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The next normal: When world events change processes

Life has changed dramatically for all of us over the last few months. People and businesses across the world have adjusted to the “new normal” in the face of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Current events have led to fast, widespread digitization of work that few may have imagined before the outbreak. They’ve seen the realities on the ground change processes for businesses everywhere. A popular recent meme asks the question: “Who led the digital transformation of your company? CEO, CTO, or COVID-19?” This sentiment has resonated with many, who are not only thinking in terms of how we got here, and where we are now but also where we go from here.

In this article, we’ll examine how the way we work has changed forever, and how global workforces are communicating in different ways than before. We’ll look at what all this means for collaboration, culture, productivity – now and in the future. And we’ll explore how today’s new breed of remote-capable businesses can be “process-ready” to transition to the “next normal” – whenever that will be, and whatever it will mean for them.

That’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started.

The remote working and collaboration revolution

Many businesses have been able to salvage some positives from today’s challenges. The urgency with which they have needed to adopt remote working has meant that this adoption is now much more comprehensive and effective. Personnel is better at remote collaboration, not just with their colleagues they used to interact with regularly face-to-face, but also teams based at other sites and in other regions.

Here at Nintex, we’re all videoconferencing far more with colleagues across the world, and communicating more often and with more purpose. Ironically, despite the new distances between people, we feel more connected as an organization.

We’re not the only ones. Recent research from Microsoft showed that users are turning on video in their Teams collaboration and communication app two times more than before the big shift to remote working. Despite the challenges and emotional toll of working from home, people are making a concerted effort to stay connected and focused.

Turbocharging your digital processes

The new need to change processes from on-site and manual to remote and digital has also led to many success stories of how solutions leaders and their clients have implemented process management and automation.

We fundamentally believe in the Power of Process® to help organizations and individuals overcome challenges and achieve more, so we’re proud to be able to share any stories of customers doing great things – or even doing good things.

In order to help people adapt to these challenging times and create their own success stories, we’ve made many useful resources available. These include free remote instructor-led training and online certificates, solution accelerators in the Nintex Process Accelerator Gallery, and more.

Just as we’ve been glad to help organizations making their transition to remote working and digital processes, we’re also eager to do all we can when the time comes for another change. That will mean different things to different people: a gradual return to on-site working for some, prolonged remote working for others. Whatever it means for you, we want to help ensure your organization is in a state of process readiness when the time comes, and you can maximize workplace safety as you move into the next normal.

Process readiness for the next normal

Whatever your approach to the next phase of working, every organization agrees when it comes to this key point: it has to be planned and managed carefully. That’s partly for the sake of the business but most importantly your people.

With that in mind, process automation has a vital part to play in the transition to the next normal. And, to be process-ready when the time comes, organizations need to have the necessary systems in place.

Some key processes you should consider managing include:

  • Collecting employee health and risk data. To ensure workplace safety and compliance with local laws and internal policies, it’s critical to stay up to date with your people’s health information and any risks to them or their colleagues that might result from their return. With Nintex, you can regularly and easily collect this information via web or mobile interfaces, so that informed, safe decisions can be made at all times.
  • Return-to-workplace decisions and certification. With the health and risk data you’ve gathered, along with other data about your employees and your business operations, you can apply rule-based calculations to get a picture of what the best plan is for each employee. Approvals and notifications to all parties involved, such as the employee or their manager, can automatically be requested or delivered via the system.
  • Managing returns to the workplace. This could be a phased return, or it could be alternating with colleagues on a rotation system. Requests and approvals processes related to this can be much more effectively and efficiently managed using Nintex, integrating data on factors such as their location, workspace capacity role, team, and individual health considerations.

Time to change processes for the future

We hope this article has been useful and perhaps inspired some extra confidence for the road ahead – wherever it leads.

With effective use of process management and automation, you can gain vital visibility and control over your entire organization’s transition to future phases of working, as well as ensuring each individual employee can move forward safely and productively.

Whatever the next normal – or subsequent normals – will be, the better an organization handles its processes, the more likely it will be to adapt to the future successfully.


Want to find out more about how Nintex can help you make the most of your business processes in a changing world? Let’s talk. Get in touch with the team today.



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