September 19, 2021

Using digital tools to embrace the new normal

Case Study By

Mr. Pekka Lundmark

President and Chief Executive Officer, Nokia

State of Broadband 2021

The ideas and opinions expressed in this insight are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect those of ITU and UNESCO or the Broadband Commission. The mention of specific companies, products or services does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by ITU or UNESCO or Broadband Commission in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The new normal is already here. And at Nokia we are embracing the new ways of working enabled by technology during the pandemic to permanently move to a hybrid workplace.

 What this means in practice is giving our employees greater choice and flexibility over their work. For some people this will mean they mostly work from home, for others this will be mainly working in offices redesigned to offer more collaborative spaces, and in other places we will secure the right facilities as and when required.

Virtual conferencing and collaboration tools, cloud platforms, and super-fast reliable connections will play a big part in the new Nokia hybrid workplace. And for many other organizations too.

Our experts [Nokia Deepfield] believe the demand for bandwidth and low-latency connectivity will continue to soar even when workplaces can fully re-open. To meet this rising demand and ensure fast, secure, reliable digital access for individuals and organizations we need to rapidly accelerate the rollout of new technologies like 5G and next-generation fiber to the home.

The new normal requires us to get to a gigabit world as fast as possible. But increasing digital inclusion and access to digital employment and education opportunities is also essential. As this report clearly illustrates, there is a danger of a new divide opening up between the types of workers who can perform their roles remotely and those working in industries, or living in countries, where that isn’t possible. We need to continue working together on a global scale to achieve universal broadband connectivity for everyone.

We need to learn the right lessons from the pandemic. That means viewing the positive temporary changes forced on organizations and governments as possibilities to create permanently better ways of working, traveling and living.

Can we use tech-enabled ways of working to help spread employment opportunities outside of major cities?

Can we use digital tools and hybrid working to cut the need for unnecessary polluting car and plane journeys?

At Nokia, we believe the answer is yes to both. And we have committed to working with our partners to create technology, which helps provide more inclusive access to work, healthcare, markets and education for everyone.