Microsoft Office began scaling new heights in 2011 when it released its Office 365. It was the first time users could access tools like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint as part of a subscription offer.
The beginning of 2020 brought with it a multitude of changes for Louisiana businesses, however, few of them were what companies anticipated. By all accounts, the year started out relatively ordinary, but the landscape quickly changed when SARS-CoV-2 — the Coronavirus — swept the globe.
Businesses were forced to shut their doors, some temporarily and others permanently. Life has become vastly different in nearly every sector post-COVID-19, leaving companies to try to navigate rapid and sweeping adjustments to business operations.
Here are some of the most significant changes companies of all sizes have had to contend with in the aftermath of the pandemic outbreak, and how your business can get support.
Although the Coronavirus still has a long way to go before scientists fully understand how it will impact human life, we do know how it spreads. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has established that the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads from person to person through respiratory aerosol droplets exhaled when a person talks, coughs, or sneezes.
The virus is easily transmissible throughout the community, meaning that doing any in-person business puts people at risk. Initially, the United States underwent varying degrees of lockdown that differed between states, which forced many businesses to either close down until lockdowns were over or find a way to work remotely.
Now that lockdowns are lifted and the CDC reports that the risk of Coronavirus transmission decreases substantially when masks are worn, many businesses are opening back up. However, companies are still looking at an uncomfortable amount of liability when doing business with the public.
For many companies, remote work has been successful enough that if able, they’re still opting to maintain a virtual workforce instead of heading back into the office. Virtual work is now the “new normal,” and businesses in all sectors are looking for ways to decrease face-to-face interactions with customers for the protection of both employees and the customers themselves.
The need for high-performance technology has naturally increased as virtualized workplaces are experiencing exponential growth. After all, the two go hand-in-hand. Accessibility, flexibility, and mobility are no longer a technological luxury — they’re a necessity that today’s businesses can no longer do without if they want to remain operational.
In a post-COVID-19 world, reliable hardware and software are of the utmost importance. Companies are rerouting some or all of their budget that was once spent on overhead costs, like maintaining a brick-and-mortar office, to technology expenses. From issuing remote employees laptops to subscribing to a quality conference call service, businesses are investing what they can into evolving their technology to keep up with demand.
A good work-life balance has always been important for employees but something fairly difficult to achieve in the go-go-go work culture. Employees routinely clocked well over forty hours on a regular basis, many working even 50 or 60-hour weeks with little downtime. This leads to faster burnout, which is harmful to both an employee’s wellbeing and a company’s bottom line.
Now that COVID-19 has put many workers at home, people are finding it easier to balance their work and home lives. While the lines can blur, the majority of employees have been able to successfully get more done in the time allotted for work because they’re also able to enjoy time outside of work for family, hobbies, and other activities.
Unfortunately, transitioning to a remote workforce — even just partially — puts your company’s critical data at a higher risk. Information is no longer stored on hardware devices on-site but rather in the cloud, accessible to employees in multiple locations using multiple devices. Sophisticated hackers are taking the opportunity to steal financial and identifying information from businesses that are going virtual but may not have robust security measures in place while they find their footing.
This means that your company will need to put more effort into ensuring that your network infrastructure is built securely and leaves little to no room for a breach. Comprehensive data backup and recovery services are also key in the event that your network security does become compromised. The longer your business is down after a security event, the bigger the hit to your bottom line; it’s crucial to be able to recover your data as quickly as possible.
With substantial changes in business operations comes the need to update company policies. Businesses are evaluating their remote work, sick leave, and other policies that are now front and center post-pandemic and making changes as needed. From increasing the amount of sick leave or paid time off employees receive to requiring multi-factor authentication, companies across the globe are revising their policies to align with new ways of doing business.
With businesses transitioning either fully or partially to a virtual workplace and technology taking center stage in the process, good IT support has never been more critical. Since the birth of the computer, IT has always played an important role in business operations. However, the post-COVID-19 landscape demands reliable computers, smart devices, and software in bulk.
Many companies aren’t able to focus on the recovery and growth of their business after the Coronavirus outbreak while simultaneously diving deep into setting up or reconfiguring secure, efficient IT networks. Others don’t have the budget to hire IT professionals in-house. This has put outsourced managed IT services at the top of nearly every company’s priority list.
At Essential Solutions, LLC, we know how many challenges businesses have faced in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. Our team of experienced technicians is dedicated to providing comprehensive, user-friendly IT solutions that are tailored to meet the changing needs of companies in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and surrounding areas.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business not only recover but thrive after COVID-19. We’ll do more than help you create a new normal — we’ll help you adapt. Call now at 225.336.0273 (Baton Rouge) or 504.533.8323 (New Orleans).