When the coronavirus pandemic resulted in months of closure starting in the wee early weeks of 2020 well into June, the world felt a sense of shock roll through it. After all, none of us can probably remember a time where we had to go outside with masks on and keep a safe six-foot distance from the ones we love most.
Now, we’re having to be more creative with how we adapt and change the ways we once did our daily activities, meetings, and hangouts with friends. Technology has played a massive part in this extensive process, and thanks to it we now have some pretty awesome things happening as a result.
1) Work From Home
Perhaps one of the best changes that has been a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic is the influx of people working from home, which before never seemed like a possibility. However, once executive orders from state governors went into place stating that all non-essential employees were mandated to stay out of formal offices, circumstances changed very quickly. For many companies, the thought of allowing employees to work from home was too much to consider. What if they slacked off at home, or didn’t use their time wisely to get projects completed by the deadlines?
Now, companies are seeing the effort their employees are still putting into their everyday tasks even without a supervisor or manager walking around the office to make sure everyone is pulling their weight. In fact, the question is now whether or not there will be a need for some companies to go back into a traditional office setting at all. After all, with the amount of money employers can save on overhead if they choose to no longer utilize a full building for their company, more time and money can be put into their hardworking employees and their loyal customers instead of being used to just keep the lights on. All employees need to work from home is reliable a high-speed internet provider and a computer!
2) Encouraging General Innovation
In addition to innovation in the workplace, general innovation has made so much more possible to do over the internet. Companies have realized that they must implement innovation as one of the leading strategies for success. The use of open innovation platforms provides fast and easy access to hundreds of millions of publications and patents. This step towards co-creation and collaborative innovation allows people from all over the world to build connections and obtain know-how. With companies like Zoom increasing the number of users to help companies hold their daily or weekly staff meetings, and platforms such as Slack, Discord, and MS Teams being utilized to discuss work projects outside of scheduled calls, we are finding ways to do things without being in an office.
Even grocery stores and restaurants have joined the game by creating contactless delivery and grocery pick-up, something that will hopefully continue well after the pandemic slows down.
3) Teaching People to Read Non-Verbal Cues
The written word is seeing a resurgence in its application and interpretation due to many people being away from their traditional offices. Instead of being able to walk down the hall or simply crane your neck to ask a coworker a question, we’re having to instant message and email to quickly get answers when we don’t have time to send a Zoom link or make a phone call.
Therefore, our writing skills as a country are improving as more people are spending time typing out messages and therefore checking their spelling, grammar, and overall phrasing to make sure that the sentence makes sense and carries the right tone we are wishing to convey to the recipient.
4) Using Tech To Come Together
All in all, technology has provided us with ways to do the in-person activities we miss in an online setting. After-school activities for young kids like dance have moved to Zoom and given teachers and students the opportunity to remain comfortably in their own homes while they learn ballet. Adults who never had enough time to commute to their downtown workout studio on their break from work are now doing yoga and barre workout classes on their lunch hour. And, faith-based organizations are seeing massive participation in Sunday worships because people can log in from anywhere to listen, learn, and pray.