WITH borders closing and the movement of people curtailed, economic activity in the world seems to be slowing down.
But it doesn’t have to, thanks to technology. If anything, the Covid-19 virus could serve as a catalyst to liberate businesses from the confines of their offices.
Many businesses are already adopting a work from wherever you are model, resulting in the rise of remote connections and hot desking. But the Covid-19 situation has accelerated the need to create more efficient ways of collaborating while not under the same roof.
Software development company Zoho Corporation put its thinking cap on and drummed up Zoho Remotely, a suite of 10 products that are designed to make working together easily achieved while apart.
“Zoho Remotely is a suite of products put together from existing solutions to help meet collaboration and communication needs, specifically when users are looking for tools to facilitate work from home or during business continuity planning,” explains Gibu Mathew, Zoho Corp’s Asia Pacific Vice President and General Manager.
Zoho Remotely, which was put together within a week, is a subset of the comprehensive Zoho One suite of products that allows organisations to function across almost all common business needs.
Satisfying A Need
Zoho adopted this work-from-home model for all its 8,000 employees worldwide as a “matter of caution”.
“As our business runs on Zoho, we use our tools to communicate with employees and customers, and deliver services to over 50 million users. We decided to release Zoho Remotely so that it benefits those who are trying to get their business continuity plans going given the unprecedented circumstances we are in,” Mathew adds.
One key element of Zoho Remotely is the ability to collaborate online.
“Most companies conceive remote tools for mostly meeting and conferencing needs. These are important in the sense that they are substitutes for actual travel, but it is also important to have the right tools to further increase engagement and ensure the effectiveness of these online meetings,” Mathew explains.
“Some work may revolve around a document or on how to get something done, so online collaborative tools will have to complement the human cognitive capabilities just like how it would have been done face to face.”
Mathew adds that the increasing trend of outsourcing work requires greater engagement on the part of organisations and freelancers.
“With Zoho Remotely, managers can instantly track work progresses, and distribute assignments best fitted to the expertise of the diverse teams. On the other hand, freelancers operating in the gig economy can also make informed decisions since details are clearly stated out in the project management platform,” Mathew explains.
While we hope for a quick resolution to the Covid-19 crisis, this period of global crisis may have forced organisations to unlock the chains that bound people to their desks.
Zoho Remotely will remain free for users until 1 July 2020, and depending on the progress of the global situation, the offer could be extended.