Are you on pins and needles to get back to the office, or are you a bit more hesitant? Our new Meeting Trends 2021 research uncovered 5 new trends for the hybrid workplace. One of them is that employees worldwide can’t wait to get back to the office. Read on to learn more about when and how we will be returning to the office.
When are we returning to the office? One year into the pandemic and the enthusiasm about working from home has taken a turn. At the start of the pandemic, many were over the moon about the benefits of WFH: no commutes, flexible work hours, etc.
However, our 2020 Hybrid Meeting research already showed that slowly but surely the downsides started to outweigh the benefits. Employees miss social interaction, experience Zoom fatigue and struggle to balance office and domestic tasks. Our Meeting Trends Research 2021 shows that 56% of employees are eager to return to the office, and 72% expects to be back by the end of June 2021.
When are we returning?
Right now, actually. 50% of the workforce already comes into the office on occasion. We do see some regional differences here. Australia and France appear to be at the forefront of the back-to-the-office trend, with respectively 82% and 61% of employees, having already (partially) returned. In India and the US, the majority of workers hasn’t returned yet, with respectively only 40% and 42% signalling that they are already back at the office. Most employees (72%) expect to be back by the end of June. However, in Germany, many employees believe that they will only be able to return from July to September and onwards.
Who is pushing the return?
C-level management is encouraging employees to come back, 66% of employees believe their CEO would like to see all employees back at the office. 41% also think their manager is also pushing them to return to the office. Employees themselves are also eager to return, on average 56% of employees want to get back to the office. In India, it’s even 76% of workers that are waiting to sit at their office desk again.
Will work at the office be the same?
Employees want to return but this doesn’t mean that they are ready to give up the newfound flexibility in their work that WFH brought. Workers want to choose when and where they work and are tired of struggling with virtual.
This leads to the ideal workweek balance shifting in favour of the office. In September 2020, people were still more optimistic about working from home and employees indicated that the ideal workweek would be 2 days at home and 3 days at the office.
Today, the desire to work from home has dropped to 1,5 days a week, with employees preferring to spend more time, 3,5 days per week, at the office.
Undoubtedly, in-office and remote team members will have to be united in the new hybrid workplace.
Lieven Bertier is the Segment Marketing Director Workplace at Barco.
Lieven is an experienced B2B marketer and has worked across multiple marketing disciplines in the technology industry. Since 2014 he has been part of Barco’s ClickShare team, responsible for all strategic marketing activities. He strongly believes in user experience and is convinced that the way people work together is the number one competitive advantage for companies in today’s dynamic world.
Lieven loves a good story, and always starts from user research to reflect on the role of technology and collaboration in the workplace.
The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has said that with the involvement of an artificial intelligence (AI) layer, the country’s architecture will become more sophisticated in the future.
He was addressing the first India Stack Developers conference, which aimed to facilitate the adoption of India Stack for countries that are keen to integrate it as per their requirements and to create a robust ecosystem of startups, developers, and system integrators working around it on next-generation innovation. He said the government wants to offer India Stack or part of the stack to those enterprises and countries across the world who want to innovate and further integrate, execute, and implement digital transformation. India Stack is a set of open indigenously-developed APIs and e-governance and public applications.
“What we have now is just [the] India Stack 1.0 version. It will evolve and become more sophisticated and nuanced,” Chandrasekhar explained. A smart dataset programme will be launched soon, and an AI layer will be built into the stack. Seven countries will sign up with the Indian government to use India Stack.
The conference was conducted to bring together the developer community, start-ups, corporations, and foreign governments who are inspired by the India Stack and want to adopt digital public goods like Aadhaar, United Payments Interface (UPI), and Digilocker. Senior officials from Aadhaar, GeM (Government e-marketplace), Diksha, a public ed-tech initiative, and the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission gave presentations on the strategies of each platform. Over one hundred digital leaders from industry associations, system integrators, and start-ups attended the event. It also saw participation from delegates of G20 countries.
