At the start of 2020, nobody could have predicted the size and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees around the world share the experience of being that they would be working from home for just a few weeks. A year later in 2021, countless industries are still adjusting to the new normal of managing a workforce digitally. 

In any industry, being able to pivot to new and unexpected problems is vital. Most companies were required to make major changes in order to survive. Here are five major ways businesses were forced to adjust to a digital world in 2020 and are fully adopting them in 2021: 

1) Virtual Meetings 

Regular meetings are a standard part of office life. While some may say that too many meetings can lower productivity, occasional meetings with managers, co-workers, and entire teams can be useful to ensure a smooth workflow. 

Things get complicated, however, when everyone is suddenly working from home. 

In 2020, businesses had to quickly learn how to utilize tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Skype to stay connected with their employees. These virtual meeting tools ended up being incredibly useful, making it easy for even beginners to stay in communication with their managers and subordinates. 

Going forward, it’s likely that virtual meeting software will stay in place for many businesses. Even in the office, a virtual meeting can save time and make information sharing much easier. 

2) Employee-Manager Contact 

While team meetings are vital to a company’s success, one-on-one meetings are just as crucial. Thankfully, several tools helped employees and employers stay in contact throughout the workday during the pandemic. 

Companies that used to rely on in-person sessions now have to utilize tools like virtual meeting software and online communication systems to keep in touch. Systems like Slack and Microsoft Teams became the norm for people to discuss projects, receive instruction, and deliver assignments. 

In the future, these lines of communication will likely become a staple of many businesses for their ease of use and organizational capabilities.