ll around the world, people, doctors, and other medical operators are working 24/7 to save the lives of as many people as they could. Meanwhile, countries and governments are making plans to save their GDPs which is already struck hard and as per the present scenario is going to continue for long. Steep economic declines have been observed in the past one month. Although the outbreak is contained in China but has been widely spread to other countries.
In between these Governments have to take care of other sectors that play an important role in making the overall GDP of the countries. The unprecedented pressure that has come under the hospital capacities due to Covid19 can be seen reflected over other sectors as well. Since the demand and supply have been disturbed due to the outbreak has curbed manufacturing, hospitalities and not to forget the technological firms. The time since the word “Social Distancing” is in the air, most of the tech firms have issued “Work from Home” except the very important people that have to be present in the office. Although the companies are not working with a full swing still they are not losing hope during this Covid19 outbreak.
Governments, companies, employees, and operators have all come together to fight this situation so that the effects at the end must not plummet. Where tech firms have pacified the situation and the employees by providing “Work from Home”, Governments have also come forward to cushion the economic fallout by providing financial aid. The crucial times like these require close working of altogether and save the market and fiscal policies to fail.
Companies like NVidia have claimed that their revenue has already been lowered by $100 million. Apple closed all its major retail stores since the outbreak hit the Wuhan city and is been facing supply chain issues. Amazon had to close down its warehouses since a confirmed case reported in one of its warehouses in New York.
Big tech giants like Microsoft and Google have asked their employees to work remotely and have taken all possible precautionary measures for those who cannot work remotely. The very instant when the confirmed cases exceeded 80,000 which were majorly in China, tech firms started planning to take possible measures to keep their employees safe and not letting the company revenue fall apart at the same time.
Wherein companies have taken the necessary steps, being an employee the onus now lies on them to stay productive during this lockdown or Work from the Home period. The very instant “World Health Organisation” officially announced COVID19 as a pandemic the picture turned out to be completely realistic for the other tech firms as well who were taking this lightly. Thereafter, companies had to cancel important conferences on the first basis, restricted travel and encouraged people to only report to the office if it’s too crucial for the business.
There are some common problems that employees from tech firms have to face during these tough times-
- Poor network and connectivity
- Not using the latest digital software
- Infrastructure not up to the mark
- Conferencing, collaborating tools and document facilitation hampering
There are many other things that will surely get affected but staying positive and not losing hope will be the right attitude for all the suffering technological firms. Here are some steps that both employees and employers should take during this “Work from Home” period to keep the ball rolling-
Clear Communication with The Bosses-
Bosses, as well as the direct reporters, share the same responsibility to have clear cut communication of all the work-related expectations. The best way to deal with this is to prepare the day-to-day reports so that no work gets piled up for the other day. According to North-eastern University, 2 10 minute calls per day will help in starting the day and wrapping in the end. Those companies will face major problems during this lockdown period wherein there was no provision of “Work from Home” before this outbreak.
Hence, these organizations lack management in dealing with the employees virtually. Virtual management involves platforms for videoconferencing, official chatting, reporting, etc. It can be the situation with the employees feeling “Out of sight, out of mind”. The senior management has to gear up to keep their remote workers motivated and more productive henceforth.
Creating the Replica of Office Ambience-
Remote workers also face the issue of not getting the same in-office environment which further keeps them demotivated to work. This leads to a decline in productivity. Not all have an area for a home office, for those replicating the office ambiance around their home becomes one of a task. The “Treat it like a real job” attitude will keep you going in the work. Here are some simple steps that will keep the employees work with the same productivity at home-
- In spite of working on laptops, I prefer working on desktops. Desktops will make you feel more in-office
- Get dressed in the same way as you go out for the office. This will make you a little less comfortable at home and thus more productive.
- Avoid sitting on beds, couches or bean bags while working at home. Try your best to create an office like a corner at your home. The best way would be to arrange an office desk and an ergonomic chair that would not affect your working postures.
- Avoid working where all the rest of your family members are present. This will help in social distancing and will help you in pretending to be in the office.
- Avoid consuming heavy food during work time as it can put you into prolonged sleeping.
- Taking the exact coffee and lunch breaks and at the same time as you used to take in the office will keep you in the same psychological state as you are in office.
