October 1, 2020

Virtual Communication Is Vital To Business Resilience

Vice President Corporate Communications, Diebold Nixdorf.

In the wake of the pandemic, businesses large and small were forced to realign priorities and reconfigure corporate blueprints in order to enable remote work — many in a matter of weeks or even days. With the duration of the pandemic and the scope of its long-term effects still uncertain, companies all over the world are facing an unprecedented test of their resilience.

One thing is for sure: Virtual communication will continue to be a necessary tool for facilitating remote work. And as companies anticipate the future needs of employees, stakeholders and consumers, it remains a critical component of a resilient business model. In both the short and long term, I believe we’ll see forward-looking companies leveraging virtual communication tools to support the following objectives:

1. Facilitate open and transparent communication.

Virtual communication tools offer the advantage of enhancing openness and transparency, both internally and externally. In business meetings, tools like Zoom, Slack and Webex connect employees directly with leadership, even allowing them to catch a glimpse into their everyday lives — furry pets, kids and all.

This direct communication levels the playing field; leadership seems more visible and available, and employees now have the opportunity to engage and have their voices heard through hosting virtual meetings or video messages. Additionally, businesses can connect with their customers on a more personal level, through uploading video messages taken from their own homes directly onto social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.

2. Provide flexible, adaptable channels.

The pandemic created a host of unanticipated challenges and obstacles for business operations. Restaurants shifted from dine-in to takeout models; co-workers left behind their cubicles and open-floor-plan offices to work remotely from the safety of their homes; conference and event organizers scrambled to reimagine large, in-person gatherings as virtual events. These are just a few examples of the many ways in which businesses have adapted to the times.

Virtual communication tools can be used by companies as new channels for conducting business and reaching their target audiences, whether that means shifting from in-person meetings to video conferencing, enabling collaborative chat tools to support teams working remotely or finding other creative ways to adapt.

3. Enrich and support remote work experiences.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, many employees are working remotely for the first time in their careers, which can be a significant adjustment. Fortunately, virtual communication tools offer companies a number of ways to ensure that employees are not only equipped to work remotely, but also comfortable doing so.

Beyond the obvious safety benefit of enabling companies to reduce their employees’ potential exposure to Covid-19, companies can use virtual communication to support professional development by increasing work flexibility, facilitating collaboration, empowering introverted employees through initiatives focused on inclusivity, and enhancing productivity.

4. Plan for a resilient future. 

Covid-19 will leave a permanent mark on the business world. While the pandemic has tested companies, communities and individuals in extreme ways and with unforeseen hardships, it has also introduced a new way of conducting business and has ultimately positioned companies to better prepare for future crises. 

In a matter of months, businesses around the world quickly adjusted to, accepted and learned from working in a virtual environment. Companies of all sizes embraced virtual communication tools to facilitate remote work and reviewed their business continuity plans and long-term strategies through a new lens.

As the pandemic has shown us, it’s important for companies to focus on critical areas of business continuity: updating contingency plans for possible supply chain disruptions, conducting system-level preparations and securing the needed support across the organization. And virtual communication tools can be used to help leaders conduct these important conversations.

Over the coming months, savvy and strategic businesses will continue to assess their priorities and goals in a new light. With the right strategies and approach, companies can position themselves to thrive in spite of uncertainty.


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