By Haley Ramphal, Employment & Learning Centre.
Technology, though it has been around for several decades, has become a vital aspect of daily life due to the conditions brought on by the pandemic. This has resulted in even the most hesitant individuals learning and adapting to virtual platforms during these unprecedented times. Working from home, once thought of as a luxury, is now one of the most standard practices to ensure the safety of staff, minimizing exposure to illness in the workplace. Because of this, storefronts and other businesses have been temporary closed, forcing company owners to get creative by shifting to online solutions and marketing strategies in order to sustain business. This time last year, no one would have predicted the restrictions that continue to remain in place. However, almost 12 months later, businesses including the YWCA Saskatoon, have successfully adapted to the changes in policy. These adjustments have been made possible through the use of Zoom, an online platform many have become acquainted with over the last six months. This app allows for patrons to continue attending meetings, classes, workshops and other services from the comfort of their own home. Zoom has positively impacted not only the YWCA’s clientele, but the various departments within the organization as well, allowing staff the opportunity to remain employed by carrying out their job duties. The willingness to adjust to new technology and protocols has made it possible for the YWCA to remain open and accessible to the community.
The resiliency of the YWCA’s staff has made this transition easier than most probably would have imagined. Several examples of adaptability within programming is demonstrated through online activity and digital readiness. Fitness on 25th has transitioned to using Zoom for workout classes, allowing patrons to continue their exercise regime. Through a phased reopening and following the protocols/guidelines implemented, the gym and pool, both having been temporarily closed, are now open (with limited capacity). Remote work and distanced learning have allowed for staff to safely work from home, while continuing to meet their goals. With the help of remote desktop, phone intakes, and virtual workshops, the Employment and Learning Centre has been able to continue serving clients on a regular basis. Distanced learning has proved to be very successful, particularly with former in-person services including The Job Finding Club and Career Moves. Transitioning to a virtual learning platform has also allowed for job seekers residing outside of the city limits to benefit from these programs, therefore expanding clientele.
Virtual platforms have been a positive experience for most of its users, and many of these adaptations will likely prevail once restrictions are lifted. Not only has this online transition allowed for people to remain employed, it’s also taught businesses and organizations the importance of creativity and resiliency during periods of immense change. Although we are all eager for the stress and strain of the pandemic to come to an end, many of the implementations created during this time are ones that could prove beneficial and accommodating for workplaces, businesses, and individuals in the foreseeable future.
For more information on workplaces adapting to technology, check out the articles linked below: