We’re in the middle of pretty uncertain times – coronavirus has turned our lives upside down and completely changed our daily routines, to say the least.
Many businesses have a business continuity plan either through compulsion or good practice or a combination of the two. These plans may have been tested and potentially for certain scenarios but they are now being used and changed on a daily basis, with each new announcement or team sizes varying by the hour. Combined with significant pressures on sales and cashflow. This requires all of the experience of the management team, listening to the team and continual adjustment. We are dealing with a lot of uncertainty which effects everybody differently.
Many of us have now left our comfortable office chairs and moved to our ‘home offices’. When working from home, we are highly reliant on phones, PC’s, laptops and of course, the broadband speeds and network coverage in order to work and stay in touch. Without these technologies the business would not function.
While we are extremely lucky to have reliable broadbands and phone networks, they are under pressure. This week, when an unprecedented number of people started to work from home and use their private broadbands and mobile devices, some networks had significant unplanned demand increases. A massive increase in home based employees (and soon to be children) is causing demand for bandwidth to go through the roof, hence the calls for Netflix et al to only offer SD. There is a worry that the providers won’t be able to cope with the increase in broadband usage, even though they plan for spikes in demand and have dedicated services for emergency services etc. Telecoms and IT will continue to innovate and build redundancy, with an absolute need for democratisation of higher speeds for all. A month ago we would not have foreseen the impact of COVID-19, we are now fully aware of the black swans beyond the horizon.
Potentially working life will be changed and adjusted forever, more working from home, more virtual teams. 5G could play an important part in this change in dynamic. The 5G network ensures higher broadband and mobile data speed, more reliability and safer browsing. This means that network outages like we experienced this week would be less likely and we would be able to stay connected to our colleagues and family at all times and work from any place in the world. In addition, the internet speed increase would ensure that some tasks could be performed quicker, conference calls would go along without a hitch and without missing what another colleague has said because of the bad internet connection. Hopefully we will see an acceleration of innovation, productivity and good working practices. However, for now, the most important thing is to stay safe, stay calm and appreciate ourselves, our family, our colleagues and everyone else who is helping us in this difficult time.