Coronavirus has caused conferences, employee training, and meetings to go virtual—a trend that may not completely end after the chaos does, expert says.
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing organizations to shift to remote work, many companies are realizing their telecommuting abilities. Meetings are being held over video conferencing platforms, conferences are virtual, and employee training is provided via webinars.
SEE: The tech pro's guide to video conferencing (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Because so many organizations can function remotely, professionals are expecting the future of work to be more flexible. Remote work was already gaining popularity, but with the pandemic accelerating remote capabilities for organizations, telecommuting is now looking like the new norm.
Everyone is turning to virtual tools for business, even those that were previously considered laggards, said Zvi Guterman, CEO of CloudShare, a cloud computing provider that helps facilitate virtual enterprise environments.
"Organizations that were more conservative and were late into the game of virtual are now using technology tools," Guterman said.
"We see many other companies that were already doing that, but shifting: Canceling their entire event for a virtual experience, providing free offering of trainings to their customers," Guterman added.
As more companies shift the focus to virtual tools, this way of operating has staying power that extends beyond the pandemic, according to Guterman.
Benefits of virtual tools
Remote work presents a bevy of benefits for companies, and with the cloud bolstering the capacity of virtual tools, the best companies are those embracing the change, Guterman said.
"Leading organizations were already using virtual employee onboarding before this all started. The top 10% to 25% of the organizations were already doing that," Guterman said.
"Meaning everything was online, employees were getting their package to their house before they started their new position," he said.
The other 80% of organizations didn't have that in place, but are starting to and will continue implementing these technologies in a post-pandemic world, after seeing the successes tools bring, Guterman added.
Virtual onboarding programs and employee training bring a new level of efficiency, preventing the need for travel and organized spaces, which can result in even more attendance. The same can be said for conferences: Guterman said that CloudShare saw even more attendees after moving an event virtual.
"We had a small webinar that we were expecting 200 people [to attend], and we had 750 people show up instead," Guterman said.
"We're witnessing shifts and people adapting," Guterman said. "[Companies] are taking this budget of travel and putting in programs that will allow employees to get onboard, to learn material, connect to different systems [via] cloud sharing."
The future of work will rely on digital tools, and Guterman recommended companies allow for that adaptation.
"Think about your business and look at what part of it can be done differently. Put the planning in place. Take that and translate it into the new reality," Guterman said.
"The best organizations will allow for different tools and will [use them] for their business goals," he added.
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