The COVID-19 pandemic represents a substantial threat to public health and economic stability in the United States and throughout the world. At the very least, it is temporarily altering the ways people live and do business, with the need for social distancing, stay-at-home orders, wearing an N95 Respirator whenever you go out, and other protective measures requiring adjustments in the very concept of work. Some businesses applied for a PPP federal loan during this time, however, the worry of these businesses is paying it back after all this is finished, businesses can check out this PPP forgiveable loan rules list and see how best to go about this financial situation.
Though many businesses are able to stay on their feet during this crisis by having employees working at home, a lot of the time companies need face-to-face contact with clients, employees, and possible investors. In some cases, this could mean having to into the office for a short period of time to conduct business matters. Of course, the relevant safety measures would need to be implemented, as well as potentially enlisting the help of a commercial office cleaning service to make sure that the spread of germs is reduced. But this type of contact would only need to happen if there wasn’t another option. Fortunately, in the technology-driven world that we live in, many companies are able to still talk and maintain meetings/conferences through video chats, which has kept many businesses able to keep on their feet financially. Companies like Agora.io are proving the opportunity to add their real-time video chat api into any application, which is an absolute necessity in these times; this RTC network also allows customization of the video call into a presentation style. This is vital for financial stability, and undoubtedly, applications are realizing the importance of software like Agora.io to increase their user engagement, too.
However, there are many businesses that are struggling to survive through this COVID-19 crisis. To help address the challenges arising as people adjust to these changes, TechBirmingham is hosting a weekly webinar. “Navigating the New Normal” launched on March 24, and is being held every Tuesday from noon until 1:00 p.m. Central time. With a total of more than 200 participants in the first three sessions, it’s apparent that the series is providing needed expertise, information, and interchange says TechBirmingham President Deon Gordon.
“A lot of organizations and individuals are still figuring things out,” Gordon says. “From how to maintain your team, morale, and culture, to strategies and tactics for internal and external communications, to deploying remote tools and resources from a technical and logistical standpoint, there’s a need for guidance and insight.
“The response we’ve had and the feedback we’re getting has been very encouraging. We could not be more thrilled with the participation we’re seeing. I think it’s clear that this is something people want and need.”
After a first installment that covered tech tools, best practices and legal considerations imposed by COVID-19 measures, subsequent webinars have been devoted to deploying a remote workforce and how company culture helps empower productivity and manage expectations. Those have included panelists from companies such as Integrated Solutions, Trend Micro, Protective Corp. and BBVA. Future installments of “Navigating the New Normal” will be devoted to leadership (April 14) and tips and “hidden gems” for users of Microsoft Teams (April 21).
According to Gordon, one of the most encouraging aspects of participation in the webinars to date has been the diversity of companies and organizations represented. That includes participants from outside the traditional technology realm, reflecting both current realities and ongoing changes in the way people and companies do business.
“Today, more than ever, every company is a tech company,” Gordon says. “That our webinars are attracting not just what we think of as tech companies, but also tech-adjacent firms, is proof positive of the changes we’re seeing in the way business works.”
With that in mind, Gordon also points to the need for “all of us” to begin thinking about the future, even while managing through the current crisis. That’s another objective of “Navigating the New Normal,” he adds.
“In every crisis, there is the need to think about what the future will look like,” says Gordon. “For those who are taking that to heart, a lot of opportunities are going to emerge on the other side of this. Beyond managing through the present, we want to help make sure that people are ready for that, too.”
TechBirmingham is a nonprofit organization with the mission of strengthening and promoting the technology ecosystem in the Birmingham region by promoting tech companies, helping to recruit and train tech talent and entrepreneurs and providing opportunities for technical training and education. To learn more about “Navigating the New Normal,” visit TechBirmingham online.