Businesses Are Looking For New Ways to Operate During this Pandemic
For most of 2020, the world has been facing a crisis that threatens the livelihoods of millions across the world. In December 2019, a novel coronavirus was discovered in a food market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Now officially referred to as COVID-19, this virus quickly spread across China, eventually making its way out of Chinese borders and into neighboring countries. Not long after, COVID-19 reached far away continents, making its presence known globally. The situation surrounding this virus became so serious that on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. As of writing this piece, this virus has:
- 857,641 confirmed cases globally
- 42,006 confirmed deaths globally
- 205 infected countries, areas, territories
In a manner of a few short months, COVID-19 has swiftly spread across the world. To combat its spread, and the threat it presents to the public, many government bodies have been forced to make difficult decisions. Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statewide executive order banning the social gathering of groups of 10 or more, thus forcing theaters, gyms, dine-in restaurants, and other businesses to temporarily close their doors.
Dallas County issued a stay-at-home order on March 22, 2020, ordering residents to stay in their homes, except for essential work or errands. The county released useful FAQs to help residents understand what is deemed essential business, essential activities, and non-essential business.
Due to these orders from local governments, many businesses have been forced to close for the time being. Officials have advised businesses to allow employees to work from home if they can, even those in essential businesses. While these employees can still work, their level of production can take a hit. Fortunately, many companies have relied on video chats to help their business operate at a high level during this ongoing pandemic.
Video chats allow employers to communicate with their employees to strategize their operations. Tech Critic is here today to further explain how video chats can help your business during this period of quarantine.
High Demand for Video Chats
The White House has advised Americans to practice social distancing and to work from home if possible to slow the spread of COVID-19. Americans can continue to make money during this tumultuous period by working from home. However, that also means that you are separated from your coworkers and can’t communicate as effectively. Because of this, there has never been a greater demand for video chats than ever before.
Employers have been looking for a way to communicate with their employees easily and efficiently. Since government bodies have advised against working in person in the office, companies have struggled to coordinate with their employees. As this pandemic continues, businesses have relied more and more on video chats. There are several platforms businesses can choose from, including:
- Google Hangouts
- Microsoft Teams
- Apple’s Facetime
- And more
Surprisingly, Zoom has quickly risen to the top of most companies’ options as the go-to platform for video conferencing. According to App Annie, Zoom currently sits at the top of Apple’s most popular free apps in several countries. In years past, Skype would have normally been the go-to for companies to host their video conferences, but due to a host of issues with efficiency and reliability with Skype, Zoom filled a need many employers had without the glaring issues.
Normally, many of these companies would charge a fee for some product features. However, during these trying times, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Zoom are offering many product features for free, allowing more companies and industries to utilize their product.
Benefits of Video Chats
As we have stated many times throughout this article, the ongoing spread of COVID-19 has led many businesses to ask their employees to work from home. While these decisions have been made to ensure the health and safety of their staff and community, it has also led to some communication and efficiency issues. Businesses can no longer meet in a conference room to discuss their strategies due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders, which has caused companies to struggle with their strategies.
Video chat platforms have emerged as a viable option for many businesses to rely on to communicate with their employees safely and effectively.
Video chats are second only to face-to-face interactions. Being able to see your coworkers face improves how well you communicate with one another, as well as increasing the room for collaboration. Additionally, many video chats allow you to share your screen and annotate useful information in real-time, which boosts the quality of your communication.
Without video chats, you have to communicate via emails, text messaging, or phone calls. While these are fine modes of communication, they aren’t always efficient. With video chats, you can respond to your coworkers instantly instead of having to wait.
A fear for many businesses is that working from home will lead to reduced productivity. However, a survey suggests that 94% of video conferencing software users felt that their productivity was improved due to better communication with their team.
Another benefit is the fact that most video conferencing software is cheap. As we mentioned earlier, many companies are offering their product features for free during this pandemic, allowing businesses to continue with their daily operations without needing to spend more.
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 progress, more and more businesses are asking their employees to work from home. While this allows employees to still work and earn a living, the level of productivity and communication tends to diminish. However, with the help of video chats, businesses can work more closely and more efficiently with their employees. While Zoom has received the most praise and attention in recent weeks, there are plenty of options to choose from. Tech Critic understands the situation plaguing the world and is taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our team and community.