This year, companies and businesses around the world have been forced to make dramatic changes in their operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of companies have moved some, if not all, of their operations online, while millions of employees all over the world work remotely from their homes.
With remote working becoming the new normal for businesses, having reliable, secure and accessible technology has never been more important. In fact, 54% of HR leaders have stated that poor technology is the biggest barrier for remote working. This article will examine some of the technological infrastructure that has proved to be paramount to companies for effective and productive remote working.
The most talked about shift in working habits has been the shift to online meetings. Video conferencing apps have seen a massive influx of new daily users. Because the vast majority of businesses have implemented work-from-home measures in response to the lockdown, business meetings have been taking place on video conferencing apps.
Modern technology means that these virtual meetings can be fairly effective. Apps such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams have allowed remote workers to meet with individual colleagues, project teams, and even external clients.
These apps allow members of the meeting to share video and sound, and screens, allowing for effective collaboration and brainstorming.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular video conferencing apps that businesses are using worldwide:
● Skype for Business
● Microsoft Teams
Many large companies were implementing employee scheduling technology before this year’s expansive lockdown. There are a wide range of work scheduling apps that offer unique features and abilities.
These scheduling apps help businesses to streamline their operations and optimise employee scheduling. You will be able to use cloud technology to keep track of hours worked, tasks assigned per shift, time-off, shift changes, and more.
While there are quite a few employee scheduling apps out there, we believe Findmyshift hits the sweet spot when it comes to ease of use, features, intuitive design, and pricing.
Project Management Tools
Almost all businesses have a range of projects and tasks that are in progress. When companies work during the same business hours in the same physical location, they can collaborate on projects in person. This makes it easy for them to stay up-to-date and in the loop.
Remote working, therefore, presents some new challenges for streamlining project management. Modern technology allows teams to keep track of their projects in real time using cloud-based technology.
Tools like Asana, Monday.com, and Trello help teams and project managers to keep track of collaborative work in an efficient and straightforward manner. These technological advancements allow teams to instantly see new progress, edits, and milestones in any given project.
Here are a few of the most popular project management apps currently available.
There are a wide range of other project management apps that are designed for specific sectors.
Unified communication technology allows businesses to integrate communication technology to simplify and improve communication across the organisation and with external clients.
Many businesses will have had access to an office-based telephone communications system that is no longer a feasible option with extensive remote working. Virtual communication technology systems make simple communication and collaboration possible.
Some apps include
● Google Suite
Cloud computing has become a widespread tool for both in-house and remote workers. Cloud technology can simplify just about any aspect of business operations. Workers can sign in and access materials securely from any device, teams can collaborate in real-time, and IT staff can easily expand the network as the company grows. Whether your business is operating remotely or not, cloud computing technology is a no-brainer.
Cloud technology is worked into most of the apps we’ve already discussed in this article. In fact, without the powers of the cloud, real-time sharing, communicating, and collaborating as we know it would be largely impossible. That’s why many are heralding cloud technology as the “unsung hero” of the sudden shift to remote working. This technology has allowed many companies to continue almost as normal or with minimal disruption.
Industry Specific Tools
We’ve discussed some of the forms of technology that can help any modern business function in a remote model. However, in certain sectors, there have been more specific advancements that have improved operations in an industry specific way.
In the retail sector, online deliveries have become a crucial part of doing business. Many local boutique shops have set up online delivery options in order to continue to sell their products. Ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify allow just about anyone to create an online store. Delivery companies are implementing more advanced tracking technology so that customers and stores alike can see the parcel’s progress.
In the food and drink sector, food delivery has become essential for many restaurants. Businesses like Deliveroo and Uber Eats continue to thrive, using real-time GPS tracking and cloud-based solutions for storing customer data.
For companies that provide their customers with services, online customer support has become a vital part of successful operations. Apps such as Zendesk, Salesforce Desk, and Groove all use cloud-based solutions to deal with and organise inbound support ticket requests so that the customer support team can deal with these requests quickly.
In healthcare, cloud technology and video conferencing technology are being used to facilitate online appointments and virtual prescriptions. Telehealth has been in the works for several years, but since January of this year, the industry has skyrocketed. Specialised technology allows hospitals and doctors to speak with and diagnose patients virtually without compromising their personal data.
The Technology is There – Now Go Use It!
While transforming your business for remote working may seem like a difficult transition, with the right technology, it’s more than possible to facilitate efficient and effective operations. In fact, by making use of modern technology, some businesses may even see increased levels of productivity and creativity despite the less than ideal circumstances.
By embracing this useful modern technology, employees can enjoy streamlined collaboration and highly efficient working conditions.