In truly unprecedented times, the world currently finds itself on its knees due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which, at the time of writing, has unfortunately infected over 500,000 people. This pandemic has shown that things can change in a blink on an eye. This is applies as much, to businesses globally. There has been a shift in the way businesses have had to operate, not by choice, but rather by necessity to keep afloat.
With governments internationally enforcing restrictions on public gatherings, as well as closing non-essential businesses to reduce the spread of this virus, businesses have had to adapt to the pandemic by shifting their focus of traditional business, to online means. Needless to say, some businesses have found this transition process much harder than others. If we look at the local scenario, in Malta, IT hardware suppliers simply cannot match the unprecedent demand for laptops and other such devices that would enable teleworking. In essence, what this pandemic has done is illuminate business leaders about the need for investment in IT infrastructure for business continuity. One may argue, that this pandemic has done what many marketers have failed to do, shift business culture towards the working from home option. Jennifer Christie, Twitter’s Head of HR, as reported by The Guardian, argued that working from home doesn’t change the day-to-day of employees, but simply changes the environment in which the work is being done.
Matt Mullenweg, chief executive of major online players Wordpress and Tumblr predicted that this situation will lead to opportunities for companies to “finally build a culture that allows long-overdue work flexibility.” This sentiment is echoed by Zhang Xiaomeng, associate professor of organisational behaviour at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, who was at the epicentre of the outbreak, stated that “The Covid-19 outbreak is just another chance for companies to re-examine the relationship between companies and employees, and to elevate their corporate culture to be mutually beneficial. Indeed, China, with a workforce amounting in the millions, has had to adapt to the business challenges COVID-19 created.
One thing is clear, that businesses have had to make use of these online practises. Internationally we have seen companies such as Google and Microsoft pushing towards this initiative. Locally, there are companies thriving for this initiative as well. eBusiness Systems has been at the forefront of the teleworking movement, before it was deemed a necessity due to global affairs. With two web-based platforms, eB-ISP and eB-Learn. eB-ISP is a comprehensive business management platform which allows for video conferencing, document sharing, communication, time management, staff training, task delegation, staff evaluation and more, to ensure business can keep thriving away from the offices.
eB-Learn on the other hand, is an eLearning web-based platform which allows for the upload of structured courses. Over the years, eBusiness Systems have developed one of the more comprehensive and flexible platforms available, catering for both self-learning and collaborative learning. They also provide the full support services to assist in on-boarding and on-going operation of the service.