All types of businesses were severely affected by the pandemic. In a 2020 survey, 43% of small and mid-sized businesses reported a significant to severe impact. Large businesses are also affected. For example, WarnerMedia laid off around 600 employees in August 2020.
All industries are also affected in some way. For instance, global supply chains had to stop for a long period. And they are only slowly going back to normal. Airline businesses are also frozen since nonessential travel is prohibited.
This COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for businesses to recalibrate and re-evaluate their priorities to survive unexpected situations. Here are some things that businesses need to consider prioritizing in the post-pandemic world:
The pandemic emphasized the need for digitization in businesses.
In the middle of the pandemic, there’s little movement allowed. So if one employee needs documents that another employee holds, the one holding the documents needs to have them scanned to send to the other employee. If digitization has been implemented in their company before the pandemic, this challenge won’t exist, and the employees can continue work as usual.
Finding documents is also a problem that digitization addresses. Employees can check their database to find documents. They no longer have to ask around to know who’s holding the documents or even risk going out to look for them.
Moving forward, businesses need to prioritize digitization to increase the work efficiency of their employees. Doing so will also prevent document-related issues that can be easily avoidable.
Employee productivity took a toll during the pandemic. And frankly, employees aren’t to blame. Most of them are new to the work-from-home setup and were unable to adjust easily. Then there’s also the stress brought by the pandemic. Also, employees are working longer hours at home.
Businesses should start automating processes that can be automated. For example, they could use chatbots to help answer customer queries. To prevent any problems with emails, businesses can install an Office 365 email backup solution on work computers. They can also use automated systems to generate reports, attendance records, and other documents.
Automation will relieve employees of manual, repetitive work. So they can do other, more important tasks and will be able to find work-life balance as well.
The novel coronavirus, and other viruses, can be transmitted from one person to another through touch. When people go to offices, they touch many surfaces several times a day, posing a safety risk. If left uncleaned, dirty surfaces such as tabletops and doorknobs can potentially infect half a workforce in just two to four hours.
Thus, businesses will have to prioritize the acquisition and implementation of touchless technology in the post-pandemic world. Some examples of this technology are touchless dispensers, touchless access control at the entrance and certain rooms in an office, automatic doors, and many more.
Businesses exist and thrive because of people. Thus, business owners must put more effort into promoting wellness among employees in the post-pandemic world. One way to do this is to allow flexible schedules. This is already quite common because of the pandemic. And if employees were able to stay productive with a flexible schedule while working from home, businesses must take note that this setup is beneficial to their employees. Thus, businesses should let them keep a flexible schedule.
Another way to improve your employees’ well-being is to provide paid wellness services. Some examples include fitness memberships, workplace counseling, and easy access to healthcare. When employees see that their employers are taking care of them, these employees will work better and be more productive. They’ll also have less absenteeism.
Most if not all businesses were unprepared for the pandemic. Many had to close for a few days or weeks. This situation is easy to understand since no one expected a pandemic to occur.
But moving forward, businesses should have contingency plans for every situation, no matter how implausible they may seem. Business owners must consider all “what ifs” they can think of. What actions should be taken if a certain event happens? Who will execute these actions? Who should be contacted when the event occurs?
Contingency planning is essential as it gives a business a roadmap on how they can proceed when certain situations occur. A strong contingency plan can help a business resume normal operations despite encountering an uncontrollable event.
These are only a few things that businesses need to prioritize moving forward. These priorities will help businesses become stronger and more resilient in the future.