Julie Sweet, CEO of professional services firm Accenture, is approaching the way employees work in a new way as the past few months have forced millions of companies to reevaluate their operations.
Sweet said that the current crisis has led to the largest change in human behavior, and companies need to be prepared to meet new demands from both employees and customers. That means implementing technology changes that can create a boost in productivity, therefore increasing morale.
Additionally, Sweet believes that remote working policies will remain the norm for the time being, but that clients should be cautious in selling off their office space just yet.
“I give a lot of advice to CEOs about this because there are some who’ve got really excited about, ‘Let’s get rid of all our real estate!’” said Sweet. “Back in the ’90s, we [at Accenture] pioneered remote working and we called it ‘hoteling’, and, particularly in the US, we took out a lot of real estate because we said, ‘Our people are at our client sites and/or they could be home’. And what we found, in fact, over the last five years when I was running North America, we started gradually to expand the [real estate] footprint again because there is a benefit of bringing people together as well.”
Accenture has also enabled many companies to work remotely, taking its own experience in functioning as a global distributed workforce, and using it to aid other businesses in this transition.