Debjani Ghosh, President of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), stated that India using digital means has achieved financial inclusion for 80% of the population in 6 years as compared to the projected figure of 46 years.
The CEO of Aadhaar, Saurabh Garg, spoke about the impact the biometric identification system has had in the country. It has recorded over 1.3 billion sign ups till now and handles around 75 million daily transactions. The transactions involve e-authentication by various organisations such as fintech, banks, and other Aadhaar-enabled payment services.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification card that serves as proof of identity and address for Indian citizens. As per the latest government data, in November, 287 million e-know your customer (e-KYC) transactions were carried out using Aadhaar, a 22% growth over the previous month. By the end of November, the cumulative number of e-KYC transactions had reached 13.5 billion. As OpenGov Asia reported, the Aadhaar e-KYC service is playing an increasingly crucial role in banking and non-banking financial services. It provides transparent and enhanced customer experiences.
An e-KYC transaction is executed, only after the explicit consent of the Aadhaar holder, and eliminates physical paperwork, and in-person verification requirements for KYC. Telecom operators and fintech firms, among others, have seen ease in the onboarding of new customers through eKYC. In November, 1.95 billion Aadhaar authentication transactions were carried out, 11% more than in October. Most of these monthly transactions were carried out by using fingerprint biometric authentication, followed by demographic and OTP authentication.
The Ministry of Administrative Reform and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) join forces with a government IT firm to create a digital Public Service Mall (MPP). The initiative is a follow-up to President Joko Widodo’s directive to establish MPP Digital.
According to Minister PANRB Abdullah Azwar Anas, the IT government company is more advanced in digitalisation implementation. MPP Digital incorporates numerous services into the hand to make it easier for people to access high-quality government services.
“MPP Digital provides effective and efficient service delivery while enhancing information security for government digital services. The government IT company team will expedite the President’s vision for MPP Digital,” he explained.
MPP Digital is also expected to increase investment by allowing for faster and easier licencing, leading to job possibilities. In addition, the local administration will not need to construct a massive MPP building but will rely on digitalisation that everyone can access.
MPP Digital is expected to be ready by May 2023, following the President and Vice President’s directives. The creation of MPP Digital is also under the government’s present implementation of the Electronic Based Government System (SPBE).
At the same time, Ririek Adriansyah, the Main Director of the government IT company, declared his willingness to support the government’s initiative. He conveyed that the construction of MPP Digital was proceeding as planned because the digitalisation of services has enormous potential benefits for both the government and the general public.
Additionally, the government is working hard to progress SPBE, including introducing Digital Public Service Malls (MPP) as one of SPBE’s expressions. SPBE is also a component of President Joko Widodo’s Thematic Bureaucratic Reform, which is aimed at digitising government services.
The next Electronic-Based Government System (SPBE) aims to strengthen unity by offering a single access system for the country’s digital services, resulting in higher public service quality. Nowadays, the state’s digital public sector is still fragmented by agency, sector, and silo-based systems. As a result, citizens are frequently required to submit similar data and register several accounts to access various digital-based public sector services.
As a result, Anas will pursue a single sign-on account for users to access various government services. Users can utilise their accounts to access all public services e-services, such as population issues, business permissions, and other certifications. Digital MPP has done so following President Jokowi’s and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin’s objective to achieve bureaucratic reform with simple, powerful, and quick replies to the community.
More MPPs have been built and inaugurated by the government. In the future, all regions will have physical and digital MPPs, with all government services based on demographic numbers (Digital ID). MPP Digital, on the guidance of the President and Vice President, has become the PANRB ministry’s short-term focus.
As of December 2022, 103 MPPs (20% of the total of 514 regencies/cities in Indonesia) had been inaugurated in regencies and cities. Thus, fewer than 80%, or approximately 411 districts/cities, still need MPP. The Vice President aimed for roughly 150 new MPPs in 2023, with all towns and regencies having MPPs by the end of 2024.
