As the entire world grapples with the novel coronavirus, our physical and mental well-being has taken center-stage. However, the effects of the insidious virus extend far beyond health, the pandemic has also had a monumental impact on the global economy. The question is: How can we prepare for the post-pandemic era?
In an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve”, nations around the world have put stringent rules in place. Social distancing and stay at home orders have shuttered countless businesses. From a health perspective, the objective of these strict measures is, of course, understandable; but, from an economic standpoint, these measures have had a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of everyone.
Impact on the global markets
Global markets have tumbled, with stocks experiencing their biggest slump since the late 1980s. Economists are predicting that there will be a global recession in the very near future. Operations in multiple industries have almost completely ceased, the travel and tourism, hospitality, food service, retail, personal service, and entertainment segments of the economy have experienced losses of epic proportions.
In an attempt to remain operational, at least to some extent, businesses that can are being urged to work from home. As a result, the technologies are being used to support work from measures are being severely strained. Furthermore, transitioning from an office setting to working remotely has been a major struggle for a significant portion of the workforce and many organizations are experiencing delays in productivity.
The New Normal for Businesses
With all of that said, however, the economy can’t be shut down forever. In fact, many countries and states within the United States are beginning to reopen certain businesses or are, at the very least, beginning to put plans into place to begin reopening. Getting back to business won’t mean getting back to normal. It will be many years until it’s “business as usual”.
What will the new reality in business look like? As we transition into the post-corona era, we will see a remarkable economic and social restructuring that will be completely unlike the way that businesses and people have ever functioned before. Adapting to the new normal will require new business models and innovation in organizations.
New work from home model
While working remotely may have been done occasionally for some, for the vast majority of businesses, operations are more than likely going to have to shift to a complete work from home model, with entire organizations being run remotely. As a result, one of the biggest factors that will determine a company’s success moving forward into the post-corona era will be whether or not they have the technologies available to support working from home.
How well their workforce adapts to working remotely will also determine the success of businesses in the new normal. Adapting to the technologies and programs that will need to be used in order to support work from home measures can be confusing and time-consuming.
Many corporations have begun the shift to technology-based operations are experiencing issues. Two of the most significant problems that companies are reporting concern accessing central applications and collaboration tools remotely, as well as the strain that a massive uptick in traffic is placing on internal networks.
To overcome these issues, the business will need to focus on optimizing accessibility to its applications and tools. They’ll also have to ramp up efforts to support the maintenance of crucial infrastructure.
Post-pandemic business management
Companies will also need to employ effective management solutions in order to ensure the successful transition into the new normal of the post-pandemic era. They’ll need to make sure that their remote workforce has a way that they can document how much they’ve worked and had a secure way to receive their wages.
Businesses will also have to figure out how their employees can log sick days and that they can receive the support that they need as quickly as possible.
The way in which businesses operate isn’t the only thing that will need to change as we move into the new normal. Many organizations may begin to adjust the products and services that they offer, as well. For example, some companies may find that they can provide better solutions that support social distancing efforts that are far different from the products and services that they offered prior to the pandemic.
Flexible businesses – those that can successfully adjust and implement their operations, as well as the products and services that they offer – will come out on top in the post-corona era. Those that are unable to or unwilling to adapt to meet the new demands of society are likely going to become irrelevant and will crumble quickly.
Restarting the economy and preparing for the new reality
Restarting the economy is undoubtedly going to be difficult. Not only are we still trying to grasp the hard reality of the significant repercussions that the COVID-19 has on our physical and mental health, but we’re also going to have to adjust to a totally new way of doing business.
The health crisis continues to unfold, with new information being presented on a daily basis. As we continue to learn more and more about the harrowing effects this illness has on our health, measures that have been put into place to slow the spread, flatten the curve, and protect our well-being will also continue to adjust.
In a world that is changing minute-by-minute, one thing is for sure, if businesses want to remain operational and record profits, they must be flexible and willing to make adjustments at the drop of fat. Those organizations that are highly adaptable can hope to see continued success – if not an even greater success – in the post-pandemic world.
Moving into the Future
Business owners around the world and in all sectors have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus. As we think about what the future will look like, we wonder whether not we’ll be able to survive in this “new normal”. Those companies that can reimagine their business models and can be extremely flexible can hope to see success in a world that is unlike anything we have ever known before.