Here are some advancements in technology that have greatly impacted how we have worked and studied during the covid-19 pandemic.
Firstly, it is daunting to think where we would all be without Zoom and other similar video-conferencing software. At this point, we’ve all probably had enough of clicking on yet another zoom link but there’s no denying how much use Zoom, MS Teams and other similar applications have been these past eighteen months. Technologies such as VPNs and cloud technology have enabled many workplaces to transition to remote or flexible working.
Video-conferencing software has played a key part in education transitioning to online teaching. Teachers have used online resources such as virtual reality and digital tools to ensure students of all levels receive as best an education as the pandemic allows.
Similarly, the interconnectivity of new technology has made for as smooth a transition to the new ‘normal’ as possible. This has certainly been a huge asset, especially during periods of lockdown. Though most businesses are able to operate as usual now (at least in the UK), there is still a social responsibility placed on businesses to do their best to limit cases and spread of the corona virus. For this reason, the interconnectedness that technology brings has been essential so that documents, files, ideas, etc, can easily be shared no matter where employees are.
However, though there are many benefits that can be associated with remote working and learning, such as less commute time and more flexibility for workers, it’s important to note that there are industries that are unable to move online and thus have seriously suffered during the pandemic. Examples include the hospitality and events industries.
Crucially, technology has provided a way in which lockdown and quarantine periods can be successful through services such as online shopping and food delivery apps. These ensure people don’t feel the need to leave their homes. In some countries, such as China, artificial intelligence and robots have even been developed for the sole purpose of un-manning job roles and chores; for instance grocery shopping.
Next, online entertainment, though already prominent before the pandemic, has transformed during the past eighteen months. New and exciting technology has been used to bring to life different forms of entertainment. For example, virtual reality and virtual tours of museums, galleries and exhibitions have been used so artists are still able to work and produce artistry. In addition, although online gaming was already popular, there has certainly been a surge in streaming and online gaming traffic since the beginning of the pandemic.
All of the above technologies rely on a fast and stable internet network. 5G increases download speeds and allows more connectivity for billions of devices.
5G is faster and more efficient as it uses smaller wavelengths and higher frequencies to support simultaneous connections. However, 5G is still fairly uncommon. This may be a reason why organisations are unwilling to commit to completely remote work; as different employees’ network and internet connection may result in a dip in productivity.
This shows that technology has undoubtedly been a saving grace for many of us during the pandemic in a number of ways. But until fast and secure connection is guaranteed, companies, organisations and institutions are still cautious to trust employees to fully work remotely.
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