Writing anything in advance of publication is a dangerous proposition at present; we are told that we are heading towards a ‘new normal’ but what that actually means is anybody’s guess.
We’re told that over 80% of people do not want to return to the ‘old normal’; there is a determination that the sacrifice that we have made over the last months leads to a better way of doing things in future. In the working environment this necessarily involves the increased use of IT and more, the use of emerging technology of which many of us were previously unaware.
Many of us are in a position where long needed change in the way we use IT has now been forced upon us. This is a good thing but obviously has to be done carefully and in a considered manner.
As a customer focussed IT company, we at EDGE both have to look at our own organisation as well as trying to understand what our clients will need in the ‘new normal’. We’ve accommodated short term needs such as pandemic diaries but have to have one eye on medium term practice.
The concept of the paperless office has been around for many years and has generally been greeted with cynicism. However, in the age of remote working, its time has surely come. Where possible we must develop systems where the physical presence of either data or personnel is unnecessary. Data needs to be securely available from the cloud; personnel need access and the ability to share and collaborate. We need to look at all our practices that involve the passing of paper.
Do gravediggers really need a paper dig order, or do we provide them with a portal where they can access their directions on their phones? Do we really need to see a physical ‘Green’ form? Do we need to tear off the return and post it to the Registrar? In Epitaph, there is now the facility to receive the Green form as a .pdf file, attach this to the booking, enter the details and then to immediately fire off a confirmatory email to the Registrar. We believe this should be the ‘new normal’.
Another thing we have learned whilst we sit at home working is that using video calls not only lets us see our colleagues and clients, it improves the quality of the communication. That old adage
about communication being 90% non-verbal is blatantly right. Where software such as Microsoft Teams wins, is the ability to not only video conference but also to share screens and collaborate.
The integration of Microsoft 365 with Teams, VOIP and the new Rooms feature for Teams, for instance, offers us huge potential for adapting to the new normal and having some control over how we shape it.
What all of this does, is present us with opportunity. We believe that this is the time to fundamentally review everything we do; we may not even have a choice in the matter. As a company we’ve been privileged to assist our clients in this process. We have the tools needed and the knowledge to tailor them to individual requirements.
If you thought we just did Epitaph, think again.