Remote work services companies brace for higher demand due to COVID-19

Technology companies operating in Canada and specializing in remote work say they’re bracing for a spike in inquiries, sales and users amid an outbreak of a novel coronavirus.

They say their phones have been ringing constantly, sales teams are busy helping new customers and other staff are prepping their systems for higher volumes of traffic as offices across Canada figure out how to bring their workplaces online.

“It is a busy time and we expect to be very busy as this continues to progress,” said Ben Scavuzzo, the head of consultancy at TOPdesk, a company that streamlines information technology systems for businesses.

The Netherlands-based business with a Toronto office counts school boards, universities, manufacturing companies and municipalities among its customers.

“We have quite a few people calling us asking about finding a workflow tool, how can TOPdesk enable this, or quite a few people just asking, ‘hey, I want to turn on a particular feature so people can log in at home,”’ Scavuzzo said.

But not all businesses are prepared to have employees work remotely. Some are still grappling with how they can enable staff to work anywhere outside the office because it wasn’t previously allowed — or even considered — before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have quite a few customers who have had to cancel planned appointments and consultancy sessions because they need to refocus their energy on just getting everybody a computer,” Scavuzzo said.

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