Interview with Channel News Asia: Remote working

July 16, 2021

3 min read

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As a technology provider, how have you pivoted to remote working during the past 12-15 months?

Internally

First and foremost, with a large shift to working from home it was vitally important to maintain strong connections among staff. As leaders, we setup fortnightly one-to-one video calls with team members to check-in on well-being. This ensured our staff felt well supported and helped raise moral, especially in the early days when people were still acclimatising to working from home.   

Telstra Purple is a play on words in that it unites ‘people’ and ‘purpose’. We believe it’s our people who bring purpose to technology for our clients, so it is vitally important they are supported.

 

Externally

When the first lockdown started many customers put projects on hold given market uncertainty. At Telstra this manifested in a slower role out and delivery of projects to accommodate easing customer demand, especially amongst new clients.

However, as remote working has become the norm, clients are learning to adapt and standardise business communication via Video Calling (VC). We have had to refine our approach, finding different and engaging ways to deliver customer presentations. We aim to strike a balance by providing exciting webinars and digital content, whilst cognisant of not adding to webinar fatigue.

Clients are also relaxing some of their - “must have the consultant” on-site policies. This has enabled Telstra to perform tasks remotely to meet tight customer deadlines. Clients are also more open to collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams, as a way to share files. 

From an end-user standpoint, how have you managed the remote working shift for your customers in ASEAN? (key challenges, benefits, support etc)

Communication and Collaboration. It’s been a journey into the unknown and a huge mind-set shift for our customers. We have collaborated with them and helped them on a journey to start using new tools and provided technical guidance around Security to enable us to support them remotely.

At Telstra Purple we have “Purple Peeps” (our consultants) in various countries around the world. Remote working has enabled us to bring together multi-disciplined teams, comprised of staff from Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines, to help support our ASEAN customers.

As a technology provider, where do you see the remote working market heading in the short- to medium-term? (future opportunities, how to differentiate etc)

With the shift to remote working there is now the expectation for co-workers, business partners and customers to be able to communicate 24/7. There is also the need to carry out your day job in a seamless and frictionless way.

Continuous developments in data analytics within collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, can lead to a better employee experience. Managers can now use such productivity analytics to drive positive improvements within their teams.

Business Automation is also a key part of remote working. Organisations need to move away from the paper-intensive, manual processes and improve digital flows that enable a smooth user experience. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Workflow Automation are some of the innovations that will continue to have a major effect on the workplace of the future.

Workforces have had to move to a mobile first way of working, allowing users to access information that they would normally have had to access on site. This brings an added security risk, as working remotely continues to be the norm, organisation needs to be ahead of the game, ensuring they are following security best practices.

As a technology provider, we need to continuously challenge the end-to-end experience for our users and employees, measuring employee productivity based on output, rather than input, and providing these tools to our customers. We need to do all of this, ensuring the highest levels of security and compliance are maintained.