The coronavirus crisis is affecting everyone, and huge numbers of people are having to attempt new ways of working as they operate from home. We are living through desperate times, which can generate great resourcefulness, but companies must do everything possible to support their now-remote staff.
The home office worker is suddenly a widespread reality, no longer just the solo self-employed, but now the staff of whole organizations. It’s a short term fix that can severely stress the workflows of an organization, which are unlikely to have ever been tested at such high scale.
Right now, companies need to consider rolling out longer term solutions around remote working, because the effects of the crisis are set to continue, even after the virus is brought under control. Our most recent, large financial global meltdown was the 2007-8 crisis, and if the current crisis even approaches the impact of that, we are in for tough times. It’s instructive to see a Forbes analysis of the time: “The current global downturn [ie: in 2009] truly stands apart. As the economy began to stall, the underlying problem of consumer and corporate indebtedness in the United States, totaled about 380% of GDP, nearly two and a half times the level at the beginning of the Great Depression.”
Sobering information, when considering how much deeper the effects of the current crisis may already be. So if we’re in trouble for the long-term, what do businesses need to do to move from their current mere survival mode, to leveraging the difficulties and re-designing their way of working?
The downturn that’s already here will result in widespread cost-cutting, and inevitable job losses. Fact. Fewer people will be trying to cover more functions, so there will be an inevitable falling off of operational effectiveness. Decreased productivity can be pushed back by increased efficiencies, and for many organizations the key will be in better digitalized workflows. However, home working is currently not well supported by existing workflows and processes, which are being stress-tested as never before. Home office working requires robust IT support and a strong infrastructure, but in many cases this is exactly what is missing.
Companies which are still limited by the capabilities of their Legacy systems are struggling to service the needs of remote workers. It was hard enough before to access applications within the same building! Even if systems have been updated over the years with lots of add-ons, these most likely required work-arounds and temporary fixes that kept the IT department busy. The people workaround in such situations was Teamwork - let’s sort this out in a meeting - but even teaming is now more difficult when we are spread around, each in our individual silo-ed homes.
Tailor-made for these times
One possible answer to these challenges is a platform like Effector from Oriana. Effector supports rapid application development, while also utilizing a strong workflow engine for digitalizing processes, and ensuring task accountability.
The low-code approach helps companies and technical teams to deliver solutions to increased business needs more quickly. Now, more than ever, time is of the essence. Companies do not have the luxury of ‘wait and see’, or spending months evaluating different approaches to upgrading their digitalization solutions. They have to act now, because increased digitalization is currently the only initiative which can be rapidly adopted to keep organizations running. Effector enables workflow digitalization within days, with fast proof of concept, and allows continuous alteration by the actual users, due to the low-code nature of the platform. And where Effector is already in use, developers can immediately add new workflow based apps to support remote working.
In the past, implementing a low-code platform has often been a strategic decision, but now the pressures of finding a tactical response are high, and leaders must decide faster about adding new development methods.
And what about the home workers?
The human answer to our current difficulties is very much more complicated, because there’s not an Effector platform available to fix those! So we wish everyone good health in these difficult times, and hope that you can stay calm, and as free from anxiety as possible.
If you are working from home, do it in ‘bursts’ and regularly get up from your desk to stretch and look out of the window. Yes, there still is a world outside! And if you’re sharing your home office with others (particularly if they’re the three year old variety, or your rather-puzzled dog), make sure you have some smiley ‘water cooler’ moments during the day.
It may take a long time, but we will get through this. Sometimes chaos helps provide the inspiration for a digitalization leap. There has never been a time when inspiration is more necessary, or in greater demand. Effector from Oriana provides the platform for workflow solutions, better communication and increased efficiency in every business and organization. To help support businesses through these difficult times, we are offering 6 months of free end-user licences to SMEs in Europe who want to digitize and fight through the crisis. Contact us to apply today.