5 ways CIOs are preparing for teams to return from remote work

The federal government released guidelines for reopening the economy last week, and governors in some states are beginning to lift social-distancing restrictions.

During the pandemic many companies and health systems transitioned to a remote working environment for noncaregivers, and as offices reopen, Forrester Research says technology leaders will be among the first back. The Wall Street Journal reports that CIOs and their teams will need to prepare the office space for other remote workers to return.

Here are the tasks IT teams will need to tackle before fully reopening offices:

1. Develop a way to keep employees' mobile device germ-free without causing damage. That could include designating a "staging area" at the office entrance where employees can sanitize the devices they are bringing from home.

2. Transition remote-work capabilities into permanent fixtures for the organization, as many will limit the number of on-site employees to maintain social distancing. The initial remote-work capabilities often were set up quickly, but there is likely a more sustainable way of offering remote work long-term through boosting network capabilities, enabling remote-access login and boosting security.

3. As remote work becomes more long-term, Zoom and Google Hangouts planforms may not be ideal for virtual meetings. CIOs may need to build a different solution to transition complex business processes into the virtual space and closely monitor network performance as well as usage patterns to identify potential bottlenecks.

4. Organizations may decide to implement artificial intelligence and automated processes to support COVID-19 testing and contact-tracing efforts for employees.

5. Employee safety will be paramount as people return to the office, and IT leaders will be part of the efforts to develop smart ventilation and other capabilities for better environmental controls to stem the spread of the disease.


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