Our world has been shaken by a deadly virus that has forced us to change the routines of our lives. Businesses around the world have started working remotely to practice social distancing in a bid to keep the virus at bay as they can’t afford to put resources on hold.
So now the questions arise,
What should we do to ensure the business is running as usual?
If we work from home, would that will ensure the continuity and survival of business?
So is your business “work from home ready”?
It’s a question for all businesses out there, whether today or tomorrow, work from home ready is something which should be on the priority list for all decision-makers.
Organisations from various sectors are considering several tactical and strategic measures to protect their employees and to continue delivering value to the customers and clients. The measures that companies will be taking now, may change the perspective of workplace management in the long run. Remote work will become the new normal by leveraging digital infrastructure.
Here are 7 ways a company can quickly prepare a remote work environment:
Digital connectivity: Robust connectivity to servers and applications is the first step. The organisation should ensure that good internet connectivity and desktops are accessible which enable employees to work efficiently from anywhere.
Cloud Computing: It’s very important to invest in good cloud-based software to ensure safety and give your employees a seamless and secure virtual working experience from home. With the help of cloud computing, companies can continuously integrate thereby helping in smoothening the business process. Amazon web services, Microsoft Azure and Google cloud are some prominent leaders in cloud computing which enable the workforce.
Communication tools: The organisation should encourage employees collaboration and ensure that to simplify employees access, they can integrate through interconnected communication channels or tools. This will enhance team engagement and significantly improve productivity. Tools like Google Suite, SlackSkype and other video conferencing tools allow all this to happen in real-time.
IoT: Internet of things or wi-fi connected technologies creates smart offices at home. Businesses can use IoT devices to allow interaction among employees or with clients as if they are in the same room. Remote devices also allow them to run a presentation while sitting at their home which is a pretty effective and efficient way to cut costs in terms of time and money.
Project Management Tools: While working remotely, it is important to have correct corporate tools in place to ensure projects are executed correctly. Tools like Jira, Trello and Basecamp allow remote employees to collaborate, update files and assign tasks in the dashboard.
Another notable tool along similar lines is Milanote which is finding increased adoption among creative professionals, project management teams and the development community. Providing a well-designed, intuitive interface, the tool makes organising tasks easy and collaboration a breeze.
Security Protection: Security concerns add complexity to the technological side of remote working and can have serious consequences, employees can become prime targets for hackers. To ensure protection, best practices are to have up-to-date antivirus, device encryption, and firewalls. The IT department should either supply or advise your employees which equipment and software to use. This also includes a virtual private network (VPN).
It has become vital to digitally transform our workplaces to operate effectively. According to Forbes, 51% of senior executives believe it is critical to implement digital transformation in the next 12 months. Those companies who are leveraging technology and rethinking their business model will be able to adapt and stay ahead of the competition. Besides the ability to work from home, ensuring digital infrastructure in place will allow organisations to do business as usual.
Let us take you through how various industries can leverage digital infrastructure apart from working remotely..
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, customers are abandoning stores resulting in the absence of customer touchpoint. Consumers are now actively seeking technology-enabled companies to assist them in everyday tasks like shopping.
Companies have started leveraging digital technologies like augmented and virtual realities to meet consumer demands and to bring the in-store experience into their homes.
This has created a paradigm shift in strategies adopted by companies to protect them from any sort of crisis and ensure maintain business continuity.
The IT industry is one such industry, which has a little edge over other industries due to the normalcy of flexible hours and work from home practice. But this doesn’t ignore the fact that companies still have to bear the burden with varying degrees of impact.
When working from home, the employees are using teleconferencing tools to show clients the same static PowerPoint presentation or a product demonstration video to prospects which is less effective than conference room sales. pitch. Now think of sitting at home, wearing virtual reality gears and getting the feel of a conference room or watching a product demonstration is more interactive.
With the help of digital technologies, employees will be able to do work differently and engage clients in a better way.
Manufacturing is one such sector, which is leading to a host of challenges to manufacturers as most of the jobs cannot be carried out remotely. Some major manufacturing industries are closing the facilities partially or fully depending on the nature of goods they are manufacturing.
Those facilities who are continuing the production must follow WHO guidelines to ensure workers safety and protection.
This is the demanding time to explore deployment of digital and automation technologies like robotics and industrial internet of things to ensure the production of goods.
Travel and Tourism
Amidst lockdown, tourism is one of the hardest-hit sectors. The tourism industry accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP. People working in the tourism sector will not survive if there are no tourists at all to visit.
But with the help of digital tools and technologies like virtual reality and IoT, tourism companies can leverage the immersive travel experience for different places while working remotely. This could be the next disruption in the tourism industry.
As the coronavirus is spreading across the globe, schools and universities have decided to switch to virtual or online classrooms. This transition to digital education is disruptive and gives a boost to ed-tech companies. Students from all walks of life have now resorted to online learning.
Streaming classrooms are helping institutions smoothen their sudden transition to online teaching format. Google is giving free access to hangouts to meet video conferencing to all G suite education customers till July 1. Even online learning platforms like Coursera are giving free access to universities in times of crisis.
The pandemic in addition to the travel ban and lockdown, has forced the hospitality industry to shut down. Hospitality is among the hardest hit due to fears of community spread. The news has been highlighting the deferment and cancellation of events, conferences, and sports leagues.
Companies are resorting to virtual events using platforms like video conferencing and other virtual tools. There is a sudden push for innovation for event organizers and business owners to interact virtually.
As this global health crisis continues to evolve work from home alone would not suffice. Digital transformation is a necessity to survive in the world of viruses and disasters. It’s the time for leveraging digital technologies and making the transition seamlessly to “all-digital world”.
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