Applying these factors, wondrous results can be observed. According to a survey of 7000 workers by FlexJobs 70% reported to be more productive while “Work from Home”.
Avoid Full Isolation-
There is a big difference between temporary Work from Home and prolonged Work from Home. In prolonged Work from Home, employees generally start getting demotivated due to boredom and total abstention from camaraderie. These difficult times of Covid19 have put workers under extreme Work from Home. Also, companies are not certain that for how long this Work from Home situation has to be kept continued. To deal with this, the best way is to try to bond virtually. To morale up, it is suggested to arrange assembling through unconventional ways. Having lunch and tea breaks through virtual meeting platforms like Slack or Skype.
How data centres and inbound B2B businesses dealing with business?
Inbound Call Centers-
Once Governments all around the world announced Work from Home, inbound calling businesses got into this sudden rush of tension. Businesses like call centres, data centres can’t be think of being handled at home. But with such advanced technology and in the era of virtualization and Artificial Intelligence impossible can be turned into possible.
BPOs around the world have begun pilot Work from Home projects and even the clients are showing positive response towards this initiation. Remote working can in fact improve both agent and customer satisfaction. Here are some basic tools required for any BPO agent to Work from Home –
- A basic system
- Seamless internet connection
- Browser-based call centre software
- Automatic call distributor (ACD) software (in build within the call center software)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
- Call recording
- Call monitoring
- Comprehensive analytics
- Video conferencing tool
- Remote access software
- Workforce management tool
All these together may seem to be too many tools but many of them need not to be present with all the agents. Monitoring and assessment tools are required to be available with the leads or the supervisors. Remote accessing tools also generally needed by the senior agents.
In the inbound sector, business delivery cannot be expected up to that mark during Work from Home period, but the costs can be mitigated which was the real threat. Call centre business owners realize their proactive business requirements are in constant in touch with their clients and have proposed plans that include required number of agents to fulfil their needs along with preventive measures. The Work from Home provision cannot be provided to all the employees but it’s better to save some rather than going empty handed. After all this is the need of the hour. Big inbound call center services giants like Teleperformancehave taken some amazing steps to deal with this-
- Made special Covid19 Global Task Force for business continuity
- Appended total non-essential travel
- Offered dormitories for essential employees
- InTouch with the local governmental agencies to check and apply all the mandatory measures.
Keeping the staff safe for the slow spread of the novel coronavirus is the at most priority for each and every firm right now, and so is for the data center’s operators. Data centers cannot be into the non-working state as many other thousands of businesses depend on a single data center unit. Many of the data centers around the world have come upon this common solution. They have recommended to all the employees who do not work in the critical data center roles to report from home.
Apart from this proper regulated sanitary measures have been implemented.
Employees working in the data centers have been trained as per the standards required to deal with this outbreak.
To save staff from unnecessary traveling, data centers have been stalked with buffer parts and facilities like fuel for the generators, and equipment required for other data center operations.
The maintenance activities that require onsite staff have been postponed for at least till mid-April. From mid-March to mid-April will be the deciding factor that how this outbreak comes out to be. The critical repairs will be continued as it is as that cannot be ignored. Very few engineers will be employed on alternate rounds for inspection and maintenance. Major stress has been put into sanitizing the work floor, surfaces, doors, and handles. Besides this, the data center is focusing on allowing more and more air to come in from outside the compound.
This all summarizes that data centers around the world are focusing on minimizing risk and disruption to their sites and operations. Providing sanitation at both the entry and exit points. Precautions taken are closely monitored by trained personnel. They are following the rules circulated only by authorized organization like World Health Organization (WHO).
This pandemic is going to hamper each business around the Worland thus going to increase the workloads for the coming times at an exponential level. But this is a mission-critical situation and nothing is above the lives of the citizens be it any power of the world. Cancellation of all in-person meetings, tours, on-site events, tournaments, business conclaves, etc. the list is endless. But this is the need of the hour. International and in some parts national travel has been completely stopped is all coming at a price. It’s near to impossible to recover the losses in the coming 10-15 years but do we have any other solution? Saving lives and saving Earth from this havoc is the best we all can do. Hence, in spite of anticipating the losses, it is a request to all the firms is it technological, manufacturing or hospitality to come forward and do whatever they can do to save their employees and keep their hopes high during these difficult times. We are all in this together and we will come out also together.