The pandemic has caused businesses across multiple industries to adapt to new landscapes to survive. Unpredictable lockdown orders and constant changes in health and safety protocols significantly affected the workforce. Companies who couldn’t change with the times get left behind, leading some to close up shop. Remote working solutions became the go-to for most companies to continue operations while still prioritizing their employee’s health. Working from home initially posed a whole new set of productivity-related problems.
Employees themselves were in a state of increased anxiety and confusion as the pandemic started to take over the world. However, as we venture into this new normal, we’re seeing that productivity is not as closely tied to physically being in the office as we thought. Various industries have even seen better productivity by allowing employees to work from home safely. We’re leaving problem-solving, strategic, and managerial meetings to be the only ones who require a face-to-face meeting in the offices.
Digital transformation and the integration of technology have played some of the most significant roles in businesses success despite the harsh economic landscape. Though the two are certainly not new ideas, robust campaigns to speed up their integration immensely helped companies navigate the muddy waters caused by the pandemic. Technological integration’s positive effects aren’t only seen on a bigger scale but even on an individual level. In our schools, hospitals, homes, and personal, technology has made daily life during the pandemic easier.
The ability to work from home has kept companies afloat during the pandemic. Different technological solutions have been used to simulate the office environment and enable users to access systems even from their homes. Modern communications platforms also allow for virtual meetings, chat rooms, monitoring, and workforce management. Companies have even transitioned to issuing employees with laptops and removing personal computers at their physical locations.
Individual laptops allow employees to have all their work on one device that they can use at home and the office. It also reduces opportunities for disease transmission, especially in offices with no assigned workplaces. Software developed to track and monitor employee actions on company equipment has also allowed more types of work to be moved to remote setups. Mobility in a time of great uncertainty helps employees quickly adapt to changes at home and in the office. Bringing your own device with you keeps you accountable and ready on the go.
Creative solutions to unlikely and unforeseen problems brought about by the pandemic have saved many industries. As more businesses pursue e-commerce avenues to keep serving consumers, we’re seeing just how big a part technology and digitalization can play in different aspects of business in a wide array of sectors. One excellent example has been grocery stores. These businesses have stuck to their traditional business models for years but were thrust into the spotlight during the pandemic.
Essential goods and services needed to develop ways to keep the doors open without compromising employee and customer safety. E-commerce allowed customers to order groceries entirely online and have them delivered straight to their doorstep. This began with third-party applications at first, but soon bigger chains came up with in-store personal shoppers that offered interactive messaging. If any product was out of stock, you could easily inform them of what you wanted as a replacement.
Digitalization also allowed businesses to shorten customer feedback loops significantly. Gaining this feedback early in the process and course-correcting allowed them to provide the best services for their target markets.
Changes at home
Businesses weren’t the only ones affected by the pandemic, so were our homes. Not just from remote work but also from virtual learning and other adjustments needed during lockdowns. As schools shut down, children transitioned to online classes. For the older kids, this was something already integrated into their education, but for the younger generation, this posed a bit of a challenge. The new child care responsibilities stacked on top of work during the same hours made for chaotic households.
Home security systems and smart homes became increasingly popular. These used nest systems such as control 4 automated systems, which allowed you to have different nest devices interconnected with one another seamlessly, which proved invaluable for day-to-day life at home.
Having the technology to check which doors were being opened, check live footage from your security cameras and even turn off certain appliances and light fixtures made everything safer and more convenient. You could access all these systems from your tablet or smartphone.
The new normal continues to urge companies and individuals to evolve and grow while we see the repercussions of the pandemic. Offices have even developed systems for contactless days on-site, and smart offices allow the tracking of employee movements inside the building to aid in contact tracing efforts.
The technological innovations to solve unique problems don’t stop. The key is to determine which aspects of the business structure require the most attention and focus on bringing the workforce and their productivity back to normal.