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Explain IT: Season 4, Episode 10 - Return to the Office (but not returning to the old ways)

Return to the Office (but not returning to the old ways)

0:00:00 / 43:05

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In this episode we discuss the return to the office. With restrictions eased, there are many decisions for organisations to make with regards to workspace, technology and staff wellbeing. Host Zac Abbott talks to Graeme Watt, CEO, at Softcat, Rob Parkinson, CIO at Softcat and Dean Gardner, Softcat’s Field Chief Technology Officer to find out how Softcat is planning to tackle this transition.

  • You can only plan to a certain point – there has got to be a lot of flexibility in plans and plenty of reviewing and quick changes according to what works and doesn’t work.
  • People are looking for a better work/life balance. Their expectations of work may have changed over the last year, and Softcat consider that it’s best to do what’s right for each individual and their additional responsibilities to family, children, pets etc.
  • Technology will solve a lot of challenges. There will be an increase in hybrid meetings, and the now familiar collaboration tools will ensure that people reduce their travel and can actively participate in every meeting they need to attend, wherever they are.
  • There have been many necessary changes in tech. Softcat has changed its collaboration strategy, moving to a single collaboration platform, and has changed its device strategy, rolling out laptops to every member of staff. These changes will remain, assisting a hybrid, or balanced, workforce.
  • There will be a continued focus on staff wellbeing, giving people time and space to readjust and decide what works best for them. Softcat will continue to support staff through this transition and beyond, looking for new ways to develop this long-term.
  • Rob offered his advice for IT teams around ensuring organisations have a strong IT strategy and roadmap aligned to their business objectives, as well as engaging with experts, using their advice to support the strategy and keeping them on track.
  • All agreed that the transition was about empowering staff, giving them the choice and the confidence to make decisions based on what was right for them.​​​



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