The Coronavirus pandemic has caught many of us by surprise, leading to over 20 million confirmed cases in over 200 countries as of August 2020. Businesses suddenly need to cope with city-wide lockdowns, travel restrictions, social distancing policy, and must quickly adapt to face an economic downturn. As more companies and organisations switch to work from home, with some proclaiming it will be permanent, there is no doubt that work from home will become the norm in the foreseeable feature.
For many businesses, work from home can help prevent virus outbreak in their workforce, save costs and better compete on a global level. In this article, we will look into this working method from a business prospective and take a dive into the driving forces behind the new trend.
Minimise Health Risks
Office workers who commute daily and stay in the office for hours are vulnerable to various health risks. All it takes is one sick employee, and your entire office may have to shut down for weeks. In one case, a South Korean call centre has 44% of the workers on the same floor infected by the Coronavirus, showing just how devastating it can be if companies are not taking the right measures to control such risks in their workplace.
Many companies now recognise the importance of a proper work from home arrangement, and are starting to decentralise their operation to prevent future virus outbreaks. With the help of the right technology, many positions including customer service or sales agents can work from home effectively. This is not the first time the world has faced a pandemic of this severity, and it will definitely not be the last. Instead of clinging on to an old working method, businesses should invest into work from home solutions and be more prepared for the future. Enabling work from home for employees can also have a positive impact to their health in the long term, a win-win situation for both sides.
Save on Expenses
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global economic downturn. Many industries are facing a major market crisis, with their revenue and income shrinking over the past few months. Businesses have to find ways to lower operating costs and stay profitable. There is really no point to keep your physical office running in a region with city lockdown and social distancing policy in place. Instead, switching to work from home helps businesses to save on office expenses, giving them a competitive edge in the long run.
Compete in the Global Market
In a digitalised global market bringing together billions of internet users, geographic location is no longer a limitation for business growth. In a world disrupted by COVID-19, expanding into the global market may be a good way to reinvigorate your business. This decentralised business strategy also helps spread out the risk, and your business is less likely to be affected by geopolitical events, regional instability or public health incidents.
Instead of spending a fortune to establish satellite offices around the world, businesses can quickly build up their distributed teams in key cities through work from home arrangement, and effectively engage customers through various digital channels, social media, virtual numbers etc.
Businesses adapting this strategy will need a software solution that can help them manage various customer engagement channels, and an all-in-one omnichannel communication platform such as CINNOX would be the ideal solution for businesses that are looking to expand into the digital market. CINNOX combines live chat, telco services such as SMS, virtual numbers, and social media messaging (such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsaApp Business, WeChat etc) into one powerful customer engagement platform. Learn more about its features here.
Security Concerns on WFH
Despite its benefits, work from home does come with security concerns. Work from home employees are likely to be using their own devices and network, meaning they are more prone to data leaks and cyber-attacks. Distributed teams will need a professional communication and collaboration platform with a secure connection to maintain efficiency and productivity.
There are many solutions that can help businesses create their ideal virtual workspace, but if you are looking for an all-in-one cloud-based solution that operates on a carrier-grade network with AES encryption and adheres to the highest international security compliance standard, CINNOX is definitely your top-tier choice. Check out the FREE Essentials Plan here.
Work from home is the future
For many businesses, work from home is not just a measure out of necessity, but a great chance to reinvent the workplace to better suit their operation in an age of digital transformation. Work and employment have more or less remained the same since the Industrial Revolution, but the next revolution for our working method is imminent.
Work from home is just the first step towards the future. As the e-commerce model gradually matures and industries have supply chain problems sorted out, business operations will eventually be completely digitalised. Business will no longer revolves around a physical location (such as an office) but around the people, enabling what we call a “Business from home” ecosystem. People can stay in their homes to work and do business with the entire world, and business offices may eventually became a thing of the past.
Read more: How to use CINNOX in your Covid-19 response plan