Depending on where you are in the world, and your business or sector, by now you could be working remotely from home. How’s it going so far? Do you have to share your space with others? Do you still dress for work, or are you adopting a more relaxed dress code? Are you missing the face to face meetings? And how are the systems which keep you in touch with your business holding up?
This is where things may get sticky, because however well we might be in adapting, if communicating across our business isn’t smooth, then we’re unable to successfully embrace ‘the new normal’.
Companies which already engaged with digitalization and were well down that road are now able to service the needs of remote working staff. It may be a pinch, but the systems and processes are working. In contrast, those with legacy technology which has remained unchanged for years, are really struggling. Home office working needs robust IT support and a strong infrastructure. In many cases that just isn’t there. There are many heroic IT professionals who are rising to the current challenges with desperate workarounds to meet the failings of their ERP systems, but the downside is that they are applying fixes to fixes. The fixes kinda work, but there’ll be a price paid later in unpicking them.
This is typical of how systems become somewhat chaotic and then sclerotic over years of operation, as patches are added to provide short-term functionality. And then hey, surprise, those patches become part of the permanent structure. Now, more than ever, systems are being stress tested by the demands of mass home office working. On top of all the other difficulties caused by the current crisis, companies have to operate with processes which are highly compromised within the system itself. If you have to work remotely you’ll need to adapt your workflows quickly, but when people work from home and workflows and processes don’t support them, it can cause severe drops in productivity. Clearly, without efficient business workflows, every aspect of operation is impacted, not least in the area of responsiveness to customers, and indeed all stakeholders.
Being able to respond in a timely manner is even more important right now, as so many people need questions answered, and problems dealt with quickly. This also applies to people contacting government departments and public services, which are under huge pressure. As well as the bottlenecks that come from having inefficient digital workflows, manual workflows are often ingrained into organizational culture and also prevent effective remote work. Think of all the traditional paperwork and massive filing systems which are yet to be replaced in many government institutions.
So it’s clear that even in the best of times, many businesses and organizations were not ready to deal with mass home working. And this is not the best of times. No doubt you recognize the problems, but are there any solutions? Thankfully yes, and one outstanding approach is in using low-code platforms such as Effector from Oriana. Effector allows rapid deployment, and can tailored by users of the system to exactly suit their needs. In the current crisis that will enable home working to be accomplished more smoothly, maximizing effectiveness for users, and customers and clients. To help support businesses through the crisis, Oriana is offering free Effector end-user licenses to European SMEs, for the next 6 months. Even now, it’s not too late to create smooth, functional operation, with the best workflow software, and bring back-office applications into the home office.
Do you recall, back in the day when the coronavirus pandemic first appeared, and we still attended face to face meetings? Instead of shaking hands, people started ‘bumping elbows’, a sort of fun acknowledgement of a minor inconvenience that would pass quickly. Well now the joking around is clearly over, and the inconvenience is far from minor. Businesses need all the help they can get, and Effector can form a vital part of the package to fight back.