Predicting the Future of Work in Light of COVID-19 Technology Developments

In light of the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have implemented a variety of measures, both short-term and long-term, to respond to the changing needs of their organizations. Such measures will continue to be adapted as the effects of the epidemic become clearer and corporate leaders and managers adjust their strategies accordingly.

It is anticipated that the increasing prevalence of technology will have an impact on the timing, location, and manner in which work is performed. Distributed teams, which often involve remote workers, are set to become more commonplace, as will the software that connects and enables collaboration between them. Automation will reduce the need for human contact, and businesses will utilise new approaches for monitoring the wellbeing of their employees.

Businesses may turn to Works to take advantage of nearshore software development services to meet their custom application needs, including those specified.

Organizations Comprised of Dispersed Members

Due to advancements in technology, many businesses now offer their employees the flexibility to carry out office tasks remotely, such as from their homes or coffee shops that are equipped with internet connectivity and the necessary security measures. Software solutions, including videoconferencing, collaboration, scheduling and customer service, are contributing factors to the success of remote teams.

A reliable internet connection is essential for remote working to be productive. According to an article in the most recent issue of Forbes, internet in homes is likely to improve significantly and quickly. Many individuals are likely to prioritise features that enable them to work remotely when designing or renovating their homes.

There is a core group of workers who require the structure and routine of an office environment. According to a recent McKinsey article, it is vital to manage who can enter the office, when they can enter, how often the office is cleaned, whether the airflow is adequate and that individuals maintain a suitable distance as they move through the space (emphasis added).

Leadership in a Group

Despite being decentralised, groups must still ensure efficient communication. Although it may be a challenge, it is possible to build a strong foundation of trust and a common purpose while working remotely. Managers of remote teams may send a message of confidence by, in some cases, not using any technology at all. A common method of keeping employees focused on their tasks is to use software to monitor their time and breaks. Contrary to popular belief that more time on the computer equates to greater productivity, focusing on the actual outputs may prove more beneficial.

Managers could suggest relevant tools that help to increase productivity, ensure that employees remain focused for specific time periods, and remind them to take regular breaks. For instance, certain applications can offer a short stretching or visualisation session to aid in feeling better after prolonged periods of sitting.

Conferencing Reimagined

It is anticipated that, once the pandemic has passed, fewer meetings will take place. Instead, communication may be conducted via email and instant messaging where appropriate. Teleconferencing is likely to be utilised as an alternative to face-to-face meetings. Furthermore, we can expect a noticeable reduction in the number of large conferences, as well as a decrease in the amount of business travel for the purpose of attending meetings.

Meetings can now be held asynchronously, offering participants the opportunity to join whenever it is most suitable for them. This is especially beneficial for remote teams, such as those who have children living away from home, or for those whose work schedules need to be flexible to accommodate other commitments.

This Is the Future of Customer Service

When representatives of a company cannot meet clients face-to-face, it can be difficult to create the trust needed for a successful working relationship. In these times of physical distancing, video conferencing may not be an ideal substitute, but it is the best option available. Even once the need for physical separation has subsided, this method may still be beneficial due to the potential cost savings compared to travelling for personal meetings.

Working from home (WFH) solutions for call centre workers have the same limitations as traditional contact centre setups. Ensuring reliable internet connection is not as critical as having the necessary tools to enable agents to deliver superior service. Through the use of these technologies, agents are able to provide the same troubleshooting, returns, exchanges, and complaints services as they would in a physical contact centre.

More Robots

Recent reports from CNBC have indicated that, due to social distancing measures, businesses have been required to implement strategies to facilitate their operations with reduced staff presence. It may be possible that this trend will remain in place beyond the pandemic, as organisations look to reduce costs while still meeting customer needs.

Human Resources is an area that has traditionally been handled by people, but may benefit from the implementation of automated processes. Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be utilised to enhance recruitment and onboarding processes, as outlined in a recent article by Holland & Knight. Such AI could be used to create job descriptions, match individuals to vacancies, enable candidates to arrange their own interviews, produce offer letters, and help with the training process.

Enhanced Security

The anticipated rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine is expected to take place in stages. As an interim measure, many businesses may wish to undertake health screenings of employees who gather in one location.

According to a report from CNBC, some of the largest companies in the country, such as Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot and Starbucks, have begun taking steps to reduce the spread of coronavirus amongst their essential staff by checking their temperatures before allowing them to start work.

Thermal imaging cameras can be used to record the body temperatures of people entering a building or area, as part of testing procedures. To increase worker safety from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, automated face mask detection systems, people counting systems, and contactless access control can be employed.

Employees can use their own smartphones and specialised apps to manage and operate office equipment remotely, thus reducing the spread of germs on frequently touched surfaces.

In Other Words, Past the Limits of Technology

It is important for employers to be mindful of their employees’ mental health as well as their physical output and health when managing shifts, as this can be an incredibly stressful period for workers. Holland & Knight recently posted some advice on how to create a positive and open workplace environment, which is worth considering.

  • Create a dependable COVID-19 website geared at the organization’s internal audience.
  • Create a place where staff may go to obtain answers to their questions from a reputable source.
  • Make sure staff have a secure way to voice their concerns.
  • Keep morale high and promote teamwork by holding frequent online training sessions and social events for employees.

With these measures in place, businesses will be better prepared to weather the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic.

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