The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has stormed through the business world, wreaking havoc and leaving nothing but devastation behind for many. Many companies are placing their operations on hold. However, there