Remote work should be the future of government


NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland – Government has gone more virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic. And this is how things could stay, as remote capabilities have opened up new possibilities for innovation and change, according to experts at the Smart Cities Connect conference and exhibition yesterday.

“It’s time to turn disaster into opportunity,” David Graham, director of innovation for Carlsbad, Calif., Said during a panel on the future of work. “We have a whole host of things we need to do that have proven that we as a public and private sector can do things no one expected to happen, overcome challenges that have lasted for decades and came out. well on the other side.

Some of the opportunities for government revolve around recruiting or improving efficiency.

John Whitehead, Vice President of North America Sales at Hexagon, commented on the rapid shift of 911 centers from office equipment and servers to more cloud-based postures that enable flexible work environments.

“We’ve really seen some agencies start to embrace this,” Whitehead said of trends from last year.

The remote work option can also be used as a recruiting tool, said Felicite Moorman, CEO of Stratis IoT.

“This is a great opportunity for the government to get ahead of some of the types of big business that just aren’t willing to change as quickly as they should,” Moorman said.

During the pandemic, officials in the city of Carlsbad quickly realized that “being physically in the same space added no benefit,” Graham said.

“And I think it’s the reversal of thinking that has to happen, that is, virtual should be the default,” he added.

The pandemic has given way from old methods to new technologies and innovations. Graham suggested that the main concern about working remotely was that if employees weren’t sitting at their desks at town hall, would they still be doing their jobs? Carlsbad, Graham added, had already developed a remote work plan but never implemented it.

The pandemic quickly set the plan in motion for the city.

“Regarding the measurement of productivity [is concerned], seeing someone in front of a computer is just about the worst productivity metric you can think of, ”he joked, taking a hit at the traditional office work posture that shortly before the pandemic seemed to want. to give up.

Graham goes on to say that the future of working will be remote and digital, and based on more sustainable productivity metrics.

“Ultimately it adapts to the way people want to work and focuses on productivity, not where they’re sitting,” he said.

Skip Descant writes on smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation, and more. He has spent over 12 years reporting for dailies in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Sacramento.

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