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Here’s How the Pandemic Made Businesses Smarter

– Contributed content –

Remote meeting screen

(Charles Deluvio, Unsplash)

15 June 2021. The pandemic will remain in history as a period of wins and losses. The health crisis has affected the world, claiming many lives in the process. The emergency response has been unanimous all around the world: Let’s shut down everything. As a result, it is fair to say that the business environment has changed dramatically.

However, the dramatic situation has encouraged people to find creative solutions to survive. The COVID-19 crisis has encouraged a boost of creative engineering inside the business world. Here are some of the most valuable innovations during the pandemic and why we believe they are here to stay.

Quick and reliable tests

Covid tests will remain part of a necessary routine for a long time. Travelers and professionals who can’t socially distance already rely on expensive covid tests to support their projects. International travelers should present a valid and negative covid test upon boarding their plane, both on departure and arrival in many countries. Unfortunately, tests do not exclude quarantine and self-isolation on return. For professionals who can’t socially distance, tests can be daily.

However, tests are still in their infancy. Many remain expensive while delivering a high margin of errors. Some laboratories have been developing innovative and reliable covid tests, such as a Canadian lab looking at testing antibodies via a pinprick of blood. The results are available within the hour for a unit cost of approximately $US 1.60 per test. Other tests are also experimenting with measuring covid-19 markers through breath or via a smartwatch app. In a society where covid-19 is likely to remain a long-term risk, making tests accessible, affordable, and intuitive will be a game-changer.

Social distancing in stores and venues

More and more stores have been actively looking at replacing physical interactions with machines. Fast-food restaurant McDonald’s had already introduced digital boards where customers can pass their orders. But the appetite for smart, digital technology has grown rapidly during the pandemic. Many restaurants have transformed their ordering systems, using a QR-code app that is accessible directly at the table. This allows customers to pass their orders and pay without interacting with a waiter. Japanese restaurant chain YO!, which was already famous for its conveyor belt franchise in the UK, Australia, Russia, and UEA, has put the conveyor belt to good use during the pandemic.

Using an app on their smartphones, the food is made to order and distributed via the conveyor belt. Using a printed circuit board for control, tables receive a light signal (red, orange, and green) to know where their food is. The conveyor belt stops in front of the right table to deliver. Businesses interested in a similar system will need to digitize their service for an app, a conveyor-like delivery solution, and custom-made electronic parts following the appropriate PCB assembly guidelines. A change of layout and design may be necessary for the safety of your customers.

Digitalized workplace and remote teams

Remote teams are here to stay. According to a Gartner CFO survey shows that almost three-quarters of businesses plan to maintain remote work permanently. Virtual offices will reduce physical office space and costs while increasing the talent pool. Digital security, accessibility, and WFH are reshaping the business world.

The pandemic has contributed to a tech renewal in the business environment. Companies have had to adapt to the new challenges, and we can expect these tech transformations are here to stay and grow.

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