Staying connected was one of the biggest and most unexpected challenges of 2020. Not only for business but for families, communities and wider society. At Alpha Manufacturing, as with most other companies, we had to adapt quickly to people working from home, limiting numbers attending meetings and restricting visitors.

Before the pandemic hit in March, meetings in person were unrestricted in terms of attendees and face to face meetings were viewed as essential building blocks in forming new business relationships. All employees were required on site during office hours, regardless of the nature of their role.

Now, after three lockdowns we’re all now accustomed to virtual meetings, video calls, remote working and digital collaboration. It has become as efficient and productive to perform a business meeting over Zoom or Teams as it is in person. Instant chat is more effective than email in many cases, and we’ve all been surprised at how much we can get done from the comfort of our homes.

There are so many benefits to adopting digital and if there’s one good thing that will come out of the pandemic for business, it’s that a light has been shone on communication technology. I have to wonder, has this changed the future of business communications both internally and externally permanently? I’m inclined to think so.

Personally, my job doesn’t require full attendance at work and most can be done from home. However, being new to my role, the need to learn was the factor that kept me in the office. I also actually enjoy the routine of getting ready in a morning, commuting, having social interaction at work and learning on a day-to-day basis from those around me.

However, having seen the way Alpha Manufacturing has successfully adopted new digital technologies, I think it’s clear that the benefits of digital definitely outweigh any drawbacks. Internal communications, maintaining customer relationships and reaching out to potential customers have all been enhanced by a more digital approach.

Our “Stronger Together” ethos could easily have been tested by COVID but through digital platforming and communication, it has reinforced the strength of our team and underpins greater collaboration with customers, suppliers and partners.

Digital transformation is here to stay.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 20-year-old Corey Hammond is an Alpha Manufacturing Graduate Apprentice who has recently started a Business Management Degree with the Open University. He’s also the youngest member of Alpha’s sales team, training to become a key account manager. Outside of work, Corey is a fitness fanatic who enjoys kickboxing and Jujitsu.

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