The COVID-19 has dramatically affected the world and continues to have an impact on each and every sector. It unexpectedly rushed into our life, causing the necessity to quickly adjust to new circumstances. The offline business has suffered the most. The catering and hospitality, retail, sports are examples of those fields that need restructuring.
In the context of the pandemic, even companies that got used to employing outdated applications or not to employ them at all will digitize their processes. Many firms that didn't allow employees to perform tasks from home before, have already established a remote workspace and noticed advantages such as rent savings and improved productivity. Audio and video conferencing tools, cloud solutions, document sharing and reporting apps are increasingly used across every industry.
The main questions are: what SMEs should do to mitigate the crisis and fight off competition? How to optimize workflow and survive? In this article, we’ve collected 4 important recommendations to help you successfully adapt to the fast-changing environment.
At the moment, companies from all over the world are leveraging remote collaboration tools, deploying online shops and creating smartphone apps to let customers work, study, order food, and receive consultations from home. It’s also important to establish an efficient reporting system, transparent communication, and boost social presence.
Establishing an efficient remote workflow is one of the most important things to do during the quarantine. Though it may seem to be quite challenging, a distant team can work as efficiently as in the office thanks to advanced tools and approaches.
Remote work: advantages and predictions
According to the study by Stanford University, there are plenty of advantages that remote work provides companies with. They involve raised productivity, less time for commuting, and reduced costs due to rent savings.
“We found a 13% improvement in performance from people working at home.” — Nicholas Bloom, professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He said that there are several reasons. First of all, there are no traffic delays, long lunches with colleagues, and other disturbing factors. Second, people can better concentrate on tasks as there is no noisy office environment.
UpWork forecasts that 73% of organizations will connect distant employees by 2028. Experts at Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs revealed that remote work has increased 159% over the past 12 years.
Therefore, distant collaboration is becoming very popular even without the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
How you can set up a convenient remote workspace:
1). Use remote collaboration platforms
Online collaboration platforms enable teams to effectively cooperate remotely, including communications in chats, video meetings, file editing and sharing via a mobile or web application. What’s more, these solutions generally allow users to simultaneously work on documents from any device. This way, you can establish a single shared workspace. Examples of such tools are SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.
In our custom mobile app development company, we employ Jira and our internal information system, called AraIS, which is fully customized to our needs. In AraIS, engineers create tasks, update their statuses, attach files, and inform about various issues. It also contains a personal account for our customers where they can view daily and weekly reports, project roadmap, as well as track progress.
2). Employ audio and video conferencing applications
Since now businesses have to migrate to a work-from-anywhere model, audio and video conferencing solutions are gaining high popularity. These apps allow specialists to organize meetings from any place on the earth, providing high video quality and reliable Internet connection.
Commonly used software tools for this purpose are Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Google Hangouts that we also use to communicate with partners and clients. Being available for free, these applications enable teams to collaborate in chats, add plans to the calendar, and receive reminders to prevent any delays.
3). Use online file sharing and editing tools
Company security policies often restrict sharing sensitive information via chats or emails due to privacy risks. Fortunately, there are many platforms that enable organizations to safely transfer documents and produce content from any device.
Citrix ShareFile is one of the most famous and convenient solutions of this type. Useful features involve file synchronization, cloud data storage, email encryption, electronic signatures, and Office 365 integration.
If you have a cafe, restaurant, retail store, or any other offline business, transfer all possible services online to continue earning an income. As millions of people stay at home, they need to have the ability to order food and services via their devices including smartphones, PCs, laptops, and tablets. One should note, that as a result of the pandemic, mobile app usage has extremely increased.
So, build an e-commerce site or a mobile application to let customers browse goods and make purchases with a few clicks without having to go somewhere. The same with banks, insurance firms, real estate companies, and other organizations.