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How tech led workplaces through COVID-19

By Jack Campbell | |6 minute read

Businesses need tech in this day and age to keep them relevant in the workforce. Without some of this tech, workplaces may not have been able to operate as well as they did through the pandemic.

Remote working was a game changer during lockdown periods. Companies were able to keep their staff working while still adhering the government rules and regulations.

There were a bunch of reasons why this was allowed to happen, but one major one was video call programs, which granted employers the ability to connect and converse with their workforce without being face to face.


Not only for connecting with colleagues but also for accessing information; without the right technology, this would have been a much harder circumstance for businesses to adapt to.

Aimee Baker, chief executive of Ari Recruitment, said that without her updated systems, she might not have come through the pandemic as well as her company did.

“[Technology] was a game changer for us in regard to where we stored information, how we did our workflows. And so, it completely changed when you could do everything cloud-based. It gave us the opportunity to build the business the way I wanted to,” Ms Baker said.

“A few years later, we hit COVID-19, so everyone was doing a mad rush to how do we set people up to work from home. But we were looking at how we could do that about three years prior. So that was very helpful once COVID-19 hit.”

Setting up remote working was a very important thing for Ari Recruitment, as Ms Baker wanted to make sure her employees had that flexibility.

“When you’re set up to go remote, you need to be able to make sure you all have access to the same information. It’s not a file in an office, and we can’t do our role without technology,” explained Ms Baker.

“So, from where we’re doing our interviews to where all of our information is stored to how we see the progress of any project we’re on, to our group chats, everything we do is so built around the technology we’re using, and I’m always down to try something new when it comes out. I like to have a play around both with social media and then also with different tech that can make life easier.”

On a much broader scale, technology even helped to reduce the effects of the pandemic.

As discussed in The Role of Digital Technology in Curbing COVID-19: “Using digital technology to provide support, medical consultations, deliver healthcare services, and track the spread of the virus has been identified as a vital solution to help to curb the transmission of the virus.”

“Although digital technology in healthcare services was introduced decades ago as telehealth or remote healthcare services, the presence of the pandemic has dramatically boosted its applications and development as an important factor to mitigate the disease and to break the cycle of disease transmission.”

On the other end of the spectrum, there is evidence to show that COVID-19 actually accelerated technological change for businesses.

According to a survey by McKinsey, companies have progressed their digitisation by three or four years due to the pandemic. Furthermore, the share of digitally enabled products has accelerated by seven years.

“Respondents expect most of these changes to be long-lasting and are already making the kinds of investments that all but ensure they will stick,” said McKinsey.

“In fact, when we asked executives about the impact of the crisis on a range of measures, they say that funding for digital initiatives has increased more than anything else — more than increases in costs, the number of people in technology roles, and the number of customers.”

Unsurprisingly, healthcare and pharmaceuticals led the charge, as they were struggling to maintain control over COVID-19. Other areas that saw significant advancements in tech were the financial industry and professional services.

McKinsey said that those organisations that were championing technology through the pandemic were able to outshine their competitors and reinforce themselves in the future of work.

“Digital and corporate strategies are one and the same. The COVID-19 crisis has made this imperative more urgent than ever. While the alignment on overall strategy and strong leadership have long been markers of success during disruptions or transformations, the extent of technology’s differentiating role in this crisis is stark,” said McKinsey.

“At the organisations that experimented with new digital technologies during the crisis, and among those that invested more capital expenditures in digital technology than their peers did, executives are twice as likely to report outsize revenue growth than executives at other companies.”


Remote working

Professionals can use remote work as a working method to do business away from a regular office setting. It is predicated on the idea that work need not be carried out in a certain location to be successful.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.