The largest remote working experiment that the world has ever seen: COVID-19 is putting Tech and Connectivity to the test as we all try to continue with life as best we can. Around the world brands are stepping up to support the fight against the pandemic, but because of the lockdown many are restricted in terms of what they can do. So what do customers expect?
Time for brands to step up?
After years of consumers investing in brands, this is an opportunity for brands to give back. This support can come in the form of entertainment and relieving stress. The Chinese e-commerce giant Jingdong, for example, has collaborated with record label Taihe Music Group and international drinks brands such as Budweiser and Carlsberg to hold a weekly three-hour live-streaming club night. In London, museum lovers can continue to visit exhibitions through virtual tours of London’s major museums, and travel restrictions have sped up the possibility of the implementation of VR in the tourism industry.
Working from home: Face-time, coffees and yoga
As a company that’s used to remote working, at TVE we’re still having to prepare, adapt and improvise. From personal experience I can say that the toughest change with remote working has been my new environment. My routines are completely different; rather than using the office buzz as motivation during the dreaded afternoon lull, I’ve had to find alternatives. A lack of face-time with colleagues can make you feel isolated and lonely when working, even if you’re not living alone. At TVE, we’ve been having daily coffee catch-up video calls on Microsoft Teams, as well as yoga and fitness sessions once a week to make sure everyone still feels in the loop in a more informal setting.
Prepare, adapt and improvise
And when it comes to the actual work it’s more important than ever to think ahead (have that mobile-hotspot ready if the internet cuts out and ensure everyone on the conference call has the necessary software and hardware ahead of time). As the weeks go by, new problems will arise and we’ll all need to improvise so that work can continue as best as possible.
The lasting impact on consumer behaviour
Everyone is having to look at immediate solutions as well as innovate and think about the lasting impact of the pandemic once it comes to an end. Demand for online video games has gone through the roof, but what does this mean for physical purchases? Consumers that would have never tried ordering groceries online might find themselves making this their choice of preference after the pandemic. What will the impact be on supermarkets and how will they support their customers going forward?
Big Tech and Remote Working
When it comes to Big Tech, several platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack and Google Hangouts are offering extended free trials or have lifted the fees on premium services in support of companies, schools and organisations.
Companies that were previously reluctant to embrace remote working have found themselves forced to renege and adapt. Organisations that were already practising remote working have had a smoother transition, but how will things look in three months’ time? Many people work from home occasionally, but this is remote working at its most extreme. A prolonged and unbroken stint might raise difficulties.
Connectivity and the future
Connectivity is showing its value in keeping the world connected. The pandemic will have a lasting impact in many parts of our lives. If this remote working experiment is a success, will it become the new normal and open the door to even more globalised teams? How will you innovate to keep pace with the changes?
Having seen the benefits of connectivity when pushed to its limits, everyone will have greater expectations of work, brands and Big Tech. Are you ready to step up?