Optimum use of different information technology (IT) services can help offset the work loss of professionals to some extent amid the prevailing social distancing regime in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, experts said.
By taking advantages of the technological blessings, like - virtual meeting rooms, cloud-based platforms, and instant messaging apps etc, a section of officials and professionals can work remotely while maintaining social distance, they also said.
The professionals, who are obligated to continue working from home, should take care of their gadgets, maintain a regular work schedule, and uphold self motivation in this tough time, they added.
After the news of Covid-19 outbreak in Bangladesh in mid-March, many employers, including financial institutions, multinational companies and media outlets, advised their officials to continue working from their home in possible cases to help avoid the risk of spreading the virus.
Nur Hossain Siddique, a relationship manager (NGO channel) of mobile financial service bKash Limited, said their staff members have been working from home since March 22.
"We start every working day with an online team meeting at 10.00 am, using software like Zoom and Google Hangouts."
"I believe Zoom is a better solution for insiders' meeting, while Hangouts is convenient for conducting meeting with a single client."
He also said it is not possible for the organisations to run in full swing during an adverse situation like the present one. So, technology can help them notably to minimise economic impact of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, A K M Fahim Mashroor, an IT expert and entrepreneur, identified solitude of an individual as a challenge (to ensure his/her efficiency) in 'work from home' concept, which has come in the limelight after the virus outbreak.
The former president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) opined that as there is no continuous face-to-face communication (while a person is working from home), it usually takes longer to execute different tasks and also curbs productivity.
"As a solution, there are many internet-based software, like - Zoom and Skype, which can help conduct face-to-face online meetings among a large number of people."
These software provide both voice- and video-calling facilities to ensure more interactive communication.
"The instant messaging apps, like - WhatsApp and Viber, widely used by people in their day-to-day life, are very helpful for professional purposes too."
He suggested using Google Drive, a cloud-based file-sharing platform, to share different types of files, documents and spreadsheets.
"I personally suggest using Google Drive, as it is free, easy and reliable," added Mr Mashroor, who is also the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bdjobs.com.
Experts said a large number of people in Bangladesh use Gmail, an e-mail service operated by the search giant Google. Besides, the lion's share of smart-phones is based on android operating system, which is deeply integrated into Google services.
According to them, Google Doc and Google Sheet can help many professionals, who mostly work with documents and spreadsheets. A user can keep files stored in Google Drive, and allow other users to view, comment or even edit.
The same files are also accessible from any internet-enabled device, like - desktop, smart-phone or tablet computer. The whole process can save time and hassle for the professionals.
As people are staying online for an extended period, they should use broadband connection. Using mobile data is costlier, which also drains device battery fast, they added.
On the other hand, Secretary General of Bangladesh Association of Call Center and Outsourcing (BACCO) Towhid Hossain said TeamViewer is a better alternative for holding virtual meeting in addition to Zoom, Skype and Hangouts.
"We use WhatsApp for common messaging or sharing some documents among the members of a group. It helps reduce the necessity of sending same e-mail to many people."
If required, one member can give immediate feedback, and that is visible to all concerned. An individual can also use WhatsApp from desktop or laptop, ensuring better accessibility, he added.
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