The Ministry of PANRB has evaluated 10-15 MPPs (Public Service Malls) for inclusion in the future Digital MPP development process. These MPPs were chosen for their uniqueness, benefits, and good qualities. In general, the MPP Digital application development will be divided into four stages: requirements, design, testing, and upgrading.
Anas emphasised that government digitisation is a critical driver in enhancing the quality of public services, which would increase people’s well-being. Bureaucratic reform must increase investment and streamline business services, boosting the economic level of society. Improving the community’s financial level will undoubtedly influence the lowering poverty rate.
Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health, announced the development of SATUSEHAT, an interoperable Indonesian health data system. Budi aimed to complete the digitalisation of health data by January 2024. In keeping with the spirit of an impactful bureaucracy, the Minister of Health is sure Indonesians would benefit from digitisation.
“The concept is interchangeable; (health facilities) can use the information anywhere: all hospitals, both public and private, pharmacies, clinics, health centres, and labs throughout Indonesia will use the same data format, and (the data) can be exchanged,” he said at the launch of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) Space in Jakarta.
SATUSEHAT is a health platform that serves as a forum for various health apps from companies in the health business. As a result, all applications and health service facilities on the SATUSEHAT platform, including vertical hospitals, government hospitals, private hospitals, health centres, Posyandu, laboratories, clinics, and pharmacies, must adhere to the Ministry of Health’s criteria.
People no longer need to carry physical medical record files while moving hospitals because of this platform. All patient medical record resumes have been digitally captured on the SATUSEHAT platform, which can be viewed from anywhere and at any time using mobile phones.
“For certain users who haven’t been able to produce health applications, we can aid later. (And) We can eventually give standard and free applications for significant stakeholders such as Puskesmas (community health centres) and Posyandu (toddler integrated service post). This way, we can do data integration elegantly on the same platform,” Budi confirmed.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Health established DTO as a Ministry of Health work unit dedicated to implementing the Healthy Indonesia programme by developing effective data-driven policies and digital technology products. User-Based Technology Development, National Health Data Integration, Technology Capacity Building, and Data-Based Policy Making are the four principles of digital transformation being implemented.
Budi directed the DTO and the Data and Information Centre (Pusdatin) to take meaningful actions to expedite national health data digitisation. DTO must complete nationwide health interoperability that is transparent and accessible to all parties. The merger process started on July 6, 2022, and is expected to be finished by the end of 2023.
Another challenge is to combine clinical and genomic data to assess the health of the Indonesian population deployed with Artificial Intelligence to create more detailed and exact results. AI will subsequently support the Ministry of Health’s clinical and genomic data. The services are designed to help Indonesia advance health biotechnology.
During the inauguration ceremony, the Minister for Administrative Reform and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB), Abdullah Azwar Anas, praised the Ministry of Health’s digital transformation in the healthcare system. He anticipated that the shift would affect at least five items. First and foremost, it increases the quality of healthcare services. Second, it improves access to healthcare services. Third, raise the added value of the health sector economy with a focus on domestic goods.
Fourth, speeding the achievement of the government’s main healthcare projects, such as lowering stunting prevalence. Fifth, strengthen health human resource expertise while guaranteeing equitable distribution across the country.
“For example, we may ensure that a health concern is treated by integrating data, then monitoring therapy until the assessment is entirely digitally driven. We can learn from the Covid-19 pandemic, in which health technology was extremely useful in combating the pandemic,” he went on to say.
Anas believes that the Ministry of Health’s SATUSEHAT will soon be merged with the National Electronic-Based Government System. He praised the tremendous efforts made by the Ministry of Health to implement digital transformation.
The Ministry of Health’s consolidation initiative can serve as a model for other Ministries/Institutions looking to increase work units’ roles in supervising the government’s digitalisation activities. Anas is optimistic that the integrated ecosystem of digital health data will be a huge step forward for the country’s health sector.
Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda urged the government to prioritise cell sites in geographically isolated and disadvantageous regions (GIDA), indigenous villages, and other upland places. In addition, she advocated that the government’s digitalisation and internet connectivity initiative be implemented throughout Antique province in the future years.
In her hometown of Antique, 40% of the populace uses Globe and Smart connectivity. However, their tower locations are focused on urban regions. As a result, Legarda requested that WiFi hotspots be deployed throughout the province.
Legarda discussed her proposals with Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo, Undersecretary Angelo Nuestro, and Assistant Secretary Philip Varilla at the Senate of the Philippines.
Around 18 Antique towns will undergo digital transformations to improve municipal services to be more accessible, faster, and more efficient. Legarda, the primary author of Republic Act No. 10844, the law that established the DICT, underlined the importance of ICT infrastructure, systems, and resources in ensuring universal access to excellent, cheap, dependable, and secure ICT services.
“We are doing this in Antique, and we will do it in other areas of the country. With our stronger cooperation with the DICT, we want every community, even our indigenous communities, to be digitally linked so that they are not left aside,” she added.
Meanwhile, Lamentillo said the DICT would pursue its mandate to build the digital infrastructure connecting communities, especially those in far-flung areas. The connectivity programme also provides citizens with better quality of life by delivering speedy and efficient government services to the people.
“We thank Senator Loren Legarda for her unwavering support to the DICT, from its inception and up to the present as we strive to ensure that every community in the country is digitally connected,” she declared.
Under President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Philippines has strengthened efforts to develop the country’s internet connection. He promised his administration would do all its power to offer free internet connection to rural communities. The government plans to roll out the “BroadBand ng Masa Programme” (BBMP) to all isolated islands, especially those without a mobile cellular connection.
BBMPs across the country give free internet access to students and teachers from geographically isolated and disadvantaged regions (GIDAs). As part of the programme, an additional 628 operational free WiFi sites were installed, increasing the total amount of such WiFi sites throughout the Philippines to 4,757. At least 2.1 million unique users, or around 100,000 families, can access the government’s free internet connections. Interconnectivity and government services will benefit from digital technologies.
DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy was optimistic about the programme’s ability to help develop a “direct relationship” between GIDAs and the government. Establishing the Free WiFi for All Programme is one of the government’s accomplishments in boosting connection. He committed to increasing efforts to extend internet connection to more remote places.
Indonesia is made a similar push to persuade local governments to accelerate the provision of digital infrastructure for telecommunications and internet needs in rural locations. To service the community in all villages/sub-districts in Indonesia’s most remote, outlying, and underserved (3T) sites that have yet to be served by a 4G signal network. The BTS was built with funds from the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget by the Ministry of Communication and Information.
The BTS will be a downstream facility allowing the public to benefit from upstream infrastructure such as a broadband fibre-optic cable network. Another method for providing internet connection to rural schools and health care facilities is the SATRIA-I Satellite and the Hot Backup Satellite.
Abdullah Azwar Anas, Minister of State Apparatus and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) observed that the state digital public service sector is still fractured by agency, sector, and silo-based systems. As a result, citizens must frequently enter similar data and create several accounts to access various digital-based public sector services. Therefore, the next Electronic-Based Government System (SPBE) aims to improve unity by providing a single access system for the country’s digital services, resulting in better public service quality.
“The Presidential Decree on the Architecture of the National SPBE also aims to integrate separate digital services into an inclusive digital service through the National Government Administration Portal and the National Public Service Portal, aka digital Public Service Mall (MPP),” Anas explained in a meeting with representatives from various ministries/agencies at the Ministry of Home Affairs office in Jakarta.
The government is making significant efforts to advance SPBE, including introducing Digital Public Service Malls (MPP) as one of SPBE’s manifestations. SPBE is also a part of President Joko Widodo’s Thematic Bureaucratic Reform to digitise government services.
