connection matters here, too. Over my 30-year career, I have always begun initiatives involving significant change by getting all project leaders in one place. In-person communication, vision and buy-in to change are critical to business success.

If the pandemic has had any positive role, it revealed areas where businesses need to invest to increase collaboration, automate workflows and free up humans to work on higher-quality challenges.

I've been back in the office several days a week since July, as have many of our senior leaders at Xerox. Overall, around 80% of our facilities are open and about 50% of our employees are back in the office. Many of our employees are taking a hybrid approach that has them splitting their time between home and the office. This too, has created some challenges to ensure people can fluidly move from work office to home office without technology hiccups.

We know a hybrid professional environment can run smoothly, especially when the right technology is in place -- chiefly cloud-based solutions for communication, collaboration and remote IT. Cloud is the logical choice for enabling 'work from anywhere' fluidity -- connecting teams and improving speed and ability to work together. When we couple cloud with digitization and process automation, employees will be freer to focus on more strategic, creative and ultimately high-impact work, no matter where they happen to be.

After the past few months, there is a more balanced viewpoint about the hybrid workplace across the C-suite. Executive leaders who hadn't previously worked from home have now personally lived it for months. They know it's possible to be productive when working remotely -- but they've seen the downsides, especially for teams that are in growth or transformation mode. We've learned a lot this year about how to flex and thrive in uncertain times. The new work environment will blend the best of both worlds.

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Xerox COO: The office will endure when the pandemic ends - CNN

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am