With 213 countries beyond international territories being affected by the COVID 19, the WHO named it as a world pandemic on the 11th of March 2020. This global pandemic has created a significant impact on economic, societal, business, and personal facets while also reshaping the people’s day-to-day lifestyle, habits, business operations, and the relationship with the outside world. With the pronounced impact and the distancing policies of COVID 19, people have stepped into the digital world more than ever before. This has lead to accelerating the digital transformation. And it has also given rise to technological trends like virtual working in building a resilient society that would stay even after the pandemic is gone.
The pandemic outbreak brought the lifestyles of people and business operations on-hold creating immense losses. This also made companies look into how to deploy and enable their workforce to move forward. While some businesses struggle to adapt to the changes created, some companies have already implemented changes. And those necessary measures taken will lead them to position themselves properly for this crisis. During the pandemic, we have hit the fast-forwarding button on many technologies that were already in place. Remote / Virtual working referred to the ability to work from anywhere anytime was one such technology that was there even before the COVID 19 but popularized much more within the pandemic period.
Shifting from the need of being physically available for office work to virtual working, companies had to undergo various challenges. Three major difficulties identified are:
- Implementing virtual working especially when it comes to a centralized workforce.
- Ensuring the availability of infrastructure and the security for Virtual working environments.
- Work-life and personal life balance of the employees.
But overcoming those challenges has not just benefited the companies, but also for employees in various ways.
Advantages of Virtual working :
For employees :
- Allowing employees to maintain a better and healthy work-life balance.
- Employees having more autonomy.
- Increased performance and productivity.
- Less commute stress.
- Increase in employee satisfaction and retention.
- Save time and money
- A happy and healthy work-life.
- Promotes employee well-being.
- Can access to a wide pool of applicants.
- Virtual working leads companies to cut down expenses and save.
- Can have a satisfied set of employees with increased productivity.
- Can make better use of technologies.
- Less capital expenditure.
Virtual/remote working is more likely to stay even after the pandemic due to its benefits making it the new normal. Shifting to this new concept where companies can hire employees from different territories will lead to creating more revenue as they can hire the best and the most suitable people required for the tasks. This new normal, where Virtual working is the norm will let businesses optimize their talent pool while also creating more opportunities for potential employees. Companies that were able to embrace these new technologies and concepts will position themselves properly in facing the ongoing crisis. It will also pave the way for these businesses to capitalize on new opportunities in the future.
In an interview held recently, the Member Committee Vice President, Finance and Legal for the term 20.21, Mr. Avishka Gunathilake said that AIESEC Sri Lanka in collaboration with SLASSCOM has come up with a new industry readiness program called LEAD Program targeting the recently graduated Sri Lankan youth. In LEAD Program, the virtual experience will be focused on developing the leadership, professional and corporate skills of the Sri Lankan youth who are waiting to enter the industry which will be required in order to cater the gap between the corporate world and the graduates.
These new trends that showed up with the acceleration of the digital transformation during the pandemic will be strategic factors in creating a resilient post-pandemic society.