Innovative technology, real-time data and connectivity are key instruments in our fight versus the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the outbreak one and a half years ago, many countries have applied technological solutions in tackling various challenges. 

Telemedicine has allowed medical practitioners to conduct consultations and monitor their patients remotely. Mobile applications have provided solutions for the sourcing of medical supplies and emergency services, booking at-home testing, caregiver support, and doing self-health checks. 

Drones and self-driving vehicles have been used to deliver medicine and ambulatory services, and robots have been bringing food to patients, to lessen the risk of virus transmission to others. 

Countries such as the US, China, South Korea, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Israel have been utilizing smartphone data for tracking positive cases, including the locations he visited and the individuals who are his close contacts. 

Artificial intelligence-powered applications are being used to establish patterns, identifying hotspots and helping governments take a more proactive approach to curbing the spread.

The most successful countries in the fight against COVID-19 are generally the ones who were able to adopt digital technology and integrate it with government policy and health care

Application of digital technology in the COVID-19-era workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the acceleration of technology, to meet not only the changing needs on a national and healthcare industry level, but also in the professional workplace, across different industries. 

Let’s take a look at workplace trends that are expected to persist even after the pandemic, and how technology is helping companies adapt to them efficiently. 

Offices will be downsized and will be used for specific purposes only

Work from Home (WFH) is likely to evolve to Work from Anywhere (WFA), as experts predict that the majority of employees will still work remotely and will be enabled to work from any geographic location- be it a satellite office located outside the city, co-working spaces or a totally different country. 

Hybrid work setup is also here to stay. Working hours will be mixed between reporting to the office and WFA arrangements. 

With the unpredictability of where employees are located at any one time, it is wise to invest in technology that can help you monitor the work of employees scattered in different locations. Team productivity software, such as Time Doctor, Slack and Google Workspace, are some of the more well-known ones.

With the decrease in the number of individuals reporting to the office, one thing is clear: companies can do away with smaller office size and will be or have started downsizing their workplace. 

In a 2020 independent survey conducted by Accumulate Capital, 37% among the 500 company decision-maker respondents shared that they are planning to relocate to a smaller commercial space, while 73% believe that more businesses in the UK will be downsizing to smaller offices. 

Companies are also using this opportunity to reinvent the way workplaces are designed to create inviting, comfortable spaces with a focus on safety and collaboration. This might mean the end of individual cubicles, as organizations adopt an open-space layout– where people can spread out but still collaborate and interact safely with their colleagues. 

Small offices and conferences will be available for particular purposes, with priority on those that can benefit from face-to-face interaction, such as: recruitment, brainstorming sessions, formal training and others.

Indoor mapping solutions can let you compute the maximum occupancy limit for each area and room within social distancing regulations, help you maximize your available space and identify high-traffic areas. Softwares that you can check out are: CARTO, Mapwize, and Point Inside.

You do not want to be blindsided by the sudden volume of people going to the workplace, so it’s advisable to invest in a hot-desking and space management software, such as OfficeSpace or Robin

In allocating parking slots, it is best to use a specialized software that is made for everything parking-related, and your best bet is the undisputed market leader: ParkOffice.io. It comes in a mobile app, so accessing parking information and reserving a slot is easily-accessible, even when on the go.

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Increase in tech-related spending

Reduced real estate costs will allow companies to invest more in technology- particularly those that are crucial in managing productivity and teams in different geographic locations, monitoring employees’ schedules, allocating desks, conference rooms and parking spaces to employees who need them. 

However, the WFA setup has highlighted two other critical technologies that you should invest in: cybersecurity and remote access / technical support

With people working all over the country or even all over the world, cybersecurity is one of the major challenges identified by IT professionals. The risk is especially higher when employees work in public locations such as coffee shops and malls, and connect their device to a public WiFi. Someone with bad intentions can plant malware or infect the computer, if it is not protected properly. 

As defined by Security Scorecard: Cybersecurity risk is the probability of exposure, loss of critical assets and sensitive information, or reputational harm as a result of a cyber attack or breach within an organization’s network. 

Invest in a software that can proactively identify malware, block access to malicious servers and scan incoming and outgoing internet traffic for threats. Some of the most highly-rated web security softwares are: SiteLock, Heimdal Corp and WebTitan.  

Remember that it’s important to establish cybersecurity and anti-data leakage policy for your company. Such protocols must educate the employees on the best practices to avoid compromising the organization’s data or network. 

Consider limiting the amount of information that employees will have access to, depending on his job function and seniority level in the company. A bring your own device (BYOD) practice can increase your company’s risk for possible data breaches, so evaluate carefully if the pro’s (lower hardware investments for the company) outweigh the risks associated with BYOD.  

You also need to invest in remote tech support tools and software, which will allow an IT technician to connect to a computer and perform operations on them, wherever it may be located. 

A remote support software allows a technician to connect to the employee’s computer, check the health of the system, troubleshoot problems, install updates and debug the remote system. Factors to consider in choosing your remote support software include: 24/7 assistance, availability of various communication channels, such as phone, chat, email, and video conferencing, and reputation of the software company. 

Some of the remote support softwares that meet the above criteria are: Dameware Report Support, LogMeIn Rescue and TeamViewer.

The tech industry never runs out of innovation, with new softwares popping up every few months, to meet the changing demands of users. During this period when the workplace has shifted from physical offices to virtual and remote work setup, it’s important to make technology your friend and choose the ones which can fit your needs and budget. 

A word of advice though: Select a software especially created for a specific need, rather than a broad application area. A workplace scheduling software can be a headache, if you attempt to use it for something as specific as parking. Evaluate each option carefully, and don’t forget to ask for a demo to see how it works first-hand.

ParkOffice.io is the market leader for your parking management requirements and is trusted by industry leaders such as Sanofi, Indeed.com & CBRE. Schedule a demo today and solve your parking problems in the click of a button.

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