At the start of 2020, nobody could have predicted the size and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees around the world share the experience of being that they would be working from home for just a few weeks. A year later in 2021, countless industries are still adjusting to the new normal of managing a workforce digitally.
In any industry, being able to pivot to new and unexpected problems is vital. Most companies were required to make major changes in order to survive. Here are five major ways businesses were forced to adjust to a digital world in 2020 and are fully adopting them in 2021:
1) Virtual Meetings
Regular meetings are a standard part of office life. While some may say that too many meetings can lower productivity, occasional meetings with managers, co-workers, and entire teams can be useful to ensure a smooth workflow.
Things get complicated, however, when everyone is suddenly working from home.
In 2020, businesses had to quickly learn how to utilize tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Skype to stay connected with their employees. These virtual meeting tools ended up being incredibly useful, making it easy for even beginners to stay in communication with their managers and subordinates.
Going forward, it’s likely that virtual meeting software will stay in place for many businesses. Even in the office, a virtual meeting can save time and make information sharing much easier.
2) Employee-Manager Contact
While team meetings are vital to a company’s success, one-on-one meetings are just as crucial. Thankfully, several tools helped employees and employers stay in contact throughout the workday during the pandemic.
Companies that used to rely on in-person sessions now have to utilize tools like virtual meeting software and online communication systems to keep in touch. Systems like Slack and Microsoft Teams became the norm for people to discuss projects, receive instruction, and deliver assignments.
In the future, these lines of communication will likely become a staple of many businesses for their ease of use and organizational capabilities.
3) Work submission in a digital world
In 2020, employees couldn’t just print out a report and deliver it to your manager’s desk. They had to find another way to get essential documents to those who needed them.
Luckily, the digital world has endless options.
For most of 2020, employees had to pivot to an all-digital world for every aspect of their job. This included using systems like cloud storage and online communication tools to deliver their work. Systems like iCloud and Google Drive allowed employees to easily share their reports and assignments with their superiors.
As offices begin to reopen, it’s easy to assume that cloud storage will stay a permanent part of the workday. These systems make it easy to deliver work and save on the cost of printing assignments out.
4) Mental And Emotional Toll
Adjusting to the COVID world can be tough on every aspect of life. This past year, countless employees found themselves having to learn new technologies, homeschool their kids, and navigate a world of uncertainly.
The mental and emotional toll of COVID has been a major challenge for employees and businesses. Even through these struggles, technology has come through. Online therapy sessions, Zoom meetings with family, and online communities were able to help people cope with the stresses of the times.
Various online tools have proven helpful for those going through mental and emotional strain due to the pandemic. These tools will likely continue to be a valuable resource for employees in the future.
5) The Learning Curve Of It All
It’s hard enough to learn a new process at work—try learning many different systems and processes all at once.
That’s what many employees and employers had to do throughout 2020. New software and new online systems had to be learned in an instant. Delays with installation or understanding meant lost revenue from the start.
Once new systems were learned, employees could complete their work more efficiently than ever before. As companies return to their offices, these digital technologies are likely to stay a daily part of office life for their ease of use and efficiency.
The digital world saved countless businesses from disaster during 2020. Now that both employees and employers understand the value of the latest technologies, the workplace in 2021 and beyond, will never be the same.