Because attempts to contain Covid-19 have millions quarantined, many of those people are also working from home. To date, 20 states have closed all restaurants and bars, and some have banned all but essential travel. Many people are feeling the psychologically straining effects of isolation, while at the same time adjusting to a new working environment that often includes multiple family members. The transition to a Covid-19 economy will require new tools and methods of communication, but fortunately, there are tech solutions to help us make the best of these trying times.
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Relax, It's Already Been Done
Many companies have explored the potential benefits of their employees working remotely long before the outbreak of Corona. Making the full transition has proven to be difficult, as the psychological effects of prolonged isolation have had real, measurable effects. People need connection, even the most aloof of us, and virtual platforms have not yet delivered quite the same effects as in-person communication.
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In one study, a Chinese travel agency experimented with its employees, randomly assigning volunteer groups to work from home. Their productivity increased by 13% and when the company decided to offer the option to the entire workforce, more than half chose to work remotely, snowballing the increase in productivity to 22%.2 The downside was that, again the psychosocial element was missing, with employees reporting feelings of isolation and disconnectedness. But all the news wasn’t bad — remote employees also reported greater happiness while at the same time showing a lower turnover rate.
Can Our Infrastructure Keep Up In The Covid-19 Economy?
The real challenge now is to adapt to the lack of infrastructure. Not everyone has the basic framework to be able to work from home. Additionally, management will have to adapt to the lack of physical presence, which can cause some workers to fall through the cracks. However, there are plenty of good options to help keep your team engaged.
Zoom has been widely popular as a method of meeting through video conferences. It allows simultaneous viewing of participants and offers a convenient way to communicate digitally.
Slack is a company-wide communication platform that replaces email as the main form of contact. Streamlining in house correspondence increasing response times. There are even channels that can be separated by department, or that can be used for personal meetings. TimeToReply can help make the transition easier for teams by monitoring email activity.
The world may be potentially on lock-down, but we can still be productive from home. Clear communication is essential to staying afloat in a still competitive economy. Learn more about tools for remote work here!