COVID-19 (the novel Coronavirus) has changed the world as we knew it. Everything is in a constant state of uncertainty as governments and businesses alike try to adapt to the complications resulting from this pandemic.
While everyone is scrambling to discover the best responses to these trying times, one method for preventing the spread of Coronavirus has recently garnered mass adoption from companies around the world: remote work.
Companies Respond to Coronavirus by Going Remote
This sudden shift towards a virtual workforce has led some to speculate on whether changes brought about by COVID-19 might become permanent. The transition to remote workers may have happened virtually overnight, but the technology supporting this transition has existed for some time.
The Technology Behind Virtual Workforces
There is an incredible amount of services, products, and tools that enable and empower remote work. Three of the key technologies popping up in virtual workforces are telecommunication services, RPA, and custom software development.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of a successful business. Luckily, there have been plenty of communication platforms and technologies that support telecommuting for some time now. Many of the technologies that enable virtual workforce communication like Slack and Trello are even used by businesses that have limited or nonexistent virtual workforces.
Other services such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams provide companies with the ability to hold virtual “in-person” meetings with participants from across the globe. Some organizations even use these video conferencing tools as a means of creating a virtual office environment where everyone has their webcams on at their home workstations. This enables companies to maintain the social experience of being at work even when those workers are hailing from separate corners of the globe.
Robotic Process Automation
Another keystone technology that bolsters work from homers is robotic process automation (RPA). RPA allows organizations to offload tedious, repetitive tasks from human workers and onto their robotic brethren. This frees up humans to focus on the things we do best: creating and strategizing. Remote workers can take advantage of RPA to perform tasks they would have previously needed to devote hours to handle on-site.
For example, a major retailer recently implemented an “RPA Center of Excellence” that provides a development framework used for all bot development throughout their organization. This federated model has empowered citizen developers from multiple departments, including merchandising, IT, purchasing, finance, logistics, and e-commerce, to identify viable processes for automation.
The organization has automated dozens of processes with an ROI in the millions while freeing up humans to focus on the things we do best: creating and strategizing, all from the comforts of their own homes.
Custom Software Development
For organizations that have specialized needs, companies that offer custom software development can create solutions tailored to their exact specifications and requirements. This is equally true when it comes to solutions for empowering remote work that would otherwise be impossible or cumbersome.
Custom software solutions can tackle jobs ranging from business analytics to customer support and everything in between. Our client, NurseLine, offers peace of mind to their customers by providing night, weekend, and holiday telephone triage for hospice and home health agencies across the country.
Collecting healthcare call data is vital to the process that allows Nurse Line to provide transparent care, but their team was working with outdated applications that lacked efficiency and scalability. The answer: a custom web-based solution for Nurse Line's internal users that improved nurse workflow while reducing time spent tracking client communications.
Custom software can help bridge gaps in your current technology stack while also easing the process of transitioning to a remote workforce.
Coronavirus and the Future of Work
The sudden emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has created an immediate need for big and small organizations from all industries to pivot towards virtual workforces. Thankfully, there are countless technologies ready to help businesses make this transition successfully.
While COVID-19 may be the primary driver behind this shift, there are benefits to be had for organizations that undertake digital transformation. A recent study shows that remote workers are more productive than their in-office counterparts. Technology enabling workers to stay at home can increase productivity while also allowing you to protect your staff, yourself, and your business during these uncertain times.