The after-effect of COVID-19 on the translation industry?

Nowadays, businesses in all sectors need to be agile. The ability to be able to adapt, survive, and thrive in the ever-changing environment has become one of the most important key success factors. As COVID-19 has and probably will forever change many businesses globally, not only that business owners have to understand and adapt themselves to the current situation, but they also need to look ahead and prepare for the future of their organization. In this article, we would like to share our perspective on the after-effect of the pandemic in the translation industry.

The Ways of Working

Countless companies are implementing working from home or working online now as part of government regulation or voluntarily for the sake of people’s health and safety. When the situation resumes normality, however, this could become a ‘new normal’. For the non-production type of company, just to give an example, working from home might be more feasible than in other sectors as it helps to reduce the cost of maintaining a physical office. Staff might also find it more efficient as they don’t need to commute, thus more time to focus on work and etc.

Although working from anywhere might be adopted in the future, including in our translation industry, business owners should make sure that productivity and engagement are secured.

Translation industryFor productivity, there might be some undermining factors when they work from home ie. slow internet connection, unsuitable working environment, insufficient tools or software, etc. These factors should not be taken for granted because it can significantly reduce both the productivity and quality of the work. We strongly recommend testing the internet speed, data sharing, and storing the security system. Along with that, do verify that your team members have what they need to perform the translation both hardware and software-wise (all the translation programs).

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When it comes to engagement, we are talking about both individual and team engagement challenges while working from home. The relationship between the team and the sense of belonging might be compromised. We would like to encourage translation companies that are employing the work-from-home method to have a regular video conference, designate a specific working day where everyone comes to the office for a face-to-face meeting, having a monthly team outing and so on. This will boost team morality, togetherness, and to state the obvious, increase the chance to give feedback, sharing, and discussion.

The Changing Demand

Now that COVID-19 has become a game-changer to both our lifestyles and business, we already see the current shift in consumer demand globally ie. higher needs for website translation as e-commerce is rapidly growing, a significant shift in interpreting as a remote interpreting service rather than an on-site interpreter demand due to the halt in all kinds of events and the need of social distancing. In the future, however, we can expect the comeback of translation requests for most of the industries that are currently not in demand as economics are slowly recovering. General business, automotive, and engineering requests will be back given that factories and production lines resume normality.

What we all need to do is to be well-prepared! This is the time to work on all the small details you haven’t been able to pay attention to. It is challenging to do that while we are unclear on what the future will bring but being prepared is a clear plan that can be followed. So let’s start working on it…

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