Working from home is “Ireland’s new normal” according to recent reports from the Irish Examiner. Moreover, with the rapid spread of the Cornavirus (COVID-19) throughout the world over the past few weeks many of the large multinational companies throughout Ireland are putting plans in place for their employees to work from home for the foreseeable future. It is hoped that this will reduce the possibility of the spread of the virus throughout the country.
What will that mean for the company and it’s workforce? Will productivity increase or plummet? What will the financial repercussions be for the businesses? No one really knows yet but the one thing we do know is how you can make the transition easier for your staff and ensure that communication and productivity is maintained or even increased. Having the right systems in place for employees to perform their jobs as normal is one of the most important factors in reducing the potential for loss of productivity.
Fortunately there has never been so many high quality options for video conferencing systems on the marketplace as there currently is. With leading suppliers such a Logitech and Poly launching new video conferencing systems multiple times a year there is something for everyone when it comes to a product that suits your business needs.
In a recent ‘Year in Job Search’ report, employment site Indeed revealed that the number of people searching for jobs using the term ‘remote’ surged 171% — driven mainly by technology advances seeing companies adopting more flexible approaches to remote working.
“Year-on-year trends highlight ongoing changes in the way Irish people work,” said Indeed’s Europe, Middle East and Asia vice president Gerard Murnaghan.
These steps include endorsing video interviews, working from home, halting in-person meetings, canceling conferences, cutting down on flying out to meet clients, becoming more attune to the supply chain and what countries they conduct business with.
While remote working has been on the increase for many years now, the potential threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to the Irish workforce and indeed the global workforce has pushed the idea of working from home from a potential perk to a necessity.
Last week Google informed job seekers that “In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and to protect our candidates’ and interviewers’ health and wellbeing, we will be conducting all Google interviews globally virtually via Google Hangout for the foreseeable future.”
Other companies are turning to Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype for business, Cisco and other video conferencing systems that allow for internal and external communication and collaboration.
It’s a radical new way of thinking about how the workplace should operate. It shows that there is not an absolute need to have everyone congregated together in one place. With the advancements in technology it’s possible to have large numbers, if not all, employees working remotely.
Video interviews and canceling conferences has been echoed by a large number of other influential companies. Leading investment bank J.P. Morgan, Twitter, Amazon and other major corporations have requested that their employees work at home to help with stemming the spread of COVID-19.
The traditional manner of conducting business is changing right before our eyes. We’ve done things out of habit. Now the virus outbreak has forced business leaders to rethink better more efficient means of facilitating routine business activities. Online video meetings and interviews, reduced travel to clients, dispensing with physical conferences that can also be done virtually and working from home will take over.
Another benefit of introducing remote working for some companies who already face tough competition for skilled workers is that they can now recruit from a much broader talent pool than if they were based in one area. The growing popularity of video conferencing systems and apps means that skilled workers can be interviewed and employed from all over the country or even other parts of the world.
A two year study conducted by a Stanford professor in a major multinational company showed employee attrition decreased by 50 percent among the telecommuters, they took shorter breaks, had fewer sick days, and took less time off. Not to mention the reduced carbon emissions from fewer autos clogging up the morning commute. Moreover, the need for employees to fly around the world is greatly reduced with the availability of video conferences. It also works out much cheaper!