5 ways COVID-19 will change how companies do business forever
Learn how the coronavirus pandemic is shaping the future of businesses across the country and around the world
For almost all of us, the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact—not only on us as individuals, but also as a society and as a workforce.
This unprecedented change to our daily lives is shaping the future of businesses around the world. While some activities and behaviors will go back to how they were before, for most of us there’ll no longer be such a thing as “business as usual”.
Let’s explore some of the ways that COVID-19 will change the way we work forever.
Focus on futureproofing
Over the next few months, we’ll all have the opportunity to learn from what worked during the crisis—and what didn’t work. It’s important to take these lessons on board and use them to build a better company moving forward.
Businesses might invest in new technology to make the transition to remote work easier and quicker. They may also consider diversifying their offer or revisiting their business model to find ways to quickly pivot to changing needs, for example by offering virtual consultations or adding e-commerce functionality to their company website.
It’s also a good opportunity for businesses to check that the way they present themselves properly represents their business today and resonates with their ideal audience. If not, it is time to consider a brand repositioning.
Emphasis on online presence
After retail stores and office locations were forced to close for a long period of time, companies are seeing the importance of having a solid online presence.
Consumers are spending more and more time online. Businesses are realizing this and are now focusing on giving consumers the most up-to-date information on online listings, and giving them the ability to do what they need to do (for example: shop online, request a demo or book a virtual consultation) quickly and easier through their website.
With the huge shift to working remotely, many of us have very quickly had to adapt to new ways of communication. And as we grow more comfortable and familiar with these new technology tools, there’s a big chance they’ll become the norm for many businesses.
Tools like video conferencing and chat apps will continue to have a place even once we return to the office. What’s more, they may also help us be more productive!
Instead of messages getting lost in cumbersome email threads, chat apps can help to make team communication more efficient. We’ve been using Slack for many years and since then we’ve cut down interoffice emails by 90%. Another huge advantage for us is that we can organize conversations by client channels, keeping all team members included and in the know with project progress and delivery.
Offering video conferencing as an alternative to in-person meetings can drastically cut down on travel time, and may also encourage businesses to check in with their clients more often to learn about any new pain points.
Building professional relationships remotely
Now that most of us are more comfortable with technology, businesses may be able to broaden their geographic reach.
Prospective clients are likely to be more open to virtual (rather than in-person) meetings, so those who would once only consider local partners and vendors may now start looking further afield. For businesses, this can mean the opportunity to tap into new, lucrative audiences outside their local market.
A more flexible workforce
As companies are seeing how successful working remotely can be—without loss of communication or productivity—it opens up new hiring possibilities.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of both Twitter and Square, recently informed his employees at both companies that they can continue working from home “forever.” Facebook, Shopify and Spotify have also made similar announcements.
As companies across the country and around the world are more open to people working remotely, this brings a new flexibility to the workforce and gives businesses access to a dramatically larger pool of talent when hiring.
One thing’s for sure: after COVID-19, nothing will be the same again. The good news is that many of the changes faced by businesses can be viewed as a positive.
With technology powering improved team communication, new audience reach, and stronger client relationships, companies can slowly turn their focus to the future and set themselves up for years of success.
What does the future of your business look like?