The pandemic has pushed many businesses to close offices and move to entirely working from home. This has led to many adjustments in how people work and what they need from IT.

While this may have been thought of as a temporary situation, it’s now looking like we might not be going back to normal for some time. That means you have to help your clients adjust to the new reality of working remotely for longer than anyone probably imagined.

Many have adjusted remarkably well, but now that you have the majority of folks working at home, you need to start to refine the processes and find ways to work smarter from home.

Making adjustments

By now, your clients are probably getting more comfortable using tools like Zoom and Slack to communicate and hold meetings. It might not be a perfect replacement for in-person interactions, but it provides a viable way to work together when you’re not in the same building.

You might have also accelerated your move to cloud products like Google Docs and Office 365 and collaboration and content management tools like Box or Dropbox. If you have people working fairly smoothly in these products, you can start to take advantage of more advanced features to shift some more of those manual processes to digital.

How that manifests itself will depend on the type of business your client runs. If it’s a restaurant or retailer, it may be making sure it has a decent web presence for starters. It’s surprising how many small businesses lack that simple online starting point in 2020. With that in place, you can begin to look at how to improve those online interactions.

Finding new ways to work

One local bookstore began with providing an email address and asking customers to email them with book requests. It could move to an online form in Google Sheets and add local delivery and curbside pick up options. Each new approach adds a new way for customers to use the business or service and keep the business going through these tough times.

Office employees may look at finding ways to improve the online meeting experience using advanced features in Zoom breakout rooms for smaller more private interactions. Slack users can move beyond simple communication to connecting to digital tools that allow work to flow more smoothly through Slack. Chances, that is something you would need to help them with, but it provides a way to take that online work and make it better.

As your clients get used to working online, you can help them move to more advanced functions to improve their business and help them thrive as they wait for business to return to normal. The lessons you learn now will serve you well whenever your clients return to the office.

Photo: leolintang / Shutterstock

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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