Will digital transformation be the positive legacy of covid-19?
For all of us, these days of social distancing and self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic are tough. Not only are we dealing with the commercial challenges of maintaining business continuity at a time when change is constant; we’re also trying to come to terms with a new definition of ‘normal’ across all aspects of life.
We’re fortunate here at BES that the technology and agile working practices already embedded in the business are enabling us to work from home and continue collaborating with clients. The platforms we use to design and engineer specialist facilities are enabling our inter-disciplinary team to work together and share documents as normal to progress projects at design phase. The mission-critical nature of our work in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, central to the COVID-19 response, means that our construction projects are also progressing as planned, with the additional measures being in place in line with PHS guidelines.
At this anxious time, it’s important to recognise that the COVID-19 situation has not just created challenges for both companies and individuals; it has also created opportunities to embrace positive change. Most of us have no desire to work from home as an imposed regime; indeed, at BES teamwork lies at the very heart of our company culture and values. However, many of us have been surprised at how easy it can be to work from home and the fact that we’re forced to try a new approach is becoming a catalyst for more flexible and creative ways of working.
At a time when we are all dependent on digital technologies to continue doing our jobs, we’re finding out just how much versatility and efficiency digital transformation can bring to our work and our lives. Instead of waiting for a scheduled meeting to add points to the agenda, queries are being ironed out in real time via Skype or Zoom. What’s more, because so many of us are spending so much time alone, we’re much more likely to pick up the phone instead of pinging an email. Ironically, social distancing is becoming a reason to stay connected and that impulse to connect and communicate will stay with us long after the virus has subsided.
While some are more ‘at risk’ than others, as humans we are all vulnerable to COVID-19 and BES is taking that vulnerability very seriously, with measures to protect our team, our clients and our supply chain. The pandemic has also taught us some interesting lessons about human nature, however, and the irrepressible need for shared experience and contact with each other.
There will be many legacies from this difficult time. At some point, life will return to normal and we will all take stock of the impact on our families, our workplaces and the wider world. But it will be a new normal; we will have learned from the experience and we will be changed by it. Some of that change will be positive, shaping the way we use technology and work with others.
For now, we are using the resources we have to stay connected and keep everything on track. We’re seeing inspirational team spirit and can-do lateral thinking and we’d like to thank the BES team, our clients and our delivery partners for helping us navigate through such unchartered waters with such admirable positivity.
Author: Steve Marsh