The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant international impact, prompting businesses to take numerous steps to accommodate the shifting needs of their organisations, including both temporary and long-lasting measures. As the epidemic’s impact becomes more apparent, corporate executives and managers are expected to adapt their plans and strategies accordingly.
As technology continues to advance, there is an expectation that it will impact the way work is carried out in terms of when, where, and how it is performed. Distributed teams, consisting of remote workers, are likely to become more prevalent, with a corresponding increase in the use of software that facilitates their communication and collaboration. Furthermore, automation will play a role in reducing the level of human interaction, and businesses will experiment with novel methods of tracking and safeguarding the health and wellness of their workforce.
To fulfill their bespoke application requirements, many businesses can collaborate with Works and avail themselves of nearshore software development services.
Organizations Comprising of Geographically Dispersed Members
Thanks to the progress in technology, a growing number of businesses provide their staff with the ability to perform office tasks from remote locations, whether it is their residence or a coffee shop that is equipped with the necessary security measures and internet connectivity. The widespread adoption of software solutions, such as videoconferencing, customer service, collaboration, and scheduling, is a key factor in the success of dispersed teams.
A dependable internet connection is critical to ensuring the productivity of remote workers. As per an article in the latest edition of Forbes, there is a possibility of a rapid and significant improvement in home internet speeds. The ability to work remotely is being prioritized by numerous people when designing or modifying their residences.
Certain employees demand the structure and consistency of an office atmosphere. As per a recent McKinsey article, it is critical to organise who can enter the office, when they can arrive, how often the premises are sanitised, whether the ventilation is sufficient, and that people maintain a suitable distance as they navigate through the area (emphasis added).
Leadership within a Group Setting
Despite being geographically dispersed, effective communication protocols are necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of a decentralised group. While it may pose a challenge, it is possible to develop a strong sense of purpose and trust amongst team members working remotely. In certain cases, remote team managers may choose to forego technology altogether to convey a message of confidence. Employers can leverage software to monitor the work hours and breaks of team members and bolster their productivity by concentrating on outputs rather than the length of time spent on the computer.
Employers can recommend appropriate tools that can aid in enhancing productivity by promoting job focus during specific intervals of time and reminding workers to take frequent breaks. Certain applications provide short stretching or visualisation sessions to promote feeling better after extended periods of sitting.
Following the conclusion of the pandemic, the number of meetings will likely decrease, with email and instant messaging being used for communication when appropriate. Teleconferencing will function as a substitute for in-person meetings. Moreover, the number of large-scale conferences is expected to reduce substantially, and business travel for attending meetings will also decrease.
Meetings can be conducted asynchronously, enabling participants to join at their convenience. This is particularly advantageous for geographically dispersed teams comprising individuals with children living away from home, or for those requiring flexible work schedules to accommodate other obligations as discussed in our blog.
The Future of Customer Service
When face-to-face meetings with customers are not possible for company representatives, establishing the necessary trust for efficient working relationships can be challenging. Although videoconferencing may not be a perfect replacement in times of physical distancing, it is currently the most viable solution. Even after the extraneous physical distancing measures are lifted, this method may still be advantageous due to cost savings compared to in-person meetings.
The limitations experienced by call centre workers, including those who work from home (WFH), are comparable to those of traditional contact centres. Reliable internet connection is not as crucial as arming agents with the proper tools to deliver exemplary service. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, agents can provide identical services, such as returns, exchanges, and complaint redressal, as in a hands-on contact centre.
An Increase in Robotics
According to reports from CNBC, in light of social distancing measures, companies have had to adopt strategies to sustain their operations despite reduced staff presence. This trend may continue even after the pandemic as organisations seek to reduce costs while simultaneously catering to customer requirements.
Human Resources, even though traditionally managed by humans, could benefit from the introduction of automated processes. Holland & Knight details how artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance the recruitment and onboarding processes. AI can assist in creating job descriptions, matching candidates with vacancies, facilitating self-scheduled interviews for candidates, generating letters of offer, and aiding in the training process.
Improved Security Measures
The distribution of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be carried out in stages. In the interim, several organisations may decide to conduct health screenings of personnel gathered at one location.
As per CNBC, leading firms in the country, including Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, and Starbucks, have initiated measures to mitigate the transmission of coronavirus among their essential employees by checking their temperatures before commencement of work.
As a key part of testing processes, thermal imaging cameras can record the body temperatures of people entering restricted areas. Automated face mask detection systems, people counting systems, and contactless access control can be deployed to boost worker safety from COVID-19 and other contagious diseases.
Personnel can leverage their personal smartphones and specialized applications to efficiently operate and manage office equipment from a distance, thereby curbing the spread of germs on frequently touched surfaces.
Expanding Beyond the Boundaries of Technology
During these testing times, it is essential for employers to be sensitive to the mental wellbeing of their employees along with their physical performance and health while handling work schedules, given the heightened emotional state of employees. Holland & Knight recently published recommendations on fostering a positive and communicative work atmosphere, which are worth contemplating.
- Erect a reliable COVID-19 website tailored to the organisation’s internal audience.
- Establish a space where personnel can seek trustworthy responses to their inquiries.
- Ensure that employees have a secured medium to express their apprehensions.
- Boost morale and foster team spirit by organising frequent online training sessions and social gatherings for personnel.
With such measures in position, firms will be better equipped to withstand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.