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Blog Image June 09, 2020

Finding Ways to Convert Typical In-Person Workflows by Utilizing Modern Digital Platforms

Many companies, who have the ability, have encouraged remote work. Numerous businesses have implemented policies and tools designed to outlast the pandemic, yet many are wondering whether their approach is enough to remain connected to employees, while ensuring sustained productivity and a healthy work-life balance during a time of crisis.

In past years, Best Buy, Yahoo, and Aetna all experimented with remote employment, before ultimately deciding that it was not the same as traditional, in-person work. After all, face-to-face connection is vital to our physical, mental, and emotional health. So, what do you do in a world where in-person gathering is discouraged?

Though there is no replacement for human-to-human contact, there is a second-best option: technology. To make remote employment feel more like on-site work, businesses, large and small, are heavily relying upon communication apps, cloud-based storage, synchronization systems, and smart-tech automation platforms to keep up with business goals in the current economic climate. Over the next few years, we will see these digital systems become heavily ingrained in our day-to-day workflows.

As we search for ways to replace in-person communication and encourage social distancing, many are turning to various messaging and video conferencing apps. This form of “stay at home technology” allows team members to connect with other employees and clients, no matter where they are. All they need is a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, along with a solid Wi-Fi connection.

For example, video and audio conference app, Zoom, saw its stock price nearly double over the past month. Another similar contender, Microsoft Teams, has seen a 500 percent increase in the number of meetings, calls, and conferences conducted through its platform. Finally, Skype, the once popular video chat app, has stated that its users are up by 70 percent, which is impressive for a software program that only last year had announced plans to discontinue services by July 2021.

In addition to apps that keep communication going strong, cloud computing services are also seeing an extreme bump in usage, as companies attempt to make important documents and assets digitally accessible to all. These platforms provide managers and employees with a reliable way to track all need-to-know information and workflows. It’s no wonder that file storage and synchronization services, like Google Drive, have witnessed a 775 percent increase in usage, as well.

Finally, it’s vital to explore industry-focused, smart-tech solutions that allow you to automate various tasks. Utilizing these types of platforms can help your team stay on top of its digital marketing, meet leasing goals and serve residents — all with little to no hands-on interaction on your part. Automated processes, like chatbots, are able to answer common questions and grab leads, and some even have the ability to book and broadcast tours.

Currently, chatbots are greatly increasing in popularity — not only among businesses, but also with consumers. While yesterday’s chatbots were limited by the technology that powered them, today’s bots have endless capabilities, thanks to AI technology that helps the bots grow more intelligent with use. As chatbot adoption is projected to grow by over 276 percent this year alone, soon, 85 percent of all support interactions will be handled by a chatbot.

Companies have been quick to meet the demand for chatbots, as well. IBM saw a 40 percent increase in traffic to its Watson Assistant from February to April of 2020. Also, in April, Google launched the Rapid Response Virtual Agent, a specialized version of its Contact Center AI, and even went so far as to lower the price to meet customer demand. Although the hype surrounding chatbots has cooled over the past few years, more mature tech infrastructure and better machine learning algorithms mean that enthusiasm will rise once again. Now, we will see technology stand-in for employees like it never has before.

The buzz surrounding contactless workflows isn’t all for naught. In fact, communication apps, cloud-based storage, synchronization systems, and automated platforms are multifamily operators’ best bet, when it comes to keeping up with business goals right now. With these tools, leaders may better approach multiple aspects of professional property management, using technology for strategic decision-making, marketing personalization, and daily operations.

About The Author

Kerry W. Kirby is a renowned entrepreneur, speaker, and technology innovator. He is the founder and CEO of 365 Connect, a leading provider of award-winning digital marketing, leasing, and resident service platforms for the multifamily housing industry.

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