Written by Lucia Manetti
COVID-19 emerged in late 2019 and has since grown into a global pandemic impacting every aspect of life. There are currently 13 million cases, and the numbers are growing.
In the workplace, COVID has had a huge impact on business trends and daily work. Since it isn’t safe to work in a standard office, companies are working from home en masse like never before. Face-to-face interaction isn’t possible like before, so business meetings, travel and conferences are all restricted.
With these changes begs the need for digital transformation. Since COVID is restricting our ability to collaborate in person, companies need to quickly pivot and adapt to new digital applications and processes.
Find out how COVID has changed our work-life and what companies can do to stay ahead of the changes. Learn what digital transformation looks like through the pandemic and which tools your company will need to complete a successful digital transition.
Transitioning to the Home Office
Since COVID spreads through human contact, governments are encouraging work from home as possible. The shift to working from home has been different for everyone. Yet, it’s highlighted the fact that nearly all industries need digital processes in place.
While working from home, companies can use digital methods to help encourage collaboration. One of the pitfalls of working from home is when employees feel like they’re on an island. It’s easy to feel disconnected since there’s less face-to-face contact with colleagues.
From home, employees can jump into virtual meetings to gain more context and perspective. Digital tools can offer greater collaboration to help prevent disconnection. To collaborate more effectively from home, staff also need easy methods to share documents and store files. In the transition to home offices, companies are investing in document and content management systems.
While using more applications and processes, it’s important to have clear user guides in place. Outside of the office, there isn’t as much availability for ad hoc questions and face-to-face training.
Digital Transformation in Employee Training
One-on-one training and educational conferences are on hold for the foreseeable future. In their place, companies are developing smart training ideas to use at home.
Employees training online may look different for each industry. Regardless, it needs to be rooted in effective digital technology. The biggest challenge companies face is keeping employee training engaging while it’s online. Studies show that COVID has changed productivity levels in nearly 53% of people. The change is usually for the worse as more people suffer from boredom and isolation.
Training cannot be conducted in person, so companies need to adopt new applications and processes that facilitate learning from home. Online video training is one option, but companies need to invest a lot of time and effort. Through video training, you’ll need the time for production and translating the video.
Instead of video tutorials, a more cost-effective method of training is in-app guidelines. Using training methods embedded in company applications will streamline your time and effort throughout the training.
Digitalizing Employee Onboarding
Just as it’s important to train employees online, it’s just as important to onboard online. For companies hiring employees during COVID, it’s a matter of keeping the process personal and investing in the proper tools. Despite some industry downturn, many businesses are still hiring quickly.
Online employee training should be even more hands-on than if it were happening in person. It’s easy for new employees to feel lost and unsure of what they should be doing from home. To help streamline the process, companies can invest in digital adoption platforms, which help improve onboarding. Through a digital adoption platform, new hires can learn how to use company software without too much face-to-face time.
Learning directly through in-app guidance will make new employees work more efficiently from the start and help speed up onboarding overall. Through digital adoption platforms, you can expect a short onboarding timeline and increased productivity.
New Tools for a Digital Workplace
One big aspect of digital transformation is implementing the tools required to work successfully. While a large portion of the workforce has moved to work from home, businesses need tools to support their employees from home rather than at the office.
For example, due to the pandemic, Zoom conferencing added 2.22 million users in 2020 – about 11.5% growth since 2019. Video conferencing is one example of the methods companies have been using to adjust. Another big need is effective project management software that staff members can update. And these are just some examples.
The move toward digital transformation is allowing many companies to reflect on the processes they rely on. Leaders are considering how to move those processes online. With this change, it’s equally important to make sure all employees are on the same page and have a thorough understanding of new applications and processes.
Improving Virtual Communication
Companies have used digital communication for decades. Yet, the pandemic is forcing them to reconsider how they’re communicating online. Adding even more digital tools can complicate working from home, and business leadership needs to get on the same page.
Right now, company leadership should be stepping up to help guide communication efforts across all channels. There should be clear processes in place across company instant messaging, intranet, email and more. Virtual communication and digital transformation are in the hands of management to drive success.
Many teams will need ongoing touchpoints and check-ins. Possibly even more than what would have occurred in the office. Perhaps virtual communication includes daily check-ins through web conferencing.
As long as companies can put a process in place, they can help employees stay engaged and informed. The success of virtual communications will help determine your company’s overall success as we move further into the digital world.
How to Fast-Track Your Digital Transformation
If the pandemic is causing your company to panic, keep in mind that it’s an excellent opportunity. Much of the business world is on pause or focusing on what a post-pandemic world can look like. During this time of massive change, COVID is speeding up the need for full digitalization.
Through digital transformation, your company will be set for growth instead of uncertainty. As long as digitalization stays at the top of your agenda, you can adapt quickly to what your company, employees and customers need. Digital adoption allows employees to work more efficiently while staying productive.
Newired is here to help!
At Newired, we offer digital help for companies navigating challenging opportunities. Our Newired Journeys and Tips can help you enhance company software. Learn more about our in-app support to help make your employee training more efficient and cost-effective.