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What is the new normal in 2021?

Former VP Product Marketing
About a year ago, we heard the first signals of a new virus in China and just a few weeks later in Italy. Everyone can probably remember their first personal impact. For me, I remember it was my son’s soccer team, which was invited to walk on the field with a local Dutch team and it was uncertain if people would be allowed in the stadium.  That was on the 28th of February 2020.
How much has changed in the past year? COVID-19 has had a big impact in our personal lives with social distancing, illness and even deaths. Professionally, many of us were used to going to an office building to start the day between 8 and 9 AM and returning home between 5 and 6 PM. All of that has changed as well, as most of us work continuously from home now.

In this study (published in March, 2020) it shows that from 2016 to 2017, remote work grew 7.9%. Compare that to 2021, where almost everyone is instructed to work from home while the 2nd wave and even an 3rd wave with mutated variations of COVID-19 are preventing people from returning to office buildings for an uncertain period. Many companies had to adapt and were not setup to allow access to their business-critical tools and content.

Luckily, in 2020 most companies were able to quickly accommodate their employees, who also became part-time teachers in the meantime, to work from home. One way companies quickly adapted is obvious when looking at the growth of Microsoft 365, which enables people to work from anywhere, at any time with their most used office applications. Now that people have experienced working from home, according to this study, 50% of the workforce would like to keep working from home part of the time, even when COVID-19 is over. And businesses see the value as well.

A new challenge now arises as this hybrid workforce is used to printing many papers a day. Digital Transformation is happening, but many of us like to read from a piece of paper, make notes on it and keep it handy. But as an employer, how do you facilitate business printing done from home? How can you separate and monitor business printing done at home from personal printing (school work)?

An easy solution could be to connect the home office LAN printer to our newly introduced YSoft OMNI Series, which connects home (or office) printers to your company’s Microsoft 365 account. Not only is a company able to setup who can use this (company paid) printer, but by adding OMNI Series in the home networks of the hybrid workforce, employees are able to print to any printer in the network, from anywhere. If you’re working from home, a bar (when open!), the beach….you can print that important document on the printer of the colleague you are collaborating with who may be at home or in the office.

I hope that we can go back to some kind of normal in 2021, but the old way of working will never come back. Are you ready to accommodate your hybrid workforce to work efficiently and cost effective?

Chris Herben
Chris Herben is a previous director of our global product marketing team, a team now managed by Anthony Vigliotti.
View all posts by Chris Herben

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