How to apply IT in times of the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus has generated a disruption in the market, leaving companies more prepared for collaboration and digital connectivity with a competitive advantage. The relevant question at this time is: How prepared is your company to work digitally?

The reality that the world is experiencing leaves businesses with an immense challenge that will undoubtedly accelerate the  home office culture , this being one of the ways to protect themselves from this global pandemic. But, how prepared are companies to implement information technology (IT) in their processes from the homes of their workers?

Given the increase in cases of COVID-19, technologies promote remote work, both for its employees and customers and users. These changes, which seem untimely and occur randomly, are bringing with them a more intense  home office culture .

It is possible that companies will observe a decrease in their fixed costs and reduce the times of administrative processes and internal procedures, which will invite them to stay in the  home office  with some of the areas of their organization, since it must be taken into account that not all processes can be performed remotely.

For this article, we have the advice of Systems Engineer and Master in Senior Management: Andrés Felipe Robledo Zapata, with more than 17 years of experience in IT, 17 years in which he has been a participant in different digital transformations in companies in which that has been.

It is a fact: more and more technologies are joining the measures against the Coronavirus. “Although personal interaction in business generates much more empathy, such as gestures and visual interaction; we are being forced to do it virtually; For this reason,  we have to learn to communicate through digital platforms , and this requires certain skills” Robledo affirms.

The companies that have been working under this  telework model have a great competitive advantage at this time, because for them it will be transparent: their teams are already used to working under this model and its impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the company will be smaller. While those who have not done it and are just going to dabble, are in the process of understanding and looking for how to do it, making a change in the culture of people to get them to really connect and know how to work collaboratively: work as a team  , in the same file, through collaboration platforms and not through a number of emails, is an example .

“Companies that have not implemented the telework modality will surely begin to have some deficiencies, and this curve may take between 4 and 6 months; while the companies that were already prepared, during this window of time, will be able to serve their markets more efficiently and the impact on their service will be much less; your employees will feel more comfortable and the value generated by your products and service will be better”. Andres Robledo.

However, the solution does not only lie in practicing  remote work ; people should start having  hygiene from the point of view of the  home office , because this requires a series of rituals and good practices:

  1. Have the technology in order: ensure that you have the updates and the VPN to work and connect safely with the company’s platforms.
  2. Having not only the mail tool such as Outlook, but also all the necessary applications to work collaboratively.
  3. Maintain a regular agenda: prepare for the day as if you were going to work: manage schedules, respect meal times, take active breaks.
  4. Define priorities: ideally, at night, spend at least five minutes planning: follow up on pending issues and establish proposals for the next day’s work.
  5. Choosing a fixed workplace; Hopefully a place where the door can be closed. It is advisable to use a study room or your own bedroom, and of course, having a chair and desk, a bed or an armchair are not the best allies for working at home.
  6. Schedule follow-up sessions with the team to stay close and connected.
  7. Turn on the  webcam  so that the interlocutors feel you are present; That they can see you is important, so people will not lose their closeness when they see your face.

collaboration tools

Today, the market offers a large list of platforms, whose goal is to synchronize people: connect them with others virtually and provide them with the best possible experience. Thanks to them, companies will have a more coordinated workflow by providing a unified platform for team discussion, file sharing, online storage for documentation, assigned tasks and real-time project collaboration.

Among the most used digital platforms, which promote teleworking and collaborative work more efficiently, are:

However, you have to know how to do it; “technology is useless if we do not have healthy habits of digital communication. This should be integrated with some good  skills. Timely planning, impeccable content, and targeted interactions are critical to connecting both internally and externally with customers.” Robledo complements.

Today, there are companies that are dedicated to providing the necessary consulting to adopt these skills to their organizational culture. And in case you want to connect digitally with customers, in a more sophisticated and massive way, there are also production and support companies for virtual events.

It is no longer an option, the crisis that the world is experiencing due to the Coronavirus has raised the health requirements in the world with the aim of preventing the disease from continuing to spread, and this forces companies to change the way they communicate with their different audiences.

Andrés Robledo proposes that “hacking” the culture of companies is a good option to achieve this: “for people to unlearn and change their behavior in the face of technology, implementing a change management strategy.” For this, it is not enough to train employees in its use; day-to-day monitoring and follow-up is necessary to understand how to shape technology as a team to add value in different business scenarios, and for employees to use those functions that add the most value to their role. “Technology alone doesn’t do anything, if you can’t find a business use for it. Technology must  fit  with the uses and customs of the culture and processes within the organization”.

So cheer up! Companies can turn this contingency into something positive, acquiring healthy  home office habits  and implementing it properly.



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