Millions of people around the world have been told to stay at home in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19. The Coronavirus pandemic has created a real life test bed for remote work. And Remote work seems to be the most viable option for workforce resilience and business continuity.
Major Tech Firms Call for Staff to Work from Home
Last week, Google, along with many of the world’s other major tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook, began recommending that staff in Seattle should work from home as the coronavirus spreads in Washington state.
Google’s parent company Alphabet has asked its North American staff to work from home to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus.
Google also asked employees at its European headquarters in Dublin to work from home last week, after an employee reported flu-like symptoms, which the company used as a chance to test its ability for staff to work remotely.
On Sunday, Apple chief executive Tim Cook asked employees at several of its global offices to work remotely this week “if your job allows”.
Last week Twitter told its employees to work from home to help stop the spread of the virus. It was mandatory for staff in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea to work remotely. Twitter also said it was “strongly encouraging” all of its 5,000 employees around the world to not to go into their offices.
Tech firms offer Free Remote Tools for Small to Medium Enterprises
In response to the increase in numbers of people having to work remotely, many tech firms have offered free use of their online tools to help accommodate businesses particularly small to medium sized companies.
Box, Cisco, Cloudflare, Google, GoToMeeting and Microsoft have joined forces to launch an initiative designed to provide free tools for remote work in the face of this pandemic.
Government to collaborate with Tech Firms to Find Solutions Amid the Virus Outbreak
Governments throughout the world are also meeting with technology industry officials to discuss tech-related response efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak and ways for government to collaborate with the private sector.
They are covering issues such as increased coordination to improve information sharing, to stop online misinformation and the tech community’s efforts around remote work and telehealth
Remote Work could be the Future Workplace
For most companies, employees working remotely will likely be a short-term solution. But this mass experiment could promote the concept of remote work in the long run, which has been increasing as technology improves and companies open offices around the world.
Covid-19 is forcing employers to take a real-time look at the effects of increasing off-site work and may lead to more companies allowing even more employees to work from home in the future.