Many businesses were thrust into chaos and uncertainty after the government announced a stay at home order which forced many employees to work remotely. Over the past few months, however, businesses have adapted to operating with a remote workforce so much so that many employees are hoping to make the transition to remote working for the long-term. The answer to how businesses have been able to transition to remote working lies in IT and cloud computing. We explore how IT has enabled the COVID-19 work from home revolution below…
At the start of the pandemic, businesses needed to carefully consider how they would remain connected and collaborative even when their team is physically spread apart. This forced many businesses who were initially slow to adapt to new technology to quickly re-evaluate their IT structure and modernise their systems. To achieve this, many businesses looked to the cloud.
Cloud computing and COVID-19:
For many businesses, cloud computing offered an essential lifeline and provided them with the remote access and security they needed to enable their employees to work from home efficiently. Remote desktop services, for example, allowed employees to interact and receive data from their work computers to their personal computers and devices. This helped smooth the transition to remote working and allowed employees to continue to complete their everyday tasks and duties.
Cloud-based technology also allowed employees to collaborate on projects together, through document sharing and video and conference calling apps. For example, with shared documents, employees could add and make changes to a document instantly, ensuring all members of a task force or team have access to the latest update of a document.
As many physical stores were forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions, many businesses had to take their services online or expand their online presence. For this reason, businesses saw unprecedented online demand. Cloud hosting enabled businesses to successfully navigate this demand, as cloud hosting systems are easily scalable.
Technology essential for remote working:
Aside from cloud-based technology, multiple tech tools and services have been adopted by businesses to enable their remote workforce to operate as efficiently as possible.
• Messaging apps
Emails cannot replicate the speed of a face-to-face conversation. For this reason, many businesses quickly adapted to online messaging apps and tools for quick communications and informal messages. Popular messaging systems have multiple team and topic channels, allowing different departments to engage in multiple conversations at once. Like emails, message chains can be searched via a keyword, allowing an employee to quickly find and locate data or information they may be looking for.
• Video calls
Although emails and messaging apps have proven to be very effective for remote working teams, sometimes face-to-face interaction is needed. This may be because the topic that needs to be discussed is sensitive, or an idea needs to be explained in detail to a colleague. To enable face-to-face interactions whilst following social distancing guidelines, many companies adopted video conferencing apps and tools, for example, Zoom, Houseparty and Google Hangouts.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, many individuals struggled with isolation and anxiety. For this reason, many businesses introduced social video calls, such as team quizzes and virtual coffee breaks, to help employees who were feeling particularly lonely during this time benefit from online social interactions. – Read more
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