The Thematic Bureaucratic Reform focuses on five areas: poverty reduction, increased investment, digitisation of services, domestic spending, and inflation management. The thematic bureaucratic reform scheme has been implemented and will be applied inside the TNI (national army), Polri (federal police), and the Attorney General’s Office.
Furthermore, the government has physically constructed and inaugurated more MPPs. In the future, all regions will have MPPs that are not only physical but also digital, containing all government services based on population statistics (Digital ID). According to the advice of the President and Vice President, MPP Digital has become the ministry’s short-term focus.
As a result, the Ministry PANRB, in collaboration with the Ministries of Home Affairs, Communication and Informatics, BSSN, and Finance, is working to execute Thematic Bureaucratic Reforms. According to the President’s directives, the programme must impact society through the execution of SPBE.
The PANRB ministry would continue supervising SPBE implementation through the SPBE Coordinating Team. To design SPBE architecture, the team requires a plan and linked steps. The national SPBE architecture is supposed to maintain the integration of National Digital Services while handling the national programme theme.
The plan clarified each job description to eliminate overlapping work and maximise the coordinated approach. The structure will also serve as a guide to align digitisation initiatives to make them more effective and efficient. In addition, a timeframe for the implementation plan has been established to simultaneously carry out the National SPBE Architecture strategic effort.
Johnny G. Plate, Minister of Communication and Informatics, who also participated in the coordination meeting, explained that the Ministry of Communication and Information is currently building a National Data Centre (PDN), a government service liaison system, and an intra-government network to support SPBE. In addition, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics also develops and harmonises applications, creates SPBE super-apps, and employs big data analytics and artificial intelligence in collaboration with other ministries/institutions.
President Jokowi indicated that the bureaucracy movement must relate to the government’s main aims for the bureaucracy to impact society. With 4.2 million government employees in Indonesia, the government created a new performance measure for them. All the KPIs (key performance indicators) are aligned with the government’s main initiatives, which include investment, poverty, digitisation, inflation, and TKDN (domestic component level in government spending).
Assessment of bureaucratic reform (RB) of ministries/agencies and regional governments as of 2023 must be more directed towards fixing downstream community problems that are the government’s priority, namely poverty eradication, improved investment, digitising services, spending on domestic products, and inflation control.
The Philippines embraces any cooperation that may aid the government’s digitisation attempts. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. confirmed this at an open discussion at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland, where he lauded his administration’s digitalisation initiatives and gains in bureaucratic efficiency.
Since security is a significant concern, President Marcos urges the development of a cybersecurity system for the government’s essential information. The administration has increased efforts to develop a cybersecurity system, a critical component of digitalising the bureaucracy. Moreover, local governments have stepped in to support the construction of digital infrastructure to increase internet connectivity for all Filipinos across the country.
“Local governments and some agencies would take the initiative and establish communication networks… As a result, everything must now be integrated and assembled. We’re also creating government databases, forming databases for the national ID, (and) putting it in place right away,” President Marcos Jr concluded.
Under the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s Broadband ng Masa and Free Wi-Fi for All projects, the current administration has enabled thousands of previously offline regions. President Marcos Jr met with members of the Private Sector Advisory Council on Digital Infrastructure on January 12 to discuss the council’s digital infrastructure work plan. He and the PSAC members discussed the future of the country’s digital infrastructure.
Senate Bill No. 383, also known as the Digital Transformation in Basic Education Act, has been issued to accelerate national infrastructure development for information and communications technology (ICT). The bill directs the National Telecommunications Commission to designate locations for telecommunications tower installation. Priority will be given to missionary areas that are yet unconnected, unserved, or underserved.
Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte also advocates for free internet in all public schools. The remark was made after she visited the Pinaglabanan Elementary School’s Free Fibre Optic Internet Connection and Free Wi-Fi Programme in San Juan City last month. She commended the city for effectively implementing the project, which aims to strengthen the city’s public education system through increased access to information technology.
