Although the current COVID pandemic has been terrible, one bright spot is how it has encouraged many employers to embrace the usefulness of their staff working remotely.
Sure, telecommuting has been around for years as an optional activity, but not all that many employers truly embraced it in a big way, preferring that most of their staff stay around the workplace as much as possible.After all, there was the whole management philosophy that good employees need to be directly supervised at all times or they’ll lose their productivity, and that out of sight may mean out of mind.
But when the public health disaster required large-scale reconfiguration of many workplaces due to COVID-related sanitation concerns, remote options became a more appealing idea for employers and employees alike. Many looked into technology solutions that would allow workplace teams to interact virtually, share projects through email and shared folders, and more.
This approach presented excellent opportunities for providers of some of these services, including cloud computing and video conferencing programs. Other industries that have adapted to virtual gatherings have included:
- Real estate. Agents have always been encouraged to head out in the field to pursue leads and network with other professionals from anywhere. But now many firms are letting their staff work from home for . This offers the opportunity to interact with peers, take direction from supervisors, and talk with clients. Agents can have the ability to send videos and links of property to customers.
- Education. Most schools closed their doors in the spring for health reasons. Depending on the student, the grade level, and available technology, most students were asked to continue their instructions online. This included regular online check-ins with a teacher who could have discussions in real-time or share files. Many school districts are following this pattern as the 2020-2021 academic year approaches – some may try to open physically but also have back-up plans to return everyone online if the sickness continues to spread.
- Medicine. Medical professionals can be an excellent example of taking precautions against COVID and other infections. Many health care provider offices are limiting the people in a medical center or clinic at any time, requiring masks, or cutting down on extra non-vital surgeries and medical procedures Others are taking advantage of the current situation by encouraging their patients to try a process called telemedicine or telehealth. Here, providers and citizens meet via desktop computers or mobile devices. This can include discussions about medication and possible side effects or general physicians While a virtual check-in isn’t the same as an actual in-person visit, the patients appreciate the safety precautions in place. Other mobile precautions are in place. These situations are expected to continue in the latter part of 2020 and beyond as the world continues to deal with COVID.
- Government. While Congress is still generally requiring members to meet in person to discuss and vote on current issues, many local governments are adapting to changes in how they do business. For instance, local city council officials may meet virtually instead of City Hall. This still can allow citizens to address the group, while is an important part of the democratic process.