What do you do when your office shifts to virtual work? Commerce, meetings, training, team building, and human resources are just some of the aspects of business traditionally handled in person. With the current crisis changing the way the world operates, many businesses have had to take their day to day operations digital. Making the transition to online business operations can feel like uncharted territory, but the good news is that it isn’t as overwhelming as one may think.

Human Resources

Human Resources include finding, screening, recruiting, and onboarding job applicants, handling employee benefits, keeping up to date with laws and regulations, terminating employment, and acting as a liaison between a company and its employees. Naturally, most HR responsibilities require human interaction, so COVID-19 and social distancing have required some innovation. The great news is that in the digital age, staying socially connected while physically distancing is easier than ever.

Many websites and software options exist to ease the burden of human resource management. ADP Workforce, Oracle HCM Cloud, and UltiPro Services are some of the popular and intuitive human resource management solutions. Used by small businesses and enterprises alike, price points vary depending on business needs. Not everyone has access to a reliable computer or strong internet, but nearly everyone has a phone number. Phone calls and automated phone systems are still strongly encouraged so that all employees have access to human resources equally. Many HRCM platforms include the option to set up a phone tree so that employees are able to call in if needed. Recruiting and job posting has mostly gone digital over the last decade as it is, so utilizing sites such as CareerBuilder, Monster, LinkedIn, and local recruitment offices can help fill job openings.

Training

Training needs vastly vary from industry to industry. For example, training on how to use computer software is much different than training on how to use an industrial press. While some things simply cannot be learned aptly without physically doing them, there are many things that can. VHS video training was popular in the 1980s and ’90s, and in the digital age, video training is more popular than ever. With access to platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, businesses can create and upload their own training videos to share with employees, tailored specifically to their needs. Many software and platforms host their own online training courses covering their programs, and cloud-based services can be utilized to upload & share things like training workbooks.

Conferences & Meetings

Whether it’s a meeting with employees or a conference with a client, meetings are a necessary aspect of business operations. Due to the pandemic, meetings have had to go remote, which has been a bane to some people and a blessing to others. Teleconferences have been a staple of business since nearly the advent of the telephone, and with today’s technology, we can step it up a notch by including video conferencing. Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams all offer video conferencing at different price points with different features, depending on needs. A key feature to keep in mind when choosing a video conferencing platform is similar to what was previously mentioned in the HR section; not everyone has a computer or reliable internet, so it’s important to provide a dial-in option for those who need to attend meetings via phone call. Other features to keep in mind include the ability to share screens, collaborate, access digital whiteboards, and chat logging.

Commerce

Many places are still under stay-at-home orders, and non-essential businesses are still closed. Orders to stay closed are slowly being lifted around the country, but many retail and service businesses have moved commerce operations online to keep afloat. eCommerce has been around for quite some time now, and the opportunity to offer goods & services online is easier than ever. Utilizing online marketplaces, offering things for sale on company websites, promoting services in local Facebook groups, and offering gift cards for when things are back to normal are all great ways to promote commerce without physical interaction.