The New Normal...How Does it Look for Your Company?
The first stages of the post-pandemic future are already here, and we are rapidly reshaping our lives and our businesses in response. Despite the downsides, the global health threat gives our companies a rare opportunity for innovation, growth, and improvement. Organizations that manage the turbulence well can emerge from the crisis stronger and more dynamic than before.
Now that we have been living with the worldwide crisis for a while, it is important to look at what we have learned.
Pandemic-era experiences are different for every company, but the following elements should be assessed by all:
- Ask all departments and workgroups what they have learned so far. Which business processes work well and which do not? Which have changed and why? Decide which recent changes are working and keep them going.
- At this point, a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan is essential. The plan documents prevention strategies and work-around processes to counter threats to all departments and IT systems, supporting a company’s ongoing operations before and during a disaster.
- Be prepared to make changes to your business model. Reexamine everything about the company’s activities, with all previous methods and procedures open to challenge.
- Anticipate future obstacles. These could be caused by the pandemic or by unrelated events that could impact operations.
- Your people come first. Their wellbeing is paramount. Take special care of employees who may be suffering from COVID-19, be mindful of the presence of families in remote-workers’ homes, and understand that with so many isolated employees, new customs and behaviors will emerge spontaneously.
- Survey individual employees at every level for new ideas. Do not listen only to management and key staff. People in the trenches understand your company’s operations in deep detail and can be counted on to come up with improvements both great and small.
- Strive to strengthen your remote workforce. Major vendors like Microsoft and trusted sources such as LinkedIn are moving quickly to provide useful online tutorials covering subjects such as VPN, available devices, versioning, and meeting strategies.
- Stay abreast of new products and services for remote workers. These include sophisticated video telephony solutions as well as new workstation gadgets, dashboards, performance-enhancement tools, and more.
- With working remotely having become mainstream, evaluation of each worker’s value and abilities takes on a new dimension. This can lead to some realignment of responsibilities.
- Keep employees, customers, vendors, strategic partners, and the trade press well-informed about your company’s activities. In this rapidly evolving business environment, people need to know what you offer, how you are now doing business, and how you expect to move forward.
- Our growing understanding of the new landscape is a goldmine of information. Take note of potential modifications and always be open to new ideas.
- If you have not done so already, shore up your security and boost efficiency with a resilient, multi-feature file-sharing package. Collaborative file-sharing and backup solutions deliver enterprise protection for remote workers by backing up content each time they save their work. Endpoints are protected because users are able to roll back to previous versions when their systems are under attack.
- Accept that your company’s goals and priorities are changing, and may not change back. Substantial realignments are in the cards. The new landscape causes us to see job assignments, core business objectives, and even corporate missions in a new light. When we get the all-clear, will the adjustments continue or revert to their former state? The question is, what parts of the new normal work? Another factor will be the cost of returning to past methods.
- Evaluate existing security measures and identify potential improvements. Vital safeguards such as cybersecurity, data backup, and disaster recovery may need to be enhanced. This is particularly important because remote workplaces are more vulnerable to malware than established office ecosystems.
- Count on new ideas to improve your company’s agility. Even minor improvements contribute to operational speed and efficiency.
- Focus energy on developing new vertical markets. Where possible, seek out niche sectors that are emerging because of today’s business landscape.
- With more employees working remotely, some companies will be able to reduce their office space without diminishing the business.
- Establish plans for possible future disasters. The novel coronavirus underscores the need for companies to continuously improve processes in preparation for unforeseen events.
- If you do not have one already, establish a fully functional alternate location. We emphatically recommend being able to duplicate your physical and virtual presence at a separate site. This allows you to continue production if your main site is compromised.