Workplace 2020: Preparing for a return to the office

By Neal Stanton, Co-CEO

Our world has completely changed. Not only at home—which in many cases has also become where we work—but it will undoubtedly change our ways of working in the physical office as well. I’ve had countless conversations with our customers and others who are facing a whole new reality in how they define the workplace.

Ways of Working: Changed forever

How we work has changed. Period. The concept of “social distancing” is here to stay—at least in the near term. The reality is the experts we often look to aren’t experts on COVID-19 (yet). There are too many unknowns right now.

For example, what is the lingering effect of this strain of coronavirus? What are the chances of reoccurrence? Will it be seasonal like the flu? All these questions are causing those experts to focus on everything from remediation and prevention to preparation as to avoid another global pandemic.

The Solution: Still underway

Our customers come from every industry, including financial services, healthcare and government. Although completely different, they have a few things in common.

Most are concerned with how to get people back into the physical office while keeping employees safe and healthy. Some ideas we’ve heard include rotating workers between home and the office or moving a percentage of the workforce home on a permanent basis.

The Lesson: Communicate and connect often

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught business anything, it has taught us how important it is to provide a way to connect with one another virtually. Each of our customers has increased the frequency of company-wide communications such as business updates and leadership messages to not only provide important information, but also the feeling of connectedness and inclusiveness.

Much of this messaging has been successfully delivered using video technology like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and WebEx. Video—whether video conferencing or streaming—has been so well received that it will most certainly become a key channel for communications when business returns to the office.

Companies will no longer crowd employees into theaters or auditoriums. Instead, they will use video to deliver messages to employees at their properly-spaced desks. However, increasing the use of video does not come without its own challenges.

You’ll need to consider how “professional” you want your broadcasts and messages to be. You might choose to use a webcam or go all out and use a studio setting with professional video equipment and lighting.

Although many companies have implemented video conferencing and streaming to meet the immediate need, they now need to take the time and choose one or more video platforms that fit their needs for live webcasts and video on demand (VOD).

While tools like Zoom and WebEx are really meant to provide ad hoc meetings, they lack many of the features found in the leading video content management systems (CMS) on the market today. Now is a good time to evaluate your streaming platforms and make decisions that will fit your needs for ongoing video communications and training.

An Important Consideration: Your network

Another key consideration is delivering video streams—whether live or on demand—without crushing your corporate network bandwidth. The failure to do so will result in an undesirable user experience (poor quality video or an inability to watch altogether) and have a detrimental impact on other applications on the corporate network. This is where an enterprise content delivery network (eCDN) becomes a “must have” not a “nice to have.”

Most enterprise networks weren’t built to carry the weight of data-rich video. An eCDN relieves bottlenecks created by streaming video by intelligently routing traffic to improve network performance, scalability and reliability.

Ramp’s eCDN software is specifically designed to reduce network congestion created by live and on-demand video streaming by 90% or more. You can stream high-quality video without worrying about network performance.

Whether you have 1,000 employees or 100,000+ employees—and regardless of which streaming platforms you use—Ramp’s eCDN delivers uninterrupted, flawless viewing experiences for your employees.

Network eCDN

How can we help you?

As you plan and prepare for these new ways of working, we want to help. Whether you’re an essential business working with everyone in the office, have some people working in the office and others from home, or are just plotting your strategy for a return to the office, we want to help you determine if an eCDN is right for your network.