Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, businesses have been turned upside down in almost all aspects. Most have been forced to send a big part of their staff home and others not considered essential service providers have closed down. Besides worrying about keeping their employees, customers, and suppliers healthy, they also have to deal with stalled supply chains and declining sales among other operational and financial challenges. It is now dawning on everyone, including those that were well prepared for crisis management, that this is not just a crisis and might be here with us in the unforeseeable future. It is no doubt that businesses will not be the same after the pandemic; the following are the changes we will see.
- Rise in flexible working
Social distancing is among the measures recommended to slow the spread of the virus. With that, many businesses have had to adapt to remote working. Employers are making efforts to enable their teams to work in sync and are training them on how to use collaborative tools to ensure that no one falls through the cracks. While remote working has been there for a long time, not many had embraced it. It has now become mainstream, those who viewed it as sluggish are now getting comfortable with it. They are even learning that there is increased productivity when people work with flexible schedules. Employees have also realized that they do not have to be in the office to have work done. What will happen after the pandemic is that remote working will be the norm in many industries, the hours will be flexible and workers may even demand reduced working days in a week.
- Increase in the need to foster a global presence
- A shakeup in the real estate industry in major cities
- Increased use of automation and AI
- Leadership will be more influential
Regional shutdowns have largely affected the demand and supply chain. Businesses that had centralized their operations in such regions have since had to deal with a lack of important supplies for their business and declining sales. This is a learning period for many businesses, and as they begin to reopen, there will be a need to improve operational agility. There will be a need to diversify their dependency from one region to having a global presence. Those brands that held back in establishing themselves in foreign markets for fear of legal implications will be more open to the idea. Thanks to employment solution bodies such as International PEO, companies can hire employees from anywhere in the world.
The good thing about hiring employees through International PEO is that a company doesn’t have to establish a legal entity in that foreign country. The organization takes care of dealing with the state requirements and employee management while the company finds a footing in that foreign country.
With most people working remotely and telecommuting, the physical office is likely to be a thing of the past. This will have an impact on the real estate industries as most buildings will be forced to turn to residential buildings. There is also the likelihood of major shifting of people after realizing that they can actually work from anywhere. Major cities will experience an explosion of square footage for residential buildings and that will significantly reduce the cost of renting.
With companies having to continue operations with as few people as possible, they are being forced to find alternative ways to achieve this. In that length, the use of automation processes and algorithms are rapidly accelerating. The world is at a place that futurists had warned that jobs would be replaced by automation. Businesses are now working towards automating repetitive jobs such as administrative tasks and robots are taking over manufacturing. Whether or not this will cause unemployment is yet to be seen, but there will be a massive need for retraining and learning new skills once the pandemic is over.
With many people working from home, managers have been forced to be hands-on in tracking productivity progress and the general wellness of their employees. There is a sudden need to make employees feel valued in order to help them stay mentally fit. There is increase in empathy and trust and the need to hold each other’s hand through projects. This is likely to remain after the pandemic is over. How businesses will be managed will play a big role in the productivity of employees. There will be improved leadership by influence and cultures that surround job satisfaction will be adopted.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rein havoc on our lives, we still hope that somehow things will get back to how they were before. However, no matter how much we yearn for that normalcy, some business aspects will change forever. Businesses should understand this and start working on adaptability to the new normal.