COVID-19, technology saved businesses …Work from Home, the norm

Article By : Frank Lavety

Prior to Covid-19 Corona Virus pandemic’s centre stage worldwide presence, to many organizations, the common workspace remained the office! The phrases “home office and work from home” are lexis of...

Prior to Covid-19 Corona Virus pandemic’s centre stage worldwide presence, to many organizations, the common workspace remained the office! The phrases “home office and work from home” are lexis of corporate organizations with employees or contributors spread across the continent, and for some nursing mothers or housewives as the case may be.

However, the widespread virus spinner took the workspace on 360 degrees journey and changed the landscape. It is remarkable to think back, a few months when countless home offices were used occasionally for business. Now, it serves as command central for many of us as we perform day-to-day routine tasks of our jobs from home. Welcome to the new normal.

Some companies already had work-from-home policies for a variety of reasons, including employees in different geographic locations whose specific technical expertise made them indispensable. They were ready and learned to make it work years ago. As far as they were concerned, it was business as usual. Other companies were thrust abruptly into an unprecedented implementation of remote working due to COVID-19 no matter how complex the business requirements. Much broader use cases were implemented with a sense of urgency and an inevitable permanency. And so, the lines between the digital tools we use to meet our work requirements and home commitments have never been as interconnected.

The ability to work from home (WFH) would not be possible without the technology produced by the semiconductor industry that connects us to devices, systems, and each other. It supports complex business operations as well as our daily social needs, whether it is using computer aided design (CAD) or workstation, MS Office, or other applications. Our WFH days are now heavily dependent on this technology as we download email, join a teleconference call, share files or stream videos and join our favorite Yoga class. Some of us, in need of human connection, can be found at a virtual Happy Hour. All told, our devices host and process a multitude of activities simultaneously as we multitask and meet the deadlines of our businesses and requirements of our daily lives.

Man sitting while using laptop at home Courtesy Pexels

Man sitting while using laptop at home (Courtesy Pexels)

Credit goes to flexible storage and cloud access, essentials for remote home – and work-life synergies with no restriction on devices or location as bandwidth, speed, power become enablers.

These positives notwithstanding, one ongoing complaint remains –– network challenges with Wi-Fi being the likely culprit. Most home office setups work from Wi-Fi, a great resource that gets slower when shared with other people or more than one device. The answer is wired connections. Wired connectivity between digital devices reliably and seamlessly moves data at a high rate. Universal serial Bus (USB) standardized the connection in 1996 between peripherals, personal computers (PCs), and other devices to communicate with and to supply electric power, replacing serial ports and parallel ports

The latest USB standard –– USB4 –– will do even more to help quench our thirst for information through higher definition displays, longer battery life and lower overall system power consumption. USB4 will enable communication with peripheral devices such as displays, SSD drives, webcams, tablets, smartphones, and more with greater efficiency through better traffic flow, as our devices continue the semiconductor industry’s march to double the data rate every two years that dates back 50 years.

It is nothing short of remarkable that we have interconnections working efficiently and with little productivity impact in a scenario few of us imagined. Many workers in the US and other continents are now convinced their industries can succeed as we WFH. A recent IBM survey found that 54 percent of 25,000 adults polled would like to be able to WFH while 75 percent want the option to do it occasionally.

C-level executives who manage distributed functions and employees certainly never envisioned their entire work force operating from home offices even on short term basis. The culture of work is changing, and we are entering a new normal with interconnect technology serving as the universal communications vehicle for employees to WFH. While WFH may never replace in-person interactions and all employees in one location, we have the digital tools and devices to keep us connected, communicating, and working that will create a lasting impact.

— Frank Lavety, General Manager at Kandou

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