The unthinkable is happening. The world has come to an abrupt halt amid the spread of coronavirus that has already affected over 200 countries and territories across the world. The situation is so unpleasant right now, that governments are forced to announce national lockdowns. While this has had a profound effect on the lives of the people who are now holed up inside their respective homes to practice social distancing, the businesses are suffering from a massive blow as they have no option but to shut shop.
Even though it is not possible to venture out or go to work, companies have a ray of hope in the form of the ‘Work from Home’ option in these murky times. Some of the latest and easily accessible communication technologies can do the trick of keeping employees connected, while they work from the safety of their homes. Most companies, who have the luxury of working remotely, have already switched to it. No biggie, considering that it is the only option left with them in today’s scenario. This is the opportunity for technology companies to think beyond the traditional working style and adopt new technologies.
There are a whole lot of benefits of working from home such as it helps you save time that can be used for taking up a hobby; strike the right work-life balance allowing you to focus on your family; and giving you the much needed flexibility to work as per your own schedule.
Getting things done from home requires dedication, so here we have some tips that will help you meet your deadlines even from home.
Create a to-do list, assign clear timelines to each task and stick to the schedule to stay productive throughout the day.
Zero in on a dedicated area to work, that will serve as your workspace when working from home. Also, make sure it has all the things you will need to work comfortably.
Working from home can get difficult if there are distractions. Try not to take frequent or long breaks and resist yourself from indulging in TV, web series or games.
Use the latest technologies and online tools to stay on top of your tasks, access data and have team discussions. This will help you keep yourself aligned to your work.
Make sure you always stay in touch with your colleagues and clearly communicate the details of your tasks for successful completions.
Have a fixed routine for work and leisure and follow it strictly to keep your productivity levels up. Share reports with your co-workers, team or managers for transparency.
Rejuvenating yourself in between tasks is equally important, so do not hesitate in taking breaks to have a cup of coffee, take a walk or speak to your family members.
Working from home does have its own set of challenges too, which include:
• Connectivity – Technology hiccups like internet outages or no mobile coverage
• Productivity – Reduced productivity due to distractions at home
• Liaisons – Unable to effectively collaborate with your team members
• Availability – Availability of all remote workers may be an issue if they have different work timings
• Trackability – Tracking your team members’ or subordinates’ tasks may be a challenge
However, there are a range innovative tools and technologies that can help companies overcome these challenges and continue the pace of work, albeit remotely.
• Video Conferencing (Skype, WhatsApp, Bridge2Call, Slack)
Video Conferencing is no more a novelty in the corporate sector and we have a range of applications available for group as well as peer-to-peer video calling. And if the recent reports are to be believed, people around the world have adopted them wholeheartedly so as to make sure their work doesn’t stop. As per a report by Kantar, instant messaging app WhatsApp has witnessed a surge of 40% in its usage amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Spain witnessed an increase of 76 per cent in the usage of the app, and Italy saw a spike of 70 per cent in the usage of Facebook.
• Digital Meetings (Webex, GoTo Meeting, Zoom, BlueJeans)
Working from the safety of your home doesn’t mean you have to compromise on meetings. You can still continue to have full-fledged virtual discussions with your co-workers for all things important. These excellent meeting tools are great for team meetings, client meetings, conference calls as well as offering live demos of your products to your clients. These versatile tools give you the flexibility to use laptops, desktops as well as your smartphones.
• HRMS tool (ZoHo One, Spine, Adrenalin)
Effective tools are also available for companies to monitor remote working and enhance the experience for their employees. These inclusive platforms work towards tackling the hurdles between the various departments to improve the overall performance of an organization. HRMS tools are meant to streamline administrative processes and improve remote monitoring of employees.
We recommend a few tools that can be leveraged for staying connected as well as increasing your productivity from home.
Bridge2Call Unified Communication solution helps people stay connected from wherever they are. Meant to help service providers, MNOs and MVNOs build, customize, launch and manage complex VoIP solutions with ease, it addresses all the VoIP based telephony requirements of enterprises. Delivering cutting-edge IP telephony services, the solution is a complete suite of SIP network elements including Unified Communication for VoIP carriers. It is also integrated with an advanced fraud detection module to ensure complete safety.
WebEx is a collaboration platform allowing remote workers to meet and communicate online. It allows video conferencing along with giving an option to share your screen, an extremely useful option for people working from their homes during quarantine. The solution features Meeting Center, Event Center, Training Center and Support Center along with Assist Services to offer expert help.
Zoho One is a comprehensive and customizable software that helps employees boost their performance. The solution includes web and mobile applications for different departments such as Marketing, Sales, HR, Operations, Accounting and more. It acts as a replacement for paper-based processes, acting as an operating system for your entire business.
Due to Covid-19, the year 2020 is likely to be a turning point for companies to think radically about the work-from-home movement, considering that it has proved to be a useful solution with the help of some easily available technology solutions. This trend is most likely to be explored substantially in the coming years by companies across the globe, going by its success in the present scenario.
Contributing Writer: Krati is a content creator at Panamax Inc and has over 6 years of experience in the digital domain. She holds a degree in Journalism and enjoys writing about everything tech. Krati can be found binge-watching TV shows, reading chick-lit novels and running after her toddler over the weekends.