It’s hard to avoid the topic of COVID-19 right now. No matter where you look, news updates are talking about the spread of this virus throughout the world. Everyone has felt its impact, either directly or indirectly. Businesses are taking a significant hit, but it’s not the end of days just yet.
In fact, there can be some positive outcomes after all of this has blown over. That may sound ridiculous as this is a very difficult time and thinking positively seems impossible. Particularly if your business has currently closed down or is forced to operate on an entirely different level from before!
Instead of wallowing in self-pity and wondering when things will change, you should start looking to the future. Think about a post-coronavirus business world – what will it be like? We may experience some type of business revolution, and there are so many things businesses all across the globe can learn from this troubling situation. Here are a few of those things for you to mull over:
Flexible Working Works
As lockdowns are enforced around the world, it’s surprising how many companies realize they can make the adjustment to working from home. Some businesses have closed down, but many continue to run with employees communicating and interacting from their houses. It’s proven to a lot of organizations that working from home is genuinely a viable solution.
This could have a huge impact on the future of the business landscape. Businesses may switch to a more flexible work schedule to accommodate more home-based employees. Instead of working in the office every day, some employees may be allowed to work from home – either permanently or on a more flexible basis. COVID-19 has proven that there’s no dip in the actual work quality of output when you’re at home, so why bother going back to how things are? Some businesses may leave the office behind and save money by going to permanent remote working!
Additionally, some experts claim that this could be the beginning of a four-day workweek. Companies may only open offices for four days of the week, with the remaining weekday being a ‘work from home’ day. So, the way we work could be changed forever after this pandemic.
Traffic and pollution levels across the U.S. have dropped amid the #COVIDoutbreak. @DescartesLabs processed data from #Sentinel-5P satellite and compared it to March 10-22 of last year. Here’s what they found: PIC.TWITTER.COM/DTK2QSRJLY
— Pattrn (@pattrn) March 24, 2020
Businesses Need To Be More Eco-Conscious
As the above tweet shows, there’s already been a remarkable drop in air pollution throughout the US due to people staying home and businesses closing their doors. What we can take from this is that it shows how much of a negative impact businesses and people have on the planet.
Therefore, companies should learn from this and look to be more eco-conscious. Start looking at different ways of lowering carbon emissions generated through your business. It begins with recycling. Devise a solid recycling program in your organization to minimize the waste you send to be burned at landfill sites. Consider things like a customized pallet recycling solution to improve the greenness of your supply chain, start recycling your old equipment and electronics, etc. If every company started doing this, then we’d see a remarkable drop in air pollution and carbon emissions across the world.
Of course, a big reason for the reduction in pollution is that big companies aren’t consuming any energy right now. This is one of the most significant contributing factors to air pollution as most energy is created by burning fossil fuels that release carbon emissions to the air. Obviously, things will start to increase and get worse when businesses are back in action. But, you should learn from this and consciously seek out ways to minimize energy use in your business. In turn, this could see a boom in the renewable energy sector as more organizations seek out clean energy supplementation.
Contingency Plans Are Crucial
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this virus, it’s which businesses actually had contingency plans, and which ones didn’t. A contingency plan isn’t strictly related to pandemics – it’s a plan that details what you do in case of emergencies. What happens if there’s a massive storm and you lose access to your premises for weeks on end? What happens if there’s a data breach and you lose loads of information? You need a plan in place that details what to do when the worst happens.
Companies with contingency plans knew how to seamlessly transition to working from home or whatever it is they did in this scenario. Even if they closed temporarily, they had plans in place to deal with financial losses and to keep paying as many employees as possible. The reason loads of businesses are letting go of employees during this time is because they didn’t have a contingency plan in place.
Part of a contingency plan includes how you recover after a disaster, but there should also be a section on how to prevent disasters from causing too much distress. Perhaps this means setting up an emergency fund of sorts for your business? This would certainly come in handy right now as you could carry on paying your staff without damaging your overall finances. The bottom line is that you can never predict when or how a disaster will strike, but you can plan what to do if it does happen.
Conclusion: What Will The Business World Look Like Post-Coronavirus?
These three lessons have a significant impact on how businesses work and operate. If all organizations learn from this pandemic, then you could see an entirely different business world in the future. Nothing’s certain – for all you know nothing will change and we’ll blindly go back to how things were!
However, we could see a world where businesses are more open to flexible work schedules and the four-day workweek finally takes off. We will hopefully see a greener business landscape with more policies and regulations on carbon emissions and so on. Finally, expect to see more caution and planning throughout the business world. Nobody wants to be hit by an emergency like this again, so companies should focus on contingency plans and disaster recovery.