Aside from the industrial revolution, there has never been a bigger change in business practices like the one we are seeing now. And it’s all because of covid-19 and its effects.
Still, companies have managed to roll with the punches and keep moving amid the crisis. They have done so by changing their work environments, collaborating, embracing flexibility, and innovating.
An Environment of Cleanliness and Isolation
Ideally, all employees in all companies would be home-based. It would create a perfect environment with no need for social distancing or precautionary measures. Furthermore, it would lead to a substantial decrease in real estate costs and transportation expenses.
As good as this sounds, the reality is very different. No matter how much technology we have or what kind of labor infrastructure we implement, people still have to go to the office, albeit less than before. It is especially true in the manufacturing and service industries, where face-to-face communication is essential and manual tasks cannot be outsourced to machines.
But how can companies ensure their employees are safe while maintaining productivity? The answer is by implementing clear staff policies, as it pertains to daily labor practices and pristine work environments. Strict entrance and exit protocols, plenty of alcohol available, routine cleaning, and the division of desks, chairs, and computer stations are a few examples.
Of course, if you are the owner of a commercial cleaning franchise, you wouldn’t have to worry about this as your level of expertise would undoubtedly be much higher.
Making Use of Collaboration Tools
We mentioned above that telecommuting is not something all employees can do. Still, this doesn’t mean that companies should disregard cooperation among team members. We should make use of the tools we have at our disposal. If we can hold virtual meetings, even once in a while, we should do so. We should also take advantage of videoconferencing and presentation platforms as well as collaboration software whenever possible.
Programs like Zoho Projects, Todoist, and Asana offer a wide variety of features that allow people to collect, analyze, and manage data. They also use algorithms to create sales forecast reports, charts, and other types of visual media based on your business’s specific needs. Finally, all this information is stored in a safe cloud environment that allows for sharing and editing when needed.
The key to success in life, let alone in business, is the ability to adapt. Companies cannot afford to continue outdated, obsolete labor practices if they wish to survive the covid-19 global pandemic. Instead, they should adopt flexible work schedules that let different people work at different times during the day. As long as deadlines are met, objectives are finished, and there is a requisite number of hours on the clock, there is no reason not to do this.
Another aspect of labor flexibility relates to the hiring of staff. Not all your employees need to be full-timers. If there are tasks that do not need to be done daily, part-timers can take care of them or even temporary staff. The same goes for labor-intensive projects that might require many people for short periods but only happen once in a while.
The main thing is to understand that maneuvering through this virus is a process in constant change. What you did yesterday might not work today and what you are doing right now may not be as effective tomorrow.
Innovation in Times of Crisis
Unless human beings need something, they don’t often think about it. Ancient cavemen living in tropical countries never imagined killing animals and wearing their fur as protection from the cold. More recently, most of us never even thought about a smartphone until Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone and told us that we actually needed it in our personal and business lives.
Covid-19 is a crisis the likes of which we have never seen. It has changed everything. From the way we live to how we work, what we eat, and where we go, there has perhaps never been a greater influencer in human existence.
But from crisis rises opportunity. If your company is an industry leader in the IT hardware field, it could use its extensive know-how to expand into the virtual arena. If you are a clothing designer and your shop is on the brink of going bankrupt, you could shift your strategy and start making high-end protective masks and other fashionable gear.
We have seen four examples of how covid-19 has changed how we do business. Even if an adequate vaccine starts rolling out, they will continue to define the way we work for many years to come.