How to ensure effective virtual communication during COVID-19

A detailed summary from Seven Peaks Software

COVID-19 – How it started and how it got worse

COVID-19, a shorter name created by scientists from Corona-virus disease of 2019, started in central China at a wet-market inside Wuhan province. The outbreak was reported as early as December 31, 2019, and began rapidly outspreading worldwide from then on wards. COVID-19 was most likely caused by the human-transmission of wildlife animals through the handling of both the bat and then the pangolin species. COVID-19 plays a key part in why effective virtual communication is important moving forward.

This outbreak soon became a global pandemic – a big threat to businesses and employees who had to start adapting to a fixed work-from-home lifestyle. Since January 2020, millions of people across the globe were urged to stay indoors. This was when the rise of working-from-home occurred.

(source: The Guardian)

How COVID-19 is affecting businesses and why effective virtual communication is important

COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, and along with that came a lot of uncertainty. From social distancing to curfews, businesses are suffering the hardships of COVID-19, and can still be for a while.

Small businesses are hit the hardest as consumers are going out less, meaning for less outdoor purchases, resulting in heavy income losses due to minimal income through only digital channels. It’s the small businesses who need to act fast and turn themselves around to battle this pandemic. Governments and larger companies such as Facebook are offering grants to support these businesses – which can be seen here.

Effective virtual communication during this pandemic

Keep on track with Google suite. You can call this as a one-stop-service for sharing your documents to others online with an access link or open as a public document. The users can use Google documents, Google slides, Google sheets, Google calendar, Google Hangouts and Google Cloud to collect all important data available 24/7!

Google Hangouts and Zoom are some of the best tools out there for communicating on a phone call or video conferencing with others. The users are able to have real-time screen sharing inside the video call conference. Moreover, Slack is also a good tool for internal effective virtual communication with employees in the company – users can also make a phone call or share files internally.

Manage your work with Trello and Jira to prioritize your personal task and your team. The users are able to mention each other and follow up with others in the team to ensure that tasks are completed efficiently with effective virtual communication.

Google Hangouts and Zoom are some of the best tools out there for communicating on a phone call or video conferencing with others. The users are able to have real-time screen sharing inside the video call conference, allowing for effective virtual communication.

Supporting our colleagues during this tough time

The COVID-19 situation has hit us all by surprise, making social distancing a new behavior in our society. Employees have to take care of each other by sharing updated news and employers have to provide a platform for employees to support them towards working success. Moreover, HR is a representative of the company. This department is key to staying in touch with employees and reaching out to them when they have an issue to provide support during this pandemic. Not only updating with news, but also keeping the policy up to date according to the daily situation.

What can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Working from home and studying online is an ideal model but not many employers or Universities apply it. The global pandemic has forced people to work from home and study online. All online tools are applied to use for effective virtual communication, learning, and presentations. Most people understand how important it is to switch between working and studying online, this also allows people to have adaptive thinking and have high performance even when working or studying from home. Distance is not the barrier to effective virtual communication in this case.

According to PWC’s COVID-19 pulse survey, 75% of multi-territory respondents optimistically say their businesses will return to normal within the summer of 2020!

Conclusion

The importance of effective virtual communication

On March 2020, Boston Consulting Group estimated there were up to 300 million employees working remotely or from home across the globe. During late April 2020, this figure may already be higher, with more than four billion people globally experiencing a form of lock down or curfew.

The adoption of working remotely is a reactive move due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This transition to working form home was not just necessary, but in many cases became mandatory.

This vast transition was the cause of many challenges for many organisations – as not everyone had suitable equipment or tools ready to adapt to working virtually. New working habits also needed to be formed at the same too.

As of now, remote working has begun to mature, as it is supported by the adoption of technology thus helping make remote work and possible through effective virtual communication online.

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About the writer

Sireetorn started her career as Executive of Procurement at Panasonic Management Thailand. After she worked in this role for three and half years with knowledge in logistics and supply chain, her career was changed from Procurement to Recruitment.

She has been working in the HR industry for four years in varying job roles, gaining both international & local recruiting experience, before transitioning to Seven Peaks Software as our Senior Talent Acquisition!

Sireetorn Sethapanee

Senior Talent Acquisition

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