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Organisations Urged To Lock In Productivity Gains

Remote working on a mass scale has provided unexpected benefits, says NTT NZ

NTT, a leading technology services company with a substantial presence in New Zealand, says organisations should give consideration to ensuring that productivity gains made during Covid-19 lockdown are not lost as the country moves to Alert level 2.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, NTT New Zealand, says his team is working with a number of organisations, in the public and private sector, keen to find ways of continuing the efficiencies gained with the forced migration to remote working.

“The move to total lockdown in March occurred in a very short space of time, with many people who worked in offices suddenly switching to working from home. They were forced to adapt to a new environment and as a consequence they quickly upskilled to using collaboration technology. This rapid change has also resulted in a less secure environment with data now located at work and home” he says. Can an organisation trust that an employee’s home computer, personal devices and Wi-Fi network are secure?

Video conferencing and instant messaging are examples of tools that, while prevalent in the workplace for many years, became absolute necessities in the past two months. This meant that information that had been locked up in email communication or that went unrecorded in phone conversations and office interactions, was suddenly being captured for the benefit of everyone, Gillespie says.

NTT is also advising many of its New Zealand clients on how automation can be used to monitor basic business processes. This increases efficiency, and frees up employees to work on more interesting and high value tasks.

“There are plenty of ways to measure customer satisfaction, and monitor service queues that don’t require a person to be physically present in the office. Many of our clients found this out for the first time when their workforce was operating from home under Covid-19 Alert levels 3 and 4. We want to ensure that the unexpected advantages gained in lockdown don’t disappear with the move back to pre-Covid operating conditions,” Gillespie says.

We have been able to assist both government and commercial business, specifically essential services shift rapidly into working from home. Continuing to work collaboratively to add features, fix issues and to develop comfort with this new space we find ourselves in. Once stable, the conversation typically turns towards "how can we take this, and use it to transform our business, in the midst of COVID". Answering this with business adoption and technology, seeing the results in a short period of time has been very rewarding. The key is to connect with us and have a new conversation about what the new norm could offer in a safe and secure way.

“It would be disappointing, for example, if when an employee returned to the office instead of using instant messaging, they picked up the desk phone – that would be like going back five years.” Gillespie says.

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