Coronavirus and the Future of Business: Key Trends to Follow

The Coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed businesses all around the globe. Companies of all shapes and sizes needed to adapt fast to remain competitive.

In this article, we discuss the impact of Coronavirus on the business landscape. Here are a few business management trends to apply amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital Transformation Is Not Optional Anymore

Before the pandemic, executives were reluctant to apply the digital transformation. They doubted their employees’ competency and technological capabilities.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, this trend has changed. Business owners realize that flexibility is a crucial business competency. They have started digitally transforming different business areas. Employees are shifting to remote platforms and most operations, from supply chains to finances.

Companies of all shapes and sizes have managed to remove the previous barriers to the adoption of digital technologies. They started implementing these tools faster and deploying them to a fuller potential.

Research studies show that 64% of businesses have shifted to more cloud-based activities, while 60% accelerated process automation. While 60% adapted their approach to change management, 55% of organizations have made permanent changes to organization strategy.

Statistics further claim that Coronavirus has accelerated digital transformation at 59% of businesses. Moreover, 66% believe that the latest technology adoption has helped them complete tasks that previously encountered resistance.

Remote Work Delivers New Opportunities for Everyone

Coronavirus has changed how people work. According to research statistics, only 20% of employees worked from homes before the pandemic, while 71% currently work from home. Moreover, 54% of employees would like to work from home when the pandemic is over.

Statistics further show that remote work increases employee morale and productivity on multiple levels. According to research, 87% of employees claim they have the tools needed to get the work done, while over 80% meet their deadlines more efficiently. Furthermore, 60% of them claim they can eliminate distractions and build an adequate workspace.

For employers, remote work is the opportunity to expand, dive into the global talent pool, and attract top employees. With the implementation of the right tools, they can communicate with remote employees, irrespective of their location. Moreover, that is a chance to boost employee productivity and reduce the overall operational costs.

Investing in Employees’ Wellbeing is More Important than Ever

As we all know, Coronavirus is a respiratory illness that spreads fast from person to person. Precisely because of that, business managers needed to adapt their health and safety policies and create a safer working environment.

The statistics show that over 60% of employees feel satisfied with their employers’ responses to the pandemic.

That includes a wide range of activities, such as:

  • Providing hand sanitizers
  • Conducting daily in-person and virtual health checks
  • Encouraging vaccinations: Joydeep Hor from People Culture and Strategies says for Ausbiz, a business news app that incentivizing employee vaccinations is crucial.
  • Equipping employees with PPE, such as face masks
  • Having a procedure in place for separating and transporting employees who become sick while at work
  • Disinfecting the offices regularly
  • Adopting the abovementioned remote work options
  • Implementing flexible work hours and rotating shifts to meet the social distancing measures
  • Educating employees about the importance of following these health and safety measures

Encouraging Employees’ Mental Wellbeing

While providing the utmost employee safety at work, employers should not neglect the importance of mental health. The ongoing restrictions, such as the lockdown or self-isolation, impact many people’s psychological wellbeing.

People have become fearful about contracting the virus and compromising their families’ health. Many have suffered losses since the beginning of the pandemic, often not having the opportunity to attend funerals and say goodbye to their dear ones. Given the rising global economic crisis, people are also afraid about their job security and financial security. Finally, many employees find the rapid shift to remote work stressful and cannot balance their private and professional lives.

These are just some of the numerous factors that cause mental issues, such as depression, anxiety, or stress. According to some recent research studies, one in five adults experienced depression in early 2021.

For many employers, supporting the team’s mental health has become a top priority. These measures range from supporting staff to regain efficient work-life balance to encouraging individuals experiencing mental health crises.

There are several things managers can do to encourage employees’ mental health:

  • Model healthy behaviors. Take a walk in the middle of the day, eat healthily, and schedule a therapy appointment. When they see that you take care of yourself, employees will invest more in self-care.
  • Build a culture of continuous communication and connection. Checking in with your employees every day can be challenging, especially for those working remotely. According to a survey, 40% of global employees say no one at their company had asked them if they were doing OK. Moreover, these respondents were 38% more likely than others to experience a mental health decline since the pandemic outbreak.
  • Invest in proactive mental health training for your employees. The goal of mental health training is to minimize stigma and debunk myths about our psychological wellbeing. Most importantly, it should encourage employees to speak up about their problems and seek help.
  • Be flexible about corporate norms and rules, such as working hours, paid time off, paid/unpaid leave, team communication channels, etc.

Providing Uninterrupted Customer Service Is Crucial

The Coronavirus pandemic has altered business-customer interactions for good. Suddenly, customer care has a different meaning. In these harsh times, people rely on the brands they trust. How your company responds to their needs and problems can impact their brand loyalty for good.

For many businesses, the ongoing pandemic is the opportunity to build trust with their target audiences. The goal is to keep a real-time pulse on the changing customer needs and redesigning customer journeys accordingly.

Provide Exceptional Customer Support

Now more than ever, customers look for additional information, support, and guidance to get accustomed to the New Normal. They are looking for online resources they can trust and that make them feel safe and informed.

Therefore, investing more in exceptional customer service is essential amid the pandemic.

Start by meeting customers where they are. Use social networks to communicate with customers. Keep track of their comments and brand mentions and respond to them in real-time. Live chat options are also a great way to humanize your brand and provide faster customer service.

Since customers seek real-time customer care, why not offer self-service opportunities, such as a chatbot, a thorough knowledge base, or a highly informative blog.

Redefine Physical Contact

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, the U.S. has seen a 20% growth in preference for contactless operations. For example, many grocery chains have implemented a range of touchless measures, such as installing plexiglass sneeze guards. Many businesses have also invested in drive-through shopping experiences to take contactless operations to the next level.

Over to You

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected even the most seasoned professionals. To stay competitive, they needed to adapt fast. While running a business in the New Normal requires lots of strategizing, it is achievable. Those are just some of the key trends that will define the future of your business.

I hope these insights will help!