If life wasn’t challenging enough since COVID-19 raised its serpented head and forced us all into self-isolation, and lock-down, now we’re having to try and get a grip of new technologies. As with many things, people often reject change, especially when they are already anxious and unsettled, and nothing speaks of change like technology, where the only constant is change. Remember the sound your phone made when you were dialling into an internet connection via your modem? That doesn’t feel like it was so long ago for me.
While it’s tempting to put your head in the sand for the duration and hope that things get back to a scheduled program as quickly as possible, as a transcriber, you really can’t live by a mantra of, “I’m just not technology savvy,” or “I’m not smart enough to figure this stuff out.” As a transcriber, technology is our bread and butter. We are frequently our own IT team, and trouble-shooting is second nature, as should technology uptake be.
Right now, our clients have all gone into self-isolation and lock-down. The face-to-face research interviews, investigations, consultations, and meetings have all ceased, and some of us are seeing our stream of work slow to a trickle.
But just as we’re seeing how technology is being used to enhance learning, with many of our children now shifting to learning online via their laptops, we are also seeing a positive shift towards business professionals using online technologies to continue their output. Zoom, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, Cisco WebEx, and GoToMeeting, just to name a few, are proving to be efficient and effective platforms for conducting video and audio, or audio only interviews, meetings, and discussions. And many of these apps have inbuilt recording capability, allowing all these interviews, meetings, and discussions to be captured. In fact, it’s never been easier to conduct and record all these interpersonal interactions as it is right now, using these technologies.
So what can you do about harnessing all this information? It’s up to you to help your clients understand how these technologies will not only allow them to continue to conduct their research interviews, investigations, and other interpersonal interactions, but also help them to understand how these technologies can enhance their operations. Your clients may not realise how useful it can be to capture that next meeting via Zoom so that accurate minutes can be produced from the recording. How sensitive topics may be more easily handled when people are able to interact with each other from the safety of their own homes. COVID-19 may be making it difficult for interviewees to have a support person present, but they are able to sit in safe surroundings, with a beloved pet close at hand, should they need a cuddle from Sammy, or the warm comfort of Ginger on their lap.
Help them understand that these technologies are going to help them be more efficient in the long run. Gone are the long commutes, where consultants may have only been able to conduct 1 or 2 interviews a day due to distances travelled, then arriving home late at night exhausted. They are now able to schedule 3 or 4 interviews and meetings from the comfort of their home office. Help them see how utilising and integrating these technologies to communicate and network with others will have a positive impact on their business.
The world will never again be the way it was. Be a positive part of the change that’s taking place. Get across the technologies out there, and be a place, a person, your clients can turn to for help in understanding and using these technologies. There has never been a better time to be work from home transcriber, the horizon is wide, and the opportunities are many. Be a part of that workforce revolution.
Sonya Rawlings – CoFounder TranscribeRight