The Department of Science and Technology will support DepEd and the Department of Information and Communications Technology under Gatchalian’s bill. The policy also aims to increase all schools’ ICT capacity to adopt distant learning and to propel the primary education sector into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
President Marcos Jr also requested an update on the implementation of Republic Act 11934, also known as the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Act, and directed that the identification number system be digitalised so that it could be used for both public and private exchanges.
According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), approximately 20 million subscriber identity module (SIM) cards have been verified with the country’s major telecommunication operators as of mid-January. According to DICT Spokesperson Undersecretary Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo, 20,551,294 or 12.16% of the country’s 168,977,773 active mobile users have been registered since the SIM card registration law went into effect on December 27, 2022.
“SIM Registration is being implemented alongside the Data Privacy Act. Data encryption is required. PTEs (public telecommunications enterprises) are required by law to ensure that end-user data is secure, encrypted, and protected at all times,” she explained.
Following its simultaneous compliance check on-site visits, the National Protection Commission (NPC) ordered the three PTEs to fix several data privacy “gaps” in their SIM registration. However, Naga stated that the three telcos have typically shown the capability in preserved the clients’ data. He does, however, advise telcos to upgrade and tighten their security procedures as information and communications technology improves.
The Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) plans to increase its efforts to attract foreign investors and make Malaysia a hub for investment, including Italian investors, who were recently informed of potential business opportunities and partnerships in industries such as chemicals, green technology, e-economy, smart technology, and Industry 4.0 value chains in Malaysia.
The Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) recently conducted a working visit to Italy from 20 to 23 January 2023 to enhance the business relationship between the two countries. As a result of this visit, several Italian companies have shown interest in investing in Malaysia as it is considered a strategic gateway to the ASEAN and Asia Pacific regions. The visit has also successfully attracted potential foreign direct investments (FDIs) worth RM3.25 billion, which are expected to be realised starting in 2023.
The Minister stated that in line with the government’s dedication to being pro-business, pro-investment and pro-trade, MITI and its agencies are ready to strengthen ties with investors that bring in high-tech and high-quality investments, which will aid in creating better-paying jobs for Malaysians.
From the foreign direct investment perspective, Malaysia is already acknowledged for its strategic location in Southeast Asia, diverse industrial ecosystem, and skilled talent pool. What is essential now is to address all the issues that investors face during their journey, to improve the overall ease of doing business in Malaysia.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) was also part of the Ministerial delegation. He noted that as a developing nation with a strong industrial and services sector, Malaysia is advancing to the next stage of development as its economy becomes more diversified to accommodate new areas of growth.
The Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) continues to welcome high-quality foreign direct investments from all over the world, including from Italy. These investments play a crucial role in the development of Malaysia due to their positive impact on the economy and will continue to do so in the post-pandemic era.
During the visit, the Minister had individual meetings with several prominent business leaders and potential investors. Italy is the 9th largest foreign investor in Malaysia from the European Union. As of September 2022, a total of 77 manufacturing projects with Italian participation have been completed, with total investments of US$382 million (RM1.4 billion), creating 4,346 job opportunities.
Italy is known for having established many world-class high-tech companies and can provide various latest technologies and digitalization expertise. Therefore, the presence of Italian companies in Malaysia is considered vital in facilitating the transfer of technology and creating more knowledgeable workers in Malaysia.
Italy’s emerging green technologies are also essential in supporting Malaysia’s long-term strategic objective of attracting investments with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations, in line with the country’s New Investment Policy (NIP).
MIDA is the government’s principal investment promotion and development agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to oversee and drive investments into the manufacturing and services sectors in Malaysia. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur Sentral, MIDA has 12 regional and 21 overseas offices. MIDA continues to be the strategic partner to businesses in seizing the opportunities arising from the technology revolution of this era.