After a certain amount of wishful thinking, and a few false starts, it looks like working in a physical office is getting closer to reality for many Covid shut-ins. But just as nobody could have predicted the changes these last two years would bring, there’s no way to know for certain what office work will look like as we settle into our next new normal. While an increasing number of companies are calling their employees back to the office, the experience is certain to be different from the one they left in 2020.
Bits & Bytes
Google Migrations: Go With the EDU Expert
While students and faculty are at home, it’s a good time for system upgrades that will enhance collaboration, access, and security. Many colleges, universities, and school systems are planning winter break migrations to move or consolidate tenants and even adopt new collaboration platforms.
If you’re using Google Workspace, MigrationWiz is the tool you need for migrating a wide variety of workloads: Mailboxes, documents, archives, and even collaboration platforms. You can take advantage of low education pricing to move from one Google instance to another, or from Google Workspace to Microsoft Teams. MigrationWiz handles all these workloads:
- Gmail and Vault, including inbox, folders/labels, email, muted emails, contacts, calendars, and calendar notifications.
- Drive, including files, folders, permissions, document history, comments, and more.
- Shared Drives, including documents, permissions, versions, and metadata.
Great education pricing is one thing, but when you’re planning a migration, you should never skimp on experience, capabilities, and security. That’s why BitTitan has been the choice of educational institutions for more than 13 years.
Experienced experts are here to help
BitTitan has migrated thousands of students, faculty, and staff at hundreds of educational institutions all around the globe. While MigrationWiz is known for being intuitive and easy to use, you never have to go it alone, especially if your project is more complex. Our world-class Customer Success team are dedicated migration experts who can help you plan your project.
In fact, now is the perfect time to call so we can connect you with team members who have extensive experience in educational environments – including implementing complex Google Workspace migrations.
Fast, easy, and flexible
Educational institutions choose MigrationWiz because it’s fully automated and 100% SaaS. In fact, if you were expecting to sprint around campus in order to complete your migration, you may have to get your exercise some other way. With MigrationWiz you simply initiate your migration from one centralized dashboard, then use DeploymentPro – which is included – to automate Outlook configuration.
Don’t be fooled, though. Easy doesn’t mean basic. MigrationWiz is highly customizable with advanced options that give you full control over your migration. You’re always in charge of timing, testing, setup, and execution. You can also use project sharing to involve team members across departments for greater visibility and collaboration throughout the migration.
Top security with Azure datacenters
Security is top priority for every migration project, especially in educational settings. You’re responsible for protecting personal information from students and faculty, as well as proprietary documents and research. You must be able to ensure every bit of data is safe throughout the migration process. With MigrationWiz you get the extra security of Azure datacenters. And, your data is always encrypted and never stored.
With BitTitan by your side, you can get a lot done over winter break. So when faculty, staff, and students return, they might not even notice because they’ll be able to get started with the new semester without any disruptions.
Now’s the time to plan your migration
If you’re ready to implement a migration, there’s still time to put a plan in place. Contact us today to find out about education pricing for MigrationWiz and to learn how we can help make your migration a success.
A recent New York Times article by Kellen Browning (Big Tech Makes a Big Bet: Offices Are Still the Future, Feb 22, 2022), reports that “a recovery in commercial real estate is being fueled by the tech industry, which has enjoyed unchecked growth and soaring profits as the pandemic has forced more people to shop, work and socialize online.” This commercial real estate expansion signals a desire for tech companies to bring teams back into shared space. This seems counter-intuitive given that these very workers are probably some of the most adaptable when it comes to logging in remotely.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft informed employees they should start planning to return to the office at the end of February (Microsoft to Start Bringing Employees Back to the Office, Aaron Tilley and Chip Cutter, February 14, 2022). Microsoft is calling their move a hybrid strategy, giving managers responsibility for determining work arrangements that align with the needs of the team.
Companies like Apple, Salesforce, and Amazon have also begun to express concerns about the downsides of remote work, including isolation and being disconnected from the company’s culture. Despite management’s desire to see more employees in the flesh, all indications are that companies are proceeding cautiously, trying to strike the right balance between employer expectations and employee accommodation.
Hybrid work requires a flexible approach
Flexibility appears to be the name of the game – something we’ve all gotten a lot of practice at it over the last two years. Return-to-office plans will need to be built around the assumption that they will most likely change over time. Companies are recognizing that they need to plan flexible workspaces and incentives to demonstrate to employees that returning to work isn’t just to fulfill a manager’s need to keep an eye on their people.
Many companies are talking about work arrangements that have employees coming in a few days a week on a regular basis. Other companies may maintain office space primarily for teams to gather for collaboration and important meetings. Companies that go back to uniform attendance policies will likely lose those employees who found their groove with remote work. Of course, there’s also that segment of employees who are anxious to work in an office where small children aren’t wandering about in the background.
Post-Covid office space is already being reimagined at many companies. Instead of dedicated offices or desks for every employee, spaces are being arranged so they can flex based on need. Modular walls and furnishings could be a heads-down workspace one day and a collaborative thinktank the next. It’s likely we’ll be seeing fewer ping-pong tables and pinball games taking up real estate and more practical options for teams to design the way they want to work.
Technology for the post-Covid office
The technology companies adopted to accommodate Covid life will play a central role in shaping the new workplace as well. Employees will want to continue working wherever they feel most productive. They’ll need secure access to their applications, files, and collaboration platform whether they’re sitting at a desk, on a couch, or in the company cafe. And their meeting spaces need to be equipped to connect with colleagues wherever they’re located.
For companies that have not yet made the move to the cloud, a return to the office doesn’t alleviate any of the urgency to get that done. Since the most likely form office work will take is a hybrid approach – probably for the foreseeable future – employees will still expect to be able to do at least some of their work from anywhere. That means having easy access to modern collaboration platforms and seamless availability of the data and applications employees need to do their job.
Instead of talking about going ‘back’ to the office, we should probably be talking about moving forward to the next phase of work life. And we can look at the last two years as the time everything changed. At BitTitan we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to support the new ways people work. Our top priority continues to be making sure MigrationWiz remains the best tool for moving all your workloads so your entire team is working the way they work best.
In the end, it could be that the most important thing employees are looking for when they’re called back to the office is simply the opportunity to do meaningful work in a flexible and supportive environment.
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