For those of you that worked remotely before the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re probably thinking, “this is not the same as ‘working-from-home’ under normal circumstances”, and you’d be right.
This is a crisis causing millions of people to lose their jobs. Working parents are now becoming caretakers and teachers while expected to work full-time jobs from their home offices. Acquiring basic supplies like paper towels, toilet paper and canned goods is similar to finding a needle in a haystack. Businesses are being shut down, manufacturing has come to a halt, and small business owners are facing financial struggles they never could have anticipated in our lifetime. Even the act of “doing business” for most industries has changed entirely in a matter of weeks. Companies have been forced to alter business processes to continue servicing their customers in the best way possible, given unparalleled limitations.
It’s safe to say that things are beyond hard right now for all.
2020 has turned our lives upside down, but America is strong and we are adjusting as a united nation.
With most business professionals in the United States now working remotely, we’re seeing just how critical digital transformation is. Many businesses that were operating with antiquated technology or a basic communications strategy, are now scrambling to provide their staff with the necessary tools and resources needed to stay productive at home.
Still though, and after implementing the right tool set to help staff get connected, communicating and collaborating from home, remote work is challenging. The limitations seem endless.
With that said, business owners and management teams that were originally slow adopters when it comes to technology, are now fully understanding that digital transformation has been and will always be necessary.
Let’s take a look at three reasons how COVID-19 has put pressure on organizations to transform their communication strategy.
Ability to Work from Home
Okay, this is an obvious one, but needs to be mentioned.
Even companies that were once resistant to the concept of allowing staff to work remotely are starting to see the benefits of a flexible work environment. However, according to Workhuman, only a third of the people in the United States had experience working from home before the pandemic.
So, not only are we in crisis mode, but industries are having to overcome a steep learning curve to continue operations despite social distancing.
Many companies did not have the proper communications infrastructure to allow for remote work before the pandemic (even ones that allowed for teleworking – crazy, right?). That’s why companies are now rushing into a digital transformation. They’re looking for virtual collaboration solutions that keep their staff productive and collaborating any time of day, on any device and across geographic regions.
There is a very real risk of contracting COVID-19 when visiting your doctor right now. That’s why physicians, hospitals and clinics are shifting almost completely to telehealth when possible. Not only are they saving lives by keeping their patients home, but their also protecting their healthcare providers so that they can stay healthy and continue to care for their patients.
Telehealth keeps facilities from overcrowding and burdening the healthcare system.
Before the pandemic, many healthcare systems were already expanding their telemedicine to limit human-to-human contact, but COVID-19 has put pressure on the industry to address transmission concerns sooner than anticipated.
Specifically, a bill for Coronavirus funding was recently passed by Congress that waived legislation restricting video services for individuals on Medicare. This is a huge step for the healthcare industry and opens up an entirely new way of providing medical services to millions of people.
A silver lining amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is that digital transformation for the healthcare industry will likely transcend beyond the crisis we are currently facing as a nation.
This is probably the biggest adjustment of all. Not just for teachers and students, but also parents. While this is not the same as homeschooling as students are provided with LIVE instructions from teachers via online platforms like Google Classroom, parents are being forced to take on more of an instructor’s role.
Collectively, teachers, kids and their parents are being forced into digital transformation with no prior training.
For the older kids, video classes, digital assignments and class portals are pretty consistent to how things worked before the pandemic. Only difference is that now there is a lot more of it, and instead of going into the classroom, the classroom is brought to the student’s home via video collaboration.
In a lot of ways, the older kids can self-manage their learning with the help of their parents. It’s the younger kids and their parents that are seeing the hardest transition. With parents working full-time jobs from their home office and being forced to take on the schooling of their younger children, a lot of families are finding it difficult to stay afloat.
That’s why schools are quickly identifying best practices and adopting virtual collaboration solutions that can simplify how children learn at home.