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Aaron Rodriguez explains the importance of labor digitalization for SMEs in Panama

For a long time, businessmen have wondered what would happen if a catastrophe of global magnitude were to occur, and how to improve the continuity of their business. That situation has already arrived through COVID-19. In an effort to move forward, Aaron Rodriguez, an expert in business optimization, explains how Panama’s SMEs can find a solution through labor digitization.

The current situation in which the whole world has been immersed by the pandemic has had great repercussions in many aspects. The labor sector has been one of the most affected.

Due to the situations of confinement and mobility restrictions of citizens, the digital transformation of companies has become very important, since this business digitalization covers different aspects that can respond to the problems that have arisen from these exceptional situations.

Many were probably not prepared to face this type of situation, which should make them reflect on how they should observe their environment to anticipate any positive or negative situation that may arise. “Technological advances have a high impact on organizations, regardless of the economic sector in which it is developed. This allows SMEs to respond in a timely manner according to the speed of the environment,” said Rodriguez.

The environment is constantly changing, full of uncertainties such as those we are currently experiencing. Still, it can also be conceived as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, to be agile, creative, adaptable, and able to anticipate the needs of our customers and partners.

It is, therefore, necessary to rethink how things are being done and where trends are leading us. For SMEs in Panama, this means a great opportunity because they can take advantage of the size they have (micro, small and medium) as it allows them to obtain greater flexibility and thus anticipate in a timely manner what the market demands and the needs of the collaborator.

First of all, establish a work schedule. One of the main challenges of teleworking is to know when one should be connected and when not, so it is of utmost importance to set “office hours.” Setting a limit will allow you to optimally divide your time between work and personal activities.

Remember, when you are working and you receive a call from a friend or an unexpected visit from a family member, try to respectfully let them understand that you are working and that you will be available for them at another time.

Divide your week into goals. Clear goals will allow for successful results. Define with your direct leader the activities that will contribute to the fulfillment of the objectives and organize the weekly tasks based on this. In addition, it is recommended to have a premeditated time on the agenda for those day-to-day activities that were not foreseen. With a good organization, time will no longer be “a problem.”

Make an analysis of your activities. Once an employee has chosen to work from home, it is necessary to evaluate his or her work periodically (weekly or monthly, depending on the objectives). This last key is essential to detect both the shortcomings and the achievements of the activity carried out and thus be able to enhance the weaknesses that have been incurred.

Although everything will depend on the physical space that each person has at home, it is important that the tasks are not done from the bed or in the kitchen, but try to find a space of your own, free of distractions and as comfortable as possible,” suggests Rodriguez. “If you don’t have an “extra room” try to organize your work tasks at times when there are few people in the home and therefore fewer distractions.”

And finally, learn to set boundaries. Don’t be annoyed when people around you think that, because you work at home, it means that you will always be available. Explain to friends, family, and other acquaintances that the days you telecommute are not opportunities for non-work-related activities. Show the same consideration for your telecommuting time as you would if you were in the office.

“This reality means that digitalization, especially in a globalized healthcare crisis, has ceased to be an option or a fad and has become a necessity that, for many small and medium-sized companies, is a challenge. However, it is necessary to change the mentality and see a digital transformation not as an expense, but as an investment, which in addition to generating profitability, can be essential in the survival of a company in crisis situations like the current one,” concludes Rodriguez.

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