The corona crisis has changed the way companies operate, but will all these changes last? According to a recent study by Orange Belgium, home offices, video meetings and increased attention to cyber security are here to stay.
As Belgium’s economy gradually returns to pre-lockdown operation, it appears companies are changing their policies in terms of HR, ICT, cyber security and operations in general. Homeworking, for instance, will most likely remain after the lockdown. Almost 8 in 10 companies (79%) in the survey admit their staff will continue to work from home more often. 83 percent are convinced that working hours will become more flexible.
A logical consequence of the fact that more companies will allow and encourage their staff to work from home: 89 percent of surveyed companies expect to make more frequent use of online meeting software. 7 in 10 companies also think it will be necessary to make more mobile devices, laptops and smartphones available to their employees. Webinars for external parties will also be organized more frequently, according to 70 percent of responding companies. Due to the success of video meetings, 72 percent also expect a decrease in the number of business trips.
Although the new ways of working come with numerous benefits, they’re also associated with new risks. Strong networks are more than ever a necessity, reason why 2 out of 3 companies admit they will have to develop their VPN connection further. 76 percent claim they will have to upgrade the protection of their mobile devices against malware and 77 percent realise they must boost employee awareness of cyber security issues. This might also come in handy for businesses with a webshop. 52 percent of the 64 percent of companies with an online shop claim they will continue to invest in it after the lockdown is lifted. All in all it appears that a large majority of Belgian companies will continue many of the ‘experiments’ they had to come up with during the crisis caused by Covid-19.
Werner De Laet, Chief B2B, Wholesale and Innovation Officer of Orange Belgium, comments: “Overnight the majority of Belgian companies had to come up with different ways of working to deal with the crisis. Methods and devices which were doubted before, proved to be efficient and useful. Those new ways of working clearly got many companies thinking. The innovations sparked by the crisis might have an impact on long-standing problems such as traffic jams.”