Before 2020, working remotely from home was a full-time occupation for a very small percentage of workforces. Unforeseen circumstances from last year meant that businesses around the world had to quickly adapt to working remotely.
Over the past year many different industries have had to change their usual methods of working and had to completely adapt to a new routine. Businesses in a variety of sectors have been impacted from education and retail, to iGaming and the entertainment industry. Many companies over the past year or so have had to turn to hosting virtual meetings and change their attitudes about remote work.
Providing A Virtual Education To Students At Home
Teaching has transferred to remote working far more successfully than anyone could have predicted. Educational staff have been able to continue setting assignments and providing parents with a reliable structure for homeschooling to keep their pupils up to date with the national curriculum.
At the start of 2020, school children could even have their own PE lessons at home through online videos provided by The Body Coach on YouTube with his PE With Joe sessions. Even university tutors have maintained the quality of their services by successfully conducting interactive lectures through Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Coming soon, there are also some new Microsoft Teams features that will help educators have an even better experience with the platform. Some new features for the platform will include attendance reports that will cover student join time and leave time for classes. There will also be an option to disable video for students in order to stop unwanted distractions and keep the class focused.
Normalising remote working for teams around the world
Many industries have had to adapt to working with virtual tools over the past year. Applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Trello, and Slack, have been popular for businesses to use to help maintain collaboration and communication between colleagues, managers, and clients. After months of getting used to working from home, some businesses are now potentially considering a permanent future of remote work.
According to this article by Business Insider, big business leaders are still split on the thought of long-term remote working for their employees. Twitter’s workforce were accelerated into remote working due to lockdowns but the CEO has now said that staff can work at home ‘forever’ if they would like to.
Spotify has also transitioned into a permanent flexible work model with the introduction of their Work From Anywhere policy. Meanwhile, Netflix are apprehensive about permanent remote working and see teams not being able to work together in person as a significant negative.
Full steam ahead with hosting virtual events
Where many in-person events had to be cancelled or postponed over the past year, there have been some industries that have adapted their usual ways of running an event. Some have decided to hold events in a virtual space and have been hugely successful in doing so.
Quite recently, the entertainment industry saw both the Golden Globes & the Critics Choice Awards held virtually. Many award winners made live video calls or pre-recorded acceptance speeches online. In 2020, there were also many successful virtual events, such as SBC Digital Summit and Tomorrowland that were praised for great organisation.
While many events were limited to a virtual space, perhaps for the first time ever, they each held their own and pulled off great events for audiences. The SBC Digital Summit was a five-day online event for the betting and gaming industry that managed to attract over 10k attendees. Even one of the world’s largest electronic music festivals, Tomorrowland, held its event virtually for around 400k+ attendees.
Maintaining a high standard of customer service
With consumers spending more time online during 2020, many industries could take advantage of increased online audience numbers. It is predicted that online consumer demands will keep increasing in the future. Whether consumers are shopping, seeking entertainment, or need to speak to a professional online, demand for good and fast customer service will remain high.
For the gaming industry, although most land-based establishments had to close their doors in 2020, many businesses were turning to the advantages that online spaces hold. Brands that operate exclusively online providing sports betting, slot games, and online bingo games, were well placed to meet the demands of players who were unable to visit physical premises, with online gaming seeing a rise in popularity.
In an article by iGaming Business, industry experts shared their industry predictions for 2021. Some professionals stated that there will be a higher focus on both player engagement and player safety this year. Cristina Turbatu from Playtech stated that it will be important for businesses to be “…using machine learning not only to attract more business but to detect players at risk in these sensitive times.”
Developing brand new virtual services for customers
While shops have been closed for much of the past year, a lot of businesses have had to adapt in order to still offer a great service for their customers. Many restaurants in the UK turned to providing takeout and food delivery services while their establishment remained closed to diners. Companies that had never done it before chose to introduce it in order to keep their business running during lockdown.
Other businesses have also developed new virtual services to offer their customers with new shopping experiences. According to Fashion United, it was recently announced that House of Fraser has launched virtual consultation service; a personal one-to-one for customers. Their customers who are seeking to purchase makeup, skincare, and fragrances, can book online consultations with qualified experts from a variety of leading beauty brands.
The Fraser Group said that the decision to launch the virtual service came as the pandemic has caused a big shift in the way people choose to shop. Rather than just providing the service in-store, they have decided to expand as they acknowledge the importance and value of providing bespoke services online as well as in-person.