Finance Monthly - February 2022

ver the last two years, there is no doubt that technology stepped up — with businesses now having some of the best tools at their disposal, allowing employees to instantly switch between the office and their homes. But technology is only the enabler, not the solution to running a successful business. Instead, the modern, post-pandemic business needs two things: one, a careful balancing of the roles played by technology and by people – both equally important yet interdependent; and two, a reinforcing of the importance of leadership to striking this balance. The pandemic created a seismic shift in the way we work, and technology offered us a ‘getout-of-jail-free’ card, of sorts. For decades, we’ve learnt by observing but with the advent of remote working at such a large scale, the way we learn and interact with our colleagues has undergone tremendous change. Whilst working apart from each other, we’ve managed to create a secondary culture, with catch-ups, regular wellbeing check-ins, and huddles, all trying to recreate the human interaction – those watercooler moments – we’re used to in the office. Although working from home was initially greeted with excitement, this was soon dampened by the pressure of being constantly “online” and a feeling of being overwhelmed by incessant alerts and interruptions. That was probably the first wakeup call for business leaders, who realised that technology alone, whilst a valuable tool, wasn’t enough to succeed through the pandemic. As we set foot into another year of uncertainty, we can be clear about one thing: people are the lifeblood of an organisation. And how we lead those people is what makes a business successful, not the number of tools available to us. The most effective leaders see technology as an enabler, a means of expressing themselves, drawing the best out of their teams and empowering individuals to communicate in ways that makes them feel most confident and productive. If used well, digital channels provide us with a level playing field and a platform from which to give praise, work through problems, review and provide feedback, and even bond and have fun! However, technology alone can only go so far as to replicating the human working experience. For many, working from home prompted a feeling of limbo, it was hard to learn, be heard, be creative, or progress at the same pace. There is no doubt that Bus i ne s s & Economy 50 Finance Monthly.

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