It was like some sort of future prediction when the technology behind Chris Davies’ “Work at the Beach Day” became a necessity for all of us in 2020.
Before 2020, working from home was exclusively in the realm of sole traders and a minority of workers. However, it was something that Chris Davies and the Evologic team were preparing for.
“I wanted to film this video of us switching off our servers, heading to Eastern Beach and working from the beach for the day,” Chris says.
Working from Geelong’s most famous beach was Chris’s big idea to get people on board with remote working.
“Technically we have been ready to work from home for years but we weren’t ready emotionally, there wasn’t that supervisory system or that heartbeat to check back in.”
Working from home in 2020
Prior to 2020, Chris described business attitudes towards remote working as fearful with an intrinsic belief that people just wouldn’t work as effectively outside of the office. However, he suggests 2020 changed many businesses’ outlooks on how to operate better when they have a distributed workforce.
“As far as small business goes it was interesting to see where the struggles were,” Chris explains, “the biggest challenge for a lot of people was the mechanics and the simple stuff, such as how you judge someone on their results you can see versus their effort, which you can’t see.”
Chris described the immediate change of workplace behaviour became very results-oriented and all of a sudden, work was not measured by the time you spent at work but by what was completed.
For many people, it was a struggle to adjust to these new expectations and be able to show their efforts. Chris described the workforce needing a sense of maturity to not only complete the work but to be proud enough to show it off.
It was this sense of accountability and shift in engagement that elevated Microsoft’s Digital Transformation 5 year plan into 6 to 9 months.
Returning to the office
Being IT professionals that were preparing to prove remote work was possible, the team at Evologic was initially excited for this transition to working from home. However, like most of the remote-working population, they quickly realised how much they needed the water cooler conversations.
Chris emphasised how nice it was to see that his employees wanted to come back to the office.
“We went from this ‘yep we’re built for this, we’re going to love working from home’ mentality to conversations about returning to work part-time,” Chris explains, “it was nice to see people still needed people.”
“One of our team members wanted two days at home, max,” Chris recalls.
Ben Revitt, Sales and Marketing Manager at Evologic, reveals that not everybody was as excited to come back to the office.
“Often we needed to create phases as some team members weren’t ready to come back to the office for the full five days,” Ben says.
“It’s about the inertia to change that some people have,” Chris adds.
Inertia is the resistance to any object when it changes in velocity but Chris has a much simpler way of explaining inertia using elastic bands.
“You have this elastic band that you stretch between your present and your future state and hope that it pulls you towards the future state,” Chris says.
“But if it is too much of a stretch for someone it snaps, so you have to create little points for people to move along.”
“They have to be able to see the outcomes otherwise it’s too hard,” Chris emphasises.
“It’s the same for our customers, if we go in and say we are going to do away with all of their infrastructures, it’s too hard, but if we start with smaller tangible visible outcomes it’s approachable.”
“We call it bite-sized engagement and we liken it to how movies have changed,” Chris says.
“The first ten minutes used to be just credits, now something needs to happen every ten minutes for people to stay engaged,” Ben explains.
Moving away from fear
At Evologic, they want to capture people’s attention first before diving into technological expertise. IT solutions are generally sold on fear of the unknown, but Evologic wants to ensure businesses are security-savvy and fully compliant with corporate technology regulations.
“We go in and understand the business first, their goals, their challenges. Our dedicated IT managers want to be a part of the team essentially,” Ben says.
“We’re not the company to sell you stuff. Our team has up to 15 years experience in IT, they have business IT degrees and will sit down with you to develop a tangible accessible 12 month strategic planner,” Chris adds.
“We have this extensive onboarding process so we know where to start within the business processes and it helps regulate our responses. One of the questions we ask our clients is ‘What is your killer app?’ It helps us understand how their business works and what they rely on the most.”
Technology in Geelong
Ultimately, their approach has helped them elevate the business perceptions surrounding technology in Geelong and regional Victoria.
For Geelong businesses: “it’s no longer locking down the device because that’s not the variable anymore. It’s the user or the identity that changes,” Chris says.
Identity-based security is where technology is heading, Chris and Ben agree. However, with the biggest challenge being rising spam and phishing attacks, businesses require multi-pronged solutions.
“There’s this consensus that your spam filter will catch it but the reality is that cybercriminals are incredibly smart,” Ben comments.
“We need to build a human firewall. If people are aware of unusual behaviour they generally won’t click on things,” Chris says.
“Everything associated with IT is about setting up barriers of entry to prevent harm. What we recommend is implementing security awareness training as an ongoing program.”
“Our IT managers are there to continually remind our customers about security awareness and work in the background to improve and adopt new technology.”
For Evologic, everything they do leads to maintaining and improving business continuity. They’ll do whatever they can to help your business keep the lights on, whether that’s at home, in the office or at the beach.