Work was one of the many aspects of people’s lives that shifted during the pandemic. While millions were adapting to work-from-home setups, companies were trying to figure out how to continue operating productively and efficiently.
However, a more profound impact of COVID-19 was on the workforce itself. November 2021 saw over 4.5 million people resign, leading to what’s now known as the Great Resignation. Employees worldwide sought better pay, career opportunities, and work-life balance amidst the pandemic.
This phenomenon emphasized the critical role of technology in the modern workplace by creating new opportunities, ensuring workplace safety, hybrid work arrangements, and well-being support, among other benefits.
Businesses that don’t take advantage of technology could fall behind in the new normal. This article discusses how adopting technological solutions can help your post-pandemic business strategy.
State of the Workforce After COVID-19
First, it would be helpful to take a quick look at current trends in the post-pandemic workplace.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, employees who were part of the Great Resignation left for different reasons, including low pay, no opportunity for career advancement, a toxic workplace, and rigid hours. The general conclusion is that employees are looking for a change in traditional business models.
This increased demand presents opportunities that businesses can seize with a few adjustments to their internal processes.
How Can Technology Help Businesses Adapt to a Post-COVID World?
With a slew of employees calling it quits, businesses must do what they can to retain their workforce. The post-pandemic workplace is no longer entirely physical, and technology is one of the tools organizations can use for an effective post-pandemic business strategy.
Improving cybersecurityThe global shift to digital has increased the occurrence of cybercrimes. According to the FBI, they received over 847,000 complaints in 2021, almost 60,000 more than in 2020. Business owners must now leverage technology to keep themselves, their customers, and their employees safe from data breaches and hacks.
Furthermore, with the faster adoption of cloud technologies on the rise and employees working remotely, new challenges arise. Traditionally, multiple layers of security were implemented into an office’s corporate network. Today, these same layers of protection must be provided to a distributed workforce using their home network connection. As a result, businesses are re-evaluating their cybersecurity strategies.
Robust information security policies are in place to safeguard sensitive user data across their IT systems and solutions. New technology can help detect and prevent cybersecurity threats such as ransomware attacks and data breaches. Technologies such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) are now a non-negotiable layer of protection for businesses’ sensitive data.
Application Security health checks are also being conducted to ensure optimal security settings and permissions as employees return to office or continue working in a hybrid model. Companies are now more diligent about their cybersecurity training to help employees adapt and become more comfortable operating in their new work environment.
In doing so, businesses not only promote activities that maintain a safe workplace, but also foster a culture of security to properly protect their organization.
Managing IT servicesBusinesses investing in digital would inevitably need someone to manage their online functions to ensure that operations run smoothly. The pandemic has enabled effective managed IT support to thrive through remote working arrangements.
Managed IT support enabled companies to take advantage of the cloud, making data accessible to any employee connected to the network. It also allows daily data backups, monitoring of suspicious network activity, and easy communication among teams to stay on the same page despite the distances.
Other examples of managed IT support include remote management of your network, video conferencing solutions and other collaboration tools, and cybersecurity measures. These round-the-clock IT services support and reduce strain on in-house IT staff, allowing them to become experts in the many other applications their organizations use on a daily basis.
Instead of assigning employees with tedious IT tasks or responsibilities, these can be outsourced to a specialized managed IT services provider. This improves employee productivity and innovation, prioritizes their key business functions, provides revenue-generating opportunities, all without overextending themselves.
Boosting mental health in the workplaceOne of the factors that made remote working difficult for many employees was it blurred the line between work and personal life. SHRM found that in almost 70% of remote-working professionals, work even began creeping into their weekends! HR departments can use technology to provide employees with the mental health care they need.
Open iT made improving mental health within the company a priority. So, they began adjusting hours and check-ins, allowing employees to work from anywhere, and invited speakers to give mental well-being seminars.
Beyond ensuring good mental health, the company also provided employees with necessary medicine through care kits, so they need not worry about going to the pharmacy. These initiatives have contributed to Open iT retaining its 4.3-year median tenure compared to the global industry average of 4.1 years.
Automating processesArtificial intelligence (AI) and automation make business processes more effortless. In fact, McKinsey found that business-process platforms and robotic process automation were the most commonly deployed technologies during the pandemic.
Automation offloads repetitive and often tedious tasks and delegates them to intelligent, programmable software. This enables post-pandemic businesses to become even more efficient and agile than their competitors.
Gathering more data and insightsMost organizations in Europe and the United States have taken the initiative to become more data-driven in 2021. This highlights a more significant trend of taking advantage of the large amount of data now available, with more people incorporating digital solutions into their daily and work life.
Newer software and platforms allow businesses to gather valuable consumer data to develop better post-pandemic business strategies. Companies not leveraging technology to collect valuable data could be overtaken by their competitors in the post-pandemic market.
Reducing operational costsWith how quickly people’s savings were swept away during the pandemic, many paid closer attention to their finances. Technology, such as a software asset management system, can make it easier for businesses to spot cost-saving opportunities in their internal operations.
Software asset management solutions from Open iT, for instance, allow companies to monitor their spending on software licenses and seek an accurate and fair chargeback for different departments and projects. There is also IT asset management, which helps companies track the technologies they use—whether digital or physical—and make better, cost-saving business decisions.
Growing workforce effectivelyThe move to remote working arrangements has broadened the job market. According to Zippia, online searches for remote jobs rocketed to 460% between June 2019 and 2021.
Technology has allowed companies to grow and expand into other countries without paying the high cost of relocating their entire office. Not only could this help post-pandemic businesses to adapt but also to succeed in the new normal.
To help their employees further adapt to the work-from-home setup, Open iT created a policy allowing them free range to request internet reimbursement or internet installation in their homes.
Aside from providing necessary equipment, such as laptops, the company also distributed ergonomic equipment to make working at home easy. This included noise-canceling headphones, executive chairs, and electric tables. Such steps ensured the efficiency remote work teams needed to accomplish their work.
Updating Your Workplace
Despite the pandemic subsiding, its effects will linger for years to come. Businesses and employees understand that work isn’t what it used to be. Thanks to powerful and accessible technologies, this reality has become integral to how companies can succeed in the post-pandemic world.
Placing significant importance on technology and employee well-being can help businesses adapt to the post-pandemic world and increase employee retention. It was also how Open iT retained its 4.3-year median tenure compared to the average in the global software industry.
If you’re interested to learn how Open iT software solutions can help your business make smarter technology decisions, schedule your free demo here.