2020.07.09 By BenQ
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has triggered dramatic changes in the society. BenQ Corporation, with branches throughout the world, has prudently responded to the outbreak from the very beginning of the spread of the novel coronavirus. In order to protect employees, BenQ asked those located in high risk areas to work from home and suspended all international business travels. The company also completely canceled cross-border business trips. Facing sudden changes in work patterns as well as a slower business cadence, Conway Lee, CEO of BenQ, believes that transformation is not only a challenge but also an opportunity. For example, working from home and reducing business travel helps decrease time and money costs incurred by business operations. Additionally, reducing travel helps alleviate the difficult problem of global warming we are increasingly facing, hinting at a prescription for the sustainable coexistence of enterprises and the environment.
However, how do we best maintain the competitiveness of enterprises in during such changes? Conway remarked that “the key is to allow employees in different countries or places to communicate conveniently and efficiently. The ability of rapid detection and realizing the changes in regional markets won’t vanish owing to distance. Enterprises still possess the capacity for prompt response.”
Due to the impact of the pandemic, the office culture of concentrated labor is moving toward a pattern of telecommuting featuring a decentralized team. BenQ, whose headquarters is located in Taiwan, has enabled telecommuting in regional markets in diverse locations for a long time prior to COVID-19 as part of an effort to enhance flexibility while recruiting talent. “For instance, an employee who used to stay in Paris wants to settle in Marseille, the hometown of his spouse, after getting married. As a result, we grant them the flexibility to go to the office just twice a week. By doing so, they can take care of their job and family at the same time”, Conway said. As a result, talented employees all over the world increase their affiliation with the company, and help BenQ business better succeed in different cultures and regional markets. And yet, there are a lot of considerations when carrying out extensive work from home policies. For instance, the company needs to learn how to inspire creativity, maintain a clear corporate culture, and foster a sense of belonging as well as unite all employees to move toward common goals when employees meet each other less frequently. In Conway’s opinion, before moving to implement work from home to a large extent, organizations need to find out the best solution to communicate, collaborate, and manage a decentralized team remotely across large distances with high efficiency so as to ensure agility as organizations face crisis and change.
Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, BenQ executives regularly had conference calls with employees in branches and arranged business trips to communicate face to face with local sales and marketing personnel on a quarterly basis. Now for the sake of safety, cross-border trips are completely canceled. However, viewed from another perspective, flight suspensions and cities in lockdown in some regions help to significantly reduce carbon emissions around the globe, resulting in historic lows not seen since World War II. In Conway’s viewpoint, rather than resist the change, businesses ought to conform to the positive effects derived from the change and think how enterprises and the environment can co-exist with greater sustainability.
Everything in the post COVID-19 era, including competition, demands, technology, and policies, is experiencing rapid change. As a result, how to respond quickly to market demands and adjust “organizational agility” has become much more important than ever. While reducing business trips and face-to-face communications, how can international businesses operate nimbly and instantly control the conditions of various branches in different places? Conway believes that the frequency and efficiency of video conference need to increase greatly. “A conversation topic that takes half an hour to clarify face to face may need two or three times more time to handle when corresponding via phone and email.” Therefore, ensuring remote communication and collaboration without any obstacles is key for corporate teams to ensure operational efficiency.
In the future, as technology advances, virtual meetings will increasingly incorporate VR and AR to simulate face-to-face communications between people in diverse areas so as to grasp ideas and concepts that can’t be easily verbalized. As far as current workplaces are concerned, most only have regular video conferencing systems set up in a few large meeting rooms. The proportion of employees who are familiar with operating video conferencing systems is relatively low. In order to face the new normal in the future, as well as maintain work efficiency and productivity, equipment availability and staff training with digital technology need to be reinforced. To Conway’s knowledge, once video conference replace communications conducted by long-distance business trips, corporate efficiency may be elevated dramatically. However, the success of such a transformation, as McKinsey & Company have remarked, depends on the five Rs. Those are Resolve, Resilience, Return, Reimagination, and Reform.
Using digital technology is no longer a work support luxury but a necessary “fighting” power central to business success and survival. To foster such power, employees should be able to use advanced equipment anytime and anywhere. From its own experience with remote conferences to manage global markets, BenQ understands and accommodates user demand for video conference calls to furnish business transformation and customer service in a changing environment. BenQ provides tools for remote communication and productive collaboration in variously-sized conference rooms, with integrated cameras, microphones, built-in con-call software and interactive electronic whiteboards plus an online shared board. Conway explains, “upon illustrating complicated concepts, online shared whiteboards work especially well. A communicative tool capable of interacting and writing shortens the distance between people even if they’re at opposite sides of the world and accomplishes mutual understanding.”
Businesses must take the current economic situation around the world into account. Companies are required to allocate budgets more prudently. As the global No. 1 DLP projector brand, BenQ offers video conference solutions for corporate use with more flexibility, and introduces the portable, wireless Smart Projectors Series with integrated system and video conferencing software. The all-in-one display and video conference solution allows workers to quickly start a video conference with team members whether in any small meeting room or open space, without occupying their personal computers.
The moment when a crisis arrives is also a time to thrive. BenQ has readjusted its organizational thinking and operating mode to meet the continuously changing environment at large. In the spirit of “Bringing enjoyment and quality to life”, BenQ continues to study customer needs and offers corresponding smart technology and services. By assisting employees, partners, and customers with problem solving solutions, BenQ and it's associates can remain competitive and prosper in the new normal.