The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of our daily lives. From how and where we work to the ways in which we stay connected with family and friends, life in 2020 is nothing like any of us would have ever anticipated. While many of these changes are only temporary, some of them are sure to stick long after the virus has been quelled.
In this post, we’ll take a look at four ways the COVID-19 landscape will change business forever. Read on to learn more about what you can expect as a business owner, customer, or aspiring entrepreneur in this post.
1. More remote work opportunities
With over half of the global workforce working from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it should come as no surprise that home offices will likely become the new normal in 2020 and beyond.
In addition to its health and safety benefits in the current climate, remote work offers several other advantages that will likely extend past the pandemic. According to some aggregated statistics, here are a few of the reasons WFH life pays off for both employers and their employees:
- 83% of workers say more remote work opportunities would make them happier at their job.
- 72% of professional recruiters believe that remote work flexibility will be increasingly important in recruiting efforts.
- 77% of remote employees say they’re more productive when working from home.
- Businesses would save an estimated $11,000 per year, per half-time telecommuter.
As you can see, remote work offers several benefits for employees and employers — from saving money and commuting times to increasing productivity and retention. As the workforce continues to navigate remote working styles, we’ll likely see businesses continue to embrace remote work well beyond the COVID-19 crisis. However, as a business owner or decision-maker, it’s always a good idea to get the full picture when evaluating your options.
2. More remote work challenges
Remote work can be a valuable option for many workplaces, but transitioning into the WFH model isn’t always seamless. In fact, it can bring up a myriad of challenges for your business and your workforce. As you monitor COVID’s impact on the business world, you’ll likely notice some challenging aspects of remote work, including:
- Disconnect among colleagues and company culture
- Lack of communication, collaboration
- Isolation among staff members
- Interruptions/distractions at home
- Tech problems
Whether your team is working in the office or from home, you’re likely to experience workplace challenges no matter what. While WFH challenges may look a little different, it’s important to remember that there are solutions to help.
To help you start working toward the best solution for the challenges you’re facing, we’ve rounded up a few creative ideas. Take a look:
- To restore communication and collaboration, make sure you’re taking advantage of messaging, project management, and video chat tools. These will reinforce the importance of communication and make it easy for all teams to be on the same page.
- To combat isolation among team members, engage them with monthly meetups, either socially distant or over video chat. Send them a food and drink stipend and have some fun, preferably non work-related chats.
- To fend off burnout, make sure to encourage a healthy work-life balance among your team members. Don’t expect them to work past business hours on a regular basis and be sure they’re taking PTO and sick time as needed.
We hope these tips help you adjust to COVID’s impact on workplace environments in 2020 and beyond.
3. Adapting to tech will become a necessity
Because so much of our lives, including work and social settings have moved into our homes, we’re going to have to adapt to technology at a much faster rate than ever before. Whether you’re a teacher transitioning to virtual learning, a remote worker, or just need to order groceries without leaving the house, the reality is, technology is going to become an even bigger part of our lives and how businesses are run for the foreseeable future.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll want to start (if you haven’t already), thinking about how you can adjust your services to accommodate online users. If you’re a property manager or landlord, you might consider implementing virtual home tours rather than on-site ones. This way, you can ensure applicants maintain social distancing and safety measures outlined by your local government. Or, if you’re a restaurant owner, you might consider partnering up with a third-party delivery company to start facilitating take-out and delivery orders. No matter what type of business you’re in, you’ll likely see tech continue to alter and improve your business operations from now on.
Another thing to note about tech: the more we rely on it, the more security we’ll seek. As more and more businesses offer online services, we’ll likely see stricter security measures enacted to keep our personal information safe. If you’re a business owner, you may want to start thinking about how you can beef up security measures at your place of business.
4. Disaster planning will be more important than ever
If there’s one thing we’ve all learned in 2020, it’s that preparedness and planning are key. While few could have seen such a crisis coming, those that planned ahead certainly came out on top. Disaster planning can include a number of things depending on the type of work you do, size of your business, etc.
Some basic plans to draw up include:
- Your emergency finances and description of emergency fund assets
- How your SOPs will shift if disaster strikes
- Your estate plans in case your health is compromised
Whether you’re a business owner, aspiring entrepreneur, or somewhere in between, there are lots of important lessons to be learned in 2020. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, consider how it might impact the future of your business, too. From remote workspaces and new technology to disaster planning and preparedness, we can certainly expect COVID-19 to change the business world forever.
Use this guide to help you navigate through these changes and don’t forget to keep us in the loop in the comment section below!
About the Author
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365 Business Tips as well as runs a personal blog, Mixed Bits Media. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.