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NTT urges NZ firms to extend remote working gains beyond lockdown

20 May 2020

New Zealand should consider ‘locking in’ productivity benefits gained from the shift to remote working during the recent lockdown period, according to the New Zealand arm of global tech firm NTT.

Within a short space of time, organisations with a largely office-based presence found themselves forced to adapt to a new way of working and communicating through collaboration technologies, comments NTT New Zealand chief executive officer Simon Gillespie.

“This rapid change has also resulted in a less secure environment with data now located at work and home,” he warns, adding that it’s important that employees’ personal devices are properly secured.

This is because phone conversations and office interactions suddenly shifted towards video, which could be recorded for everyone’s use.

Gillespie says that NTT New Zealand is working with organisations across the public and private sector to help them extend what they gained from remote working beyond the lockdown.

NTT also states that automation can be used to monitor basic business processes, increasing efficiency and allowing employees to concentrate on more high value tasks.

“There are plenty of ways to measure customer satisfaction, and monitor service queues that don’t require a person to be physically present in the office. Many of our clients found this out for the first time when their workforce was operating from home under COVID-19 Alert levels 3 and 4. We want to ensure that the unexpected advantages gained in lockdown don’t disappear with the move back to pre-COVID operating conditions,” Gillespie says.
 
“We have been able to assist both government and commercial business, specifically essential services shift rapidly into working from home. Continuing to work collaboratively to add features, fix issues and to develop comfort with this new space we find ourselves in. Once stable, the conversation typically turns towards "how can we take this, and use it to transform our business, in the midst of COVID". 

NTT believes that business adoption and technology can help to answer this question, adding that the key is to connect with us and have a new conversation about what the new norm could offer in a safe and secure way.

“It would be disappointing, for example, if when an employee returned to the office instead of using instant messaging, they picked up the desk phone – that would be like going back five years,” concludes Gillespie.

NTT is a global ICT provider that employs more than 40,000 people and delivers services in more than 200 countries and regions.