A new year is here and like 2021, 2022 will be shaped as businesses continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic brought many changes to the workplace and will continue to inspire workplace trends in 2022, especially in the technology industry, according to Rebecca Rosen, who was recently interviewed on our Tacos and Tech podcast of Cox Business.
“I think we’ve seen more change in the last 18 months than we really have through the majority of my career,” said Rosen, director of field marketing at Cox Business, a family-owned private 122 year old telecommunications leader in providing voice, video and data services for more than 350,000 small and regional businesses nationwide.
For starters, the penetration of the cloud that was expected to slowly take place over a decade was accelerated as workplaces adjusted to stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines amid the pandemic.
“Suddenly, in a year-and-a-half, the penetration that we thought would occur over the next decade really occurred in 18 months,” Rosen said.
Business leaders andtechnology (IT) decision-makers had to quickly adopt new infrastructure and new ways to conduct business and interact with employees.
Cox Business greatly invested in its communities through infrastructure upgrades prior to the pandemic. In fact, the company has invested more than $15 billion in infrastructure in the last decade and has committed to invest another $10 billion over the next several years, Rosen said.
The company’s investments proved essential as the demand for infrastructure grew while workers across the country shifted to remote work at the start of the pandemic. Even now, when businesses have reopened, and many workers have returned to the office, many other workers remain working from home or have adopted a hybrid work model that isn’t going away anytime soon.
“Hybrid doesn’t go away suddenly because we are now able … to go back to the office,” said Rosen, who joined Cox Business in 2021, where she focuses on marketing and product in California.
Nearly half of full-time employees were still working partly or fully remotely in September, according to a Gallup survey.
“The question becomes: How can I give them that office experience that is the same regardless of whether I’ve crossed that threshold to the front door or not?” Rosen said.
Cox Business, she added, is focused on providing the “same and seamless office experience” for workers whether they are in the office or at home.
Looking ahead to 2022, Rosen advised business owners and employers to first get rid of latency in their networks. She said businesses should look toward edge services that provide faster cloud connection like Cox Edge. The full-stack edge-cloud computing service launched in June to support a wide array of low-latency apps and services.
In case of ransomware attacks, Rosen also recommended businesses have multiple backups of their data, including physical and cloud backups.
Companies should also have application tools such as Microsoft Office 365, which offers Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and other platforms that enable people to collaborate in real-time.
“We need tools not only to make us better at what it is we do, make us faster at what it is that we do, but that will also attract the type of talent that we want and what talent expects today from us,” Rosen said.