5 Ways The Pandemic Changed How You Should Manage Your Business
Business as we know it has changed forever because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discover how you can adapt to the changes and thrive in this new normal.
These past few decades, we have gone through numerous recessions and economic crises.
Some were caused by events like the 9/11 attack. There were also recessions caused by the periodic rise of the prices of commodities like oil and gas. Similarly, there are crises caused by chaos in the financial sector, the most memorable being the 2008 Financial Crisis.
While all these crises happened in the last decade, they all took place at different time intervals. Few expected that a crisis can be caused by multiple factors all at once.
…That is until 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Because of this health crisis, there was a massive disruption in global supply chains and in the financial sector. And for businesses to survive, old business models and ideas had to be re-examined.
Business executives then decided to adopt certain changes and learn how to cope with the new normal. As we move into the post-pandemic era, it’s important to do just that to be successful in the face of change.
Keep reading because this article will discuss five ways the COVID-19 pandemic changed businesses and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.
The 5 Ways
Way #1: More consumers have become phygital
Phygital gets its name from two words: “physical” and “digital.” It refers to the combination of offline and online environments to deliver an enhanced customer experience.
Due to lockdowns that restricted movement outdoors, people became more dependent on technologies such as social media and e-commerce. It allowed them to connect with other people and make purchases without leaving their homes.
These new kinds of consumers are now known as phygital rookies. And they are more curious about exploring the digital world and the benefits it can offer.
As a result, they have become more accustomed to e-commerce features on their smartphones. Such as the digital wallet functions and the use of barcodes to make smart payments.
For business owners, it’s important to accept the reality that consumer behavior in the post-pandemic era has permanently changed. What people value more now are speed, immersion, and convenience.
You need to be aware of these changing preferences among consumers. More importantly, you need to take advantage of the opportunities being brought by the hybridization of digital and physical.
Way #2: Increased investment in the hybrid infrastructure
Because of the pandemic, most kinds of work were done remotely or at home.
Many businesses also adopted a hybrid setup. That is, work was done both in-office and from home. An employee then divides their time between commuting to the office and working from other locations.
The hybrid work model can also mean a mix of full-time remote and fully on-site employees.
These changes helped employers and employees alike to do productive work remotely. Similarly, companies were able to save money from reduced business travel and office capacity.
If you want to implement a hybrid setup, you must invest in your hybrid infrastructure for your team to fully adapt to the post-pandemic world. This way, your employees working from home can perform better and contribute more to the business.
Way #3: Increased demand for emotional intelligence
Adopting a hybrid setup in the post-pandemic world will also require increasing your emotional intelligence.
Your team will consist of members who are both working in the office and in their homes. This means you won’t be able to monitor and control everyone. So, it’s essential that you maintain communication and commit to finding time with your individual team members.
As the leader, you must have a strong understanding of the needs of your team members. Doing so will allow you to lead them better, especially in this new environment we’re dealing with.
With that, you must also be able to adapt your leadership in a hybrid setup. This way, you can mitigate the side effects of having members working both in the office and remotely.
At the same time, it’s important to instill a strong sense of self-awareness. Team members should also be able to perform as a team, such as on consulting and strategy projects. And their team leader must know how to ensure high performance from them.
Way #4: More people are working from home
It is expected that more and more people will continue to choose the option to work from home, given its convenience and lowering of personal expenses. Likewise, more companies also prefer this setup, as they can save money in the long run.
In fact, the long-term shift to a work-from-home setup has already begun. With Zoom and Microsoft Teams, people can now communicate with their colleagues and clients around the world in real-time.
One of the risks of adopting a remote setup, however, is its impact on innovation.
As you know, personal interactions in a face-to-face setup help open up the exchange of tacit knowledge. But this kind of interaction might see a decline in the online setting.
It’s primarily because the conditions in a remote set-up are not conducive for the steady correspondence of ideas. With internet connectivity issues and distractions being the main issues.
So, the challenge for business owners and leaders is to create the ideal conditions for those opting to work remotely. This way, it won’t be detrimental to the innovation of their business.
Way #5: Reduced international business travel
It’s expected that international business travel will decrease in the post-pandemic world. And there are two reasons why.
The first is that companies will be more strategic when approving business trips.
Even though air travel is in its recovery phase, businesses will be more prudent in selecting which meetings will require travel. Priority will be given to trips that will help build business relationships, like meeting new clients, or nurturing already existing connections.
The second reason is the growing adoption of the hybrid work setup.
Companies and their employees have realized that conferences and internal meetings can be seamlessly transitioned to the virtual space. This means that you can save up on expenses, which you can then invest in or allot to other areas of your business.
Thrive Even With the Changes the Pandemic Caused
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a massive disruption not only in the global economy but also in the behavior of consumers. As such, business owners need to re-examine their existing systems to survive.
You should also learn to embrace the changes so you can adjust accordingly.
For one thing, more people are starting to prefer online payments and transactions. Workers are also choosing a work-from-home or hybrid setup. And as the leader of the organization, you need to ensure that you are leveraging such changes.
The pandemic has taught us that there is no room for complacency in business. Instead, adaptability is essential to survival.
Needless to say, business leaders who are complacent will end up being left behind in this new world.
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