The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all industries and businesses of all sizes. Some were able to cushion its blow better than the others. In any case, you are still here, and you somehow managed to keep your doors open. Is there anything that you can do now? You can do plenty of things to strengthen your operation and make it more resilient for future challenges.
However, making decisions that can affect your top- and bottom-line growth is quite hard. You are at the crossroads, and it’s essential to make informed and data-based decisions. It calls for thorough research. To help you out save precious time, we decided to do the research in your stead.
The following five strategies came up as the most viable ones to help you future-proof your business in the post-covid era.
Promote Remote Work
The worldwide pandemic put many businesses into a position to adopt remote work to get tasks done on a day-to-day basis. Yes, remote work was a trend, but it became a way of life during the pandemic. A recent survey reveals that almost 80% of companies plan to keep at least 5% of their in-house employees working remotely.
Initially, remote work was adopted as a safety precaution, but it provided significant financial benefits to both companies and employees over time. However, every business and every individual is unique—businesses in terms of workflow and processes and individuals in terms of their needs and personal responsibilities off-work.
The pandemic created a learning opportunity for all of us. It’s clear that some positions don’t need to be tied to a place or work desk. To future-proof your business, you should consider promoting remote work and streamlining it for employees. To do it, you need to cross-reference your business needs and the individual needs of your employees.
It will help you devise a plan to make your business more flexible, allowing employees to work at home or in-office. The key is to identify the roles that can be offered with this convenience. Since every business is unique, we will leave it to you to find out which employees have to work in-office.
You should also come up with a sort of remote work policy. What should it outline? It should outline:
- the work hours for remote workers;
- daily task submission deadlines;
- must-use productivity, communication, and collaboration tools;
- which cybersecurity security software all employees must use.
It leads us straight to the next tip – investing in IT infrastructure and software.
Identify Key Technologies and Tools to Invest in
It is borderline impossible to future-proof your business if you use outdated systems and obsolete technologies. The post-covid era requires you to collaborate with your CTO. If you own a small or medium-sized business and have no CTO on a payroll, consider working with IT consulting firms.
What is the goal here? You need to identify bottlenecks in your operation and do your best to improve your processes with relevant technologies. It applies to various things ranging from minuscule upgrades such as webcams and tablets to major ones such as investing in a new server and adopting new software tools.
It especially applies if you’ve decided to follow through on the first tip we’ve outlined. If you shift your operation online, you will need appropriate IT infrastructure and relevant tools to keep everything working as intended. A CTO or IT consulting firm will be of great help when it comes to assessing your current setup and future-proofing it to prevent errors and downtimes.
The list of business software tools is comprehensive, as well as the operating requirements. But don’t let it discourage you. Most of them come as a software-as-a-service model. They run in the cloud, and providers are responsible for maintenance and updates.
It means that you will have to invest only in good devices for your employees but not in servers and additional IT staff. The majority of these solutions offer flexible payment plans so that you can easily upscale and downscale your operation.
Train Your Staff
You can’t put your new software and equipment to good use before your staff understands the value it provides and how to use it. To future-proof your business, you should consider working on shifting your company culture. In many verticals, new technologies and software tools are seen as something that causes a disruption.
Before you decide to choose a technology, you should have a meeting with all key employees. Make them a part of the decision-making team. Enable them to outline the problems and research for potential solutions in the form of technologies and software tools. It will help them see the value in the solutions instead of something that causes disruption.
Furthermore, to future-proof your organization, your staff needs to know how to put new technologies to use. It’s something that you can easily achieve through ongoing training. You can introduce a new feature every couple of days and enable your employees to master it before putting it to use.
There are plenty of online employee training platforms you can choose from. Shifting your training efforts online is a viable option considering how the pandemic promoted remote work. In any case, online training is more flexible and convenient.
Your employees will be able to go through learning materials on the go, and from any device they carry. Don’t forget to show some good faith and reward your employees for good work.
Stay Tuned to the New relief Programs and Stimulations
Governments around the world answered the pandemic crisis with Covid-19 relief programs. Majority of these programs aimed to help the private sector and workers. To successfully future-proof your businesses, you should know which benefits these programs offer and what the requirements are to use them.
More importantly, these programs branch out from the new government policies. It simply means that you need to tap into the political noise to discover what is going to happen in the foreseeable future. It can help you better prepare and start working on meeting the requirements beforehand so that you can benefit from a new policy or law as soon as possible.
However, thoughtful policy analysis is not something everyone can do. So, how do you get in-time insights from the current developments in the legislative sphere? You should consider partnering up with one of the policy research firms.
These firms specialize in the analysis of various policies, including sector ripple effects, political noise, trade disputes, and other topical issues in the legislative sphere. Thorough policy analysis can also help you identify the best policy option for your particular situation and make the most out of the upcoming changes.
Employees make the very fiber of your business, and it’s in your best interest to facilitate communication across the board. Keeping everyone in the loop with what’s going on is not an easy task, especially when dealing with a business disrupting pandemic.
The post-covid era won’t be much different. You will have employees in offices and those at home. Very often, a team will include people working from home and from the offices. Your primary goal is to ensure that all your employees are engaged in consistent communication. There are several ways to do it.
But, first, you need to make priorities when it comes to what information is going to be shared and who will be responsible for sharing it. Look at it as micro-managing an ongoing communication project. Micro-management won’t last long. Department heads and managers will quickly pick up the pattern and continue sharing the information without your interference. It can help you bring people together and make them ready to face difficult times as a team, facilitate collaboration, and welcome new ideas.
One way to do it is to use an internal knowledge base. It will make sharing the most important information easy. Plus, internal knowledge bases are straightforward to access and search. It is a sort of passive communication where team members share valuable insights and tips with fellow colleagues.
Some knowledge base tools even feature communication boards and direct communication to help teams efficiently communicate in real-time.
When it comes to direct communication in real-time, future-proofing your business should not be hard. There are plenty of business communication tools out there, including Slack, TeamViewer, Zoom, and Google Meet. These tools are quite handy as they work on both desktop and mobile devices, and they all have notification systems so that your employees never miss an essential piece of information again.
The post-covid era is not going to be challenging as the pandemic was. However, it can still cause a variety of business disruptions. It is very important to plan ahead and get ready for the new challenges. Fortunately, you can future-proof your business for the post-covid era.
All the tips we’ve shared with you are viable options to pursue in the future. Since every business and market is unique, we will leave it to you to choose your company’s best course of action.