The workplace transformed

Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, there was no real consensus around the topic of home and remote working. For every business extolling the virtues of a more flexible approach to work, there was another insisting that the centralised office is indispensable. Workers themselves seem similarly conflicted.

18%

of Europeans preferred to work from home in 2019.

52%

of Europeans preferred to work at a dedicated desk.

The pandemic turned this on its head. The lockdown imposed by many countries flipped remote working capabilities from an option to a necessity. Almost overnight, businesses were challenged with enabling secure and effective home working and collaboration. Solving the challenges of remote working enablement was and remains a critically important consideration for businesses and wider economies. With GDP plummeting, and a prolonged recession a certainty, productivity optimisation is more important than ever – and that means home workers need to be able to work effectively.

The cloud is the ideal service delivery platform to virtualise the office as holistically and rapidly as possible.

The cloud is well suited to the task of successful remote working for several reasons.

Speed

Virtual services can be configured and deployed rapidly at whatever scale required to suit bespoke organisational requirements. Equally, they can be turned off at a moment’s notice as needed to save costs.

Security

Enterprise-grade cloud services come with robust security that is as effective as on-premise security.

Flexibility

The cloud can deliver working capabilities remotely with no need for IT technicians to physically visit a worker’s house to install them. Ongoing maintenance and management of the infrastructure is carried out by the cloud provider.

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The benefits of Windows Virtual Desktop

The benefits of virtualised desktops as a tool for remote access are broad and can form the foundation of a sustainable remote working solution for the long-term. At Accenture, we’ve worked closely with clients in the past on numerous remote access, remote work and virtualised desktop solutions. Recently, we worked closely with clients to deploy one such virtualised desktop solution: Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), a secure cloud hosted virtualised desktop as a service solution that provides remote access to corporate desktops and applications over the internet. Accenture has created an express, four-week enablement package for WVD, which completely virtualises the office environment and provides workers the corporate apps, services and tools they need, while interacting seamlessly with other Microsoft tools consumed by the organisation.

A Gartner survey showed that 74% of CFOs interviewed expect some of their employees to continue working remotely after the pandemic ends.

The future is remote

The nature of the workplace is changing. While the centralised office will no doubt still be important for many companies, these will likely be smaller offices – hubs that connect the many spokes of workers based at home and in other remote locations. Looking to a future where we all must continuously outmanoeuvre uncertainty, the time is now for organisations to put in place the capabilities they need to adapt to this new model and make it a success.

Emma Roscow

Intelligent Cloud Infrastructure Lead, UKI


Phil Surrell

Digital Workplace Lead, UKI


Euan Shoosmith

Manager – Cloud Transformation & Migration

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Productivity through the elastic digital workplace
COVID-19: How CHROs can drive workforce resilience
Responsive customer service in times of change

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