On March, 11 after the number of infected rapidly increased in countries all over Europe, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. A few days after, before we even understood what it meant and how it would influence each of us, we have seen that our lives have dramatically changed. Countries, one after another, began to introduce complete lockdowns, limiting people’s movement and other basic individual freedoms and rights. Suddenly it became impossible to go out of the house except for shopping, taking the dog for a walk, or practicing sports. Additionally, borders have been closed for all nonessential traveling. All this created a feeling of anxiety and insecurity.
Because of the lockdowns and restrictions that governments are imposing to curb the spread of the virus, there is no way for most people to go to work. Companies of various industries found themselves in an undesirable situation. They had to think quickly about how to solve the problem and enable their employees to continue working and earning paychecks. For the tourism and catering industry, the situation is beyond the joke, and a lot of people working in bars, hotels, and restaurants either lost their jobs or were shifted on unpaid leave for an indefinite period.
Some other organizations, however, found a solution and instructed their employees to work from home until the situation is resolved. Now, since for many, the work from home technology is pretty unknown territory, they seek those who are already experienced in WFH tech. Mainly, these are companies engaged in the field of internet technology.
In today’s text, we are going to discuss how coronavirus pandemic has transformed, at least temporarily, the labor market and the role of technology, and what we can take out of this.
Before we go on, we would also like to say that even if we know that all these curfews and restrictions won’t last forever, it doesn’t change the fact that most of us are under a lot of stress. In these moments, we can use different methods to distract and relax. Researching things that are completely unrelated to ongoing events, like where to find hidden treasure truck, is a good option.
Role of Technology
Many of us in the occidental world were oblivious about the severity of the upcoming situation. Meanwhile, people in China or Singapore had to unite to support the economy despite the health catastrophe in front of their eyes. They have already been familiar with different aspects of the role of technology when something like this happens. Unlike us, they had already lived the previous virus outbreaks, such as SARS, when they relied on the technology in the home to do their jobs. Moreover, a lot of multinationals such as Apple Inc. or Microsoft have offices in China and the surrounding countries. Their employees have simply learned to use the latest home technology for business.
Is Coronavirus a Catalyst for Work From Home Technology?
What we know so far is that several organizations have used the experiences of those from Singapore and China and instructed their employees to work from home. The idea that everything is possible to do online comes from the experience of one tech company from Singapore called ACCESS that works in the crypto industry. They were planning to organize a big conference with Singapore FinTech Association, but the Ministry of Health ordered them to cancel or postpone it. Nevertheless, they deemed this virtually impossible because of the deadlines, the need for new working licenses, and so on. Therefore, they had to find another solution quickly. Instead of postponing the meeting, they moved the entire conference to virtual space and used Zoom. Despite the worries that the platform will not handle so many people, they managed to do it successfully.
It is too early to say whether coronavirus is a catalyst for working from home and developing future home technology that will enable it. The fact is that companies, even those that couldn’t imagine doing it now, perform most of their operations with employees being isolated in their homes. If it seemed unusual at first, lots of people get used to it pretty quickly, especially because smart home technology has been utilized for a while now — Skype, WhatsApp, and so on. So, basically, it isn’t a new thing, and there is a chance that more companies in the future will rely on the role of technology to organize their working process.
Tech Companies That Use WFH Technology
- Apple Inc. told its staff to stay at home.
- Alphabet Inc. — Google’s parent company.
- Facebook also instructed workers to stay and work from home, especially if they have health concerns. By this, they have in mind people whose immune system is weakened or who are living with someone immunocompromised.
- HP Inc. also opts for WFH.
Other tech companies are following the example. Moreover, this may encourage others to do the same.
We can criticize the technology, but in emergencies like this, it becomes clear how significant is the role of technology in our lives. Thanks to it, there is a possibility that many operations will be done remotely to support the economy in the time of a huge crisis. It is important to know this, even if we hope that the situation will improve quickly, and life comes back to normal. Are you now working from home? Would you like to share your experiences and thoughts with us?