How has the Coronavirus outbreak disrupted your life? And how are you dealing with it?
Looking back two months in time, one could not have imagined that the entire world would head for a stand still. One could not have imagined that such an immediate change in daily life; be it work or routine chores could actually take place. More importantly, one could not have imagined that we could adapt, survive and possibly even flourish through it! As the nationwide lockdown comes to a close, there are several lessons we ought to learn. Though, at the moment the future is blurry with no clarity on how we could return to our daily affairs and work together but reflecting back does teach us that with proper planning, determination and effective use of technology we can put up a fight.
By late February or the beginning of March, we had been hearing the term coronavirus for quite a few months now but still felt as if we were invincible. For most of us, the problem still posed to be alien. Life as we knew it continued without a glitch regardless of what was going on with our counterparts. However, gradually at first and then suddenly things changed. All we would see, hear and talk about was COVID-19. We began understanding the gravity of the situation.
The cases were increasing within the country and worldwide with over 88 thousand confirmed cases and three thousands deaths internationally as of 1st March 2020 itself. The daily commute started feeling like an adventure with danger not just at every step but also at every touch. At the office, we thought a change in seating arrangement or placing hand sanitizers could take us out of this epidemic. Hoping against hope that this is all that it would cost. As the cases doubled overnight and workplaces were evidently the most prone, we were left with no choice but to maintain social distancing.
However, what would that mean for us? How could we continue our daily operations? Since most of us never anticipated this, most of us were not prepared. Working remotely or work from home seemed a distant reality, something that would not be required or was not feasible for some. There was confusion among us all and just as we began addressing some hard questions, all of a sudden, a complete lockdown was upon us. It was time to get to the drawing board!
The lockdown disrupted not just our professional lives but also our personal lives to a great extent. Most employees were worried about the state of affairs and at the same time about how to sustain through the lockdown. Stepping out of one’s home to buy vegetables and other groceries became a challenge. Greeted with panic-stricken faces and long queues made the task more difficult than it already was. Looking at people with masks covering majority of their faces along with protective gloves can make anyone realize that a dreaded dystopian world, earlier only a figment of our imagination and some pop-fiction has now become a reality. This new way of life posed several challenges.
First and foremost, we had to plan about the health of our employees and ensure their sustenance. It was time for a bottom-up approach because the staff at the lowest rung of ladder was the most vulnerable. It was important to spread awareness among all about hygiene practices and the precautions to take in order to protect us and our families safe from the virus. Next task was to establish a communication channel with all employees and staff for effectively and frequent updates. This helps in instilling confidence in the company and about their work.
Facilitating work from home while ensuring proper continual of services along with quality monitoring is more challenging a task than anticipated. While health of one’s staff is definitely a priority, at the same time maintaining a steady revenue and proper management of one’s finances is equally important if not more. Without proper planning, one can end up doing more damage than help to both the business and the people running it. Therefore, a sudden jump to remote working means embracing the technology at hand to facilitate day-to-day operations. Be it Zoom, Web-ex, Microsoft Teams or Google meet, there are several free or economical mediums to connect with your team efficiently.
In order to successfully implement remote working, proactive communication is necessary. More frequent than in an office. We have entered an economic crisis may be greater than any faced in modern history and the onus to fight through it lies upon us. Many of us had reservations in moving our business to the cloud and utilizing other cloud based services in dread of security, necessity and cost effectiveness. Technological solutions today have evolved tremendously and have the potential to take us through the tough times. One such solution that enabled many businesses to continue their operations was a virtual call center. Swift integration with existing setup and minimal infrastructure makes it a ready-to-go solution. Employees only need an internet connection and a system (laptop, tablet, mobile phone) to get access and continue their tasks and calls.
Managers have an easy monitoring system via a dashboard, which can record calls and give instant feedback. This is merely one of the many cloud-telephony services, which can and have proved to be shield of Zeus. However, it is equally important to find a dependable service provider to facilitate this transition for your organization. With such flexibility at hand, an organization may not only survive a lockdown but also enable all its employees to work without worrying about their future and the future of their company. After all, cloud telephony and seamless work from home is the new backbone of all businesses and their operations.
In conclusion, this lockdown has taught us several lessons and maybe the most crucial among them is about being prepared, even about the unimaginable. We need to be ready to adapt and not only when there is no other option, but along the tide! These are tough times and we need to utilize all assets around us to get through the same and take everybody along. As business owners, we need to stand-up for our staff, our employees and our close and dear ones. We can do so only as long as we have the resources, which for most of us drives through our business. Thus, even if these times push you back; you need to keep your head held up and make it through the turbulent waters.