Home office in a time of quarantine
The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down. The media are full of alarming reports from hospitals and they also present psychological and sociological analyses of this unusual phenomenon. A vast majority of companies in which employees aren’t required to stay in the office have decided to allow their workers to work from home. This sudden trend is and will definitely be one of the most fascinating points in discussions on how to carry out business activities in a time of crisis.
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The economic effectiveness of this particular working model will be assessed when the dust settles. Although, we need to be aware of the fact that the results could be distorted by the sudden market slump as this situation will have an impact on all industries worldwide.
But as of today we can try to answer one question – have we been technically ready to start working from home on such a large scale?
Well, in theory we have. Why in theory? Because in the past we had numerous information and internet tools at our disposal. However, we didn’t use them and, even if we did, we used only a small percentage of their capabilities. The time has come now to catch up on that.
So far, cloud solutions have been the most popular ones. They enabled sharing files, adding comments and even collaborative editing in real time. The solutions offered by Google (often selected by small-sized companies) and Microsoft cloud system, i.e. Office 365, enjoyed great popularity.
Another stage includes messengers for ongoing exchange of ideas, comments and tips – usually thematically ordered and structured like the older internet forums. Recently, we have observed a sharp jump in popularity of Slack, but of course the big players have remained vigilant. Microsoft, while still upgrading its cloud solutions, is keenly promoting Microsoft Team services, whereas Google is introducing new options to its Suite business package.