The world has been turned upside down by the largest public health and economic crisis in living memory. The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred governments, financial institutions, and brands into a frenzy.. Economic and fiscal rulebooks have been rewritten overnight, and business models have rapidly adjusted to stay relevant–and afloat.
Even as Southeast Asia markets start to gradually ease restrictions, 74 percent of businesses are now shifting to allow some employees to work remotely on a permanent basis. While physical office spaces will not go away, workplace dynamics and the need for a physical office will be reduced.
This departure from the traditional workplace environment is a significant step towards digital transformation. In fact, COVID-19 is accelerating the urgent need for digital transformation for businesses all over the world. To help organisations adapt to this “new normal” and embrace the changes, Epson evaluates the need for highly reliable and innovative technologies to help alleviate stress and enable greater productivity.
Long before the COVID-19 pandemic started, technology was readily available to support flexible working. Messaging platforms such as Zoom, Slack, Skype and Microsoft Teams provide for remote working options. The health crisis has accelerated this transition and forced many organisations into becoming a predominantly virtual workforce.
One of the biggest benefits to the rise of a virtual workforce is cost savings. This manifests in a reduction in rental, on-premise technology spends, as well as financial benefits for employees.
The need to contain the spread of the COVID-19 has resulted in the closure of schools and universities worldwide. This affected an unprecedented 363 million children and youths. As a result, the education industry needed to turn to online learning plans using technology to conduct classes. Plus, they need to do that without compromising learning outcomes.
Despite the move to conduct lessons online, it remains crucial to engage learners via student-centric approaches to distance learning. From recorded lectures, live streaming, self-help guides, to virtual consultations, educators around the world are constantly looking for ways to make learning more fun and engaging.
E-commerce will become a way of life
The COVID-19 outbreak has refocused consumer purchase priorities leading to new shopping habits. For instance, in Singapore, the sales of health and wellness products has continued to grow since the outbreak. This indicates a long-term shift towards healthier products and categories. Across Southeast Asia, online grocery vendors have experienced a surge in orders as more consumers choose to stay indoors.
With this in mind, the online shopping trend is here to stay. It’s evident that the pandemic has accelerated new e-commerce behaviours as consumers become more accustomed to the various online platforms. They will continue to conduct purchases online, even after we have found a solution to COVID-19.
This shift in consumer behaviour proves that technology will continue to play a significant role in the next normal environment. As work, learning, and shopping behaviours move from predominantly offline to online, there is soaring demand for new technology solutions to help improve the consumer journey.
Driving sustainability in a hybrid work environment
It is also important to ensure that employees have the right tools to ensure productivity, wherever they are working from. These reliable tools can help employees cope with the added stress they may face working in hybrid environments. Plus, it effectively help them stay on top of their workloads.
Printers can have more of an impact in an office’s environmental footprint than one might think. The Epson EcoTank series helps businesses be more efficient and sustainable in the long run due to low running cost. An EcoTank printer features a large ink tank that produces high page yield, allowing users to get more printouts in B&W and colour. Users become more productive with the EcoTank’s spill-free ink bottles. They are affordable, deliver more savings, and produce less waste–comapred with replacable ink cartridges and toners.
Powered by Heat-Free Technology, Epson’s EcoTank leverages a unique printing process that doesn’t require heat. It reduces the need for power and lowering energy consumption. With lesser replacement parts, the Epson EcoTank becomes a reliable companion for a productive journey in the new hybrid workspace.
Furthermore, the availability of a document scanner at home can help professionals scan various paper documents and connect wirelessly to a smartphone, tablet or computer, as well as online cloud storage accounts. The Epson scanners use modern technology to digitally archive vital documents and information. This improves productivity by quickly digitising and organising hard-copy prints such as invoices, expense reports, receipts,and business and ID cards. These documents become searchable and editable PDFs that are easier to access.
To help individuals transit seamlessly from working to enjoying entertainment during down time in the same space, the use of a home projector can help provide dual benefits as it can be used to display clear and easy-to-read presentations, as well as state-of-the-art video and movie viewing.
Returning to new workspaces
Even as people start to return to physical offices, it’s highly likely that workplaces will never be the same again. Businesses need to take precautions through the implementation of safe distancing measures, as hygiene and social distancing continue to be a top priority for business owners, as well as employees.
For businesses looking for immediate improvements in productivity without breaking the bank, they can turn to Epson’s business inkjet printers that can transform the economics of printing to reduce energy usage, boost productivity and reduce waste, while meeting sustainability and budget requirements.
The spreading pandemic has accelerated new behaviours that support responsible consumption, such as working remotely and purchasing from locally sourced production. As people attempt to return to life before COVID-19, some of these positive changes can be retained to encourage a more sustainable future.
For example, Epson’s business inkjet printers consume 85 percent less energy and carbon dioxide than a laser printer as they do not require heat to eject ink onto the paper. Businesses can enjoy greater convenience and savings as these printers deliver high printing volumes at low running costs.
The need for innovative productivity tools
As we face an uncertain future, organisations are making shifts to adapt and keep their businesses afloat. It is important to keep the workforce safe, while also ensuring that businesses are able to operate and deliver value for shareholders.
In the age of digital transformation, collaboration is key and this requires cross-functional teams to come together in collective ventures. Whether teams work from a single location or across multiple locations, businesses should consider their hardware options and seek ways to optimise cost. At the same time, they should enhance workforce productivity.
In these unprecedented times, the future of work is changing rapidly and businesses need to be prepared. Epson has a range of products that addresses this changing world with sustainability and customer engagement evident in the design, optimising time, resources and cost to help organisations on the journey into the new normal.