How digital workers have become invaluable in 2020
In 2020 an increasing demand for digital workers has been noted, with industries relying on employees to work from home to stop the spread of COVID-19. The tourism industry has been no different, relying on employees being digitally present, showing how working digitally has become invaluable this year.
The importance of digital workers in 2020
During the corona virus pandemic there have been calls to #stayhome, public transport became limited and countries went into lockdown. This meant that many workers were unable to go to their places of employment and had to work from home, or not work at all. This increased the demand for digital workers in the tourism industry as well as more digitalization to ensure that tourism could continue as much as possible during such unprecedented times.
A growing trend in the tourism industry for customers is the increasing use of digitalization, coupled with the desire to now have safer and more touch-free experiences, therefore demand for digital workers may be on the rise.
Some places have even already begun to integrate innovative technology and digital workers to create contactless check-ins and a digital concierge, such as Le Bijou apartments in Switzerland. Le Bijou also uses AI, international experts, and other technology to improve their digital service to tailor recommendations to a guest’s interest which shows how digital workers are the way forward. By using international experts to help improve their guest’s stay, Le Bijou are able to use digital workers effectively and efficiently within the parameters of COVID-19.
The increasing demand for further digitalization in tourism
Tourists are frequently using more digital tools to book and experience destinations, which, small organizations have found can boost revenue by 27% and save 10 hours a week. This growing trend shows that the demand for digitalization is present in the tourism industry, and as such means that those in the industry must step up to the challenge.
Meeting this demand calls for training employees on digital skills, ensuring the technology used is capable of meeting needs, keeping the digital tools used relevant and making use of digital workers.
As customers are demanding more personalization and individual experiences, digital tourist guides are made to expand this experience economy by sharing more diverse narratives with a more diverse audience at tourist destinations. Although there is still typically little change once the digital tour guides have been set up there is demand for this to happen, which suggests that digital workers would be invaluable here to keep up with the more personal demand of guests.
Using digital data to personalize experiences
As tourists increasingly demand more personalized experiences, digital workers will be able to use the data stored to help them feel this way from booking their trip all the way to coming home. This data can also be used to streamline services for each individual customer and ensure that they are exposed to customer journey points that they would find beneficial based on their behavior patterns, this can all be done digitally as the data is collected digitally.
It is important to also consider that all workers need to have certain skills in order to meet society’s needs and demands, whether digital or physical. These skills as well as digital workers beyond technology are discussed in a previous blog ‘The importance of physical workers, beyond technology’.
The financial benefits of digital workers in 2020
Given that the demand for digitalization not only exists but is becoming more important in today’s society, it is key to consider the financial implications of such change. It has been found that it is cheaper and more efficient for organizations to employ digital workers over physical workers. This means that organizations could see more output for less money when utilizing digital workers. Another benefit of digital workers discovered was that there is a higher employee engagement rate over their physical counterparts.
With the current COVID-19 situation in 2020 there are fewer tourists exploring the globe and consequently the organizations that rely on this are struggling. Fewer tourists than what is typical means that there is less income than normal for many organizations, therefore money that is available should be spent wisely. In order to make the most out of money available it is key for organizations to employ workers that do not need to be physically present to complete their role. Not only this, but as mentioned previously, digital workers are more efficient for organizations which means more output from one employee. This, therefore, can be considered to be a wiser expense than a worker who cannot currently complete their role.
However, it may seem that SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) and large organizations experience the demand and success of digital workers differently. Though, this is not the case, as every organization can benefit from following the trend of personalization and this can be enhanced by digital data collected, no matter the size of the organization. Therefore, the differences in applying digital workers may differ but the needs and demands remain for all players in the industry.
So, digital workers truly have become invaluable during 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic to help organizations and industries adapt to these unprecedented times. They also help to push forward trends that were already emerging in the tourism industry that customers want to experience. To learn more about the challenges the industry faces during the coronavirus pandemic read the Next Tourism Generation’s two-part blog series ‘Challenges and the importance of skills in tourism sub-sectors during and after Covid-19’ and ‘Skills sets in education and the tourism and hospitality industry in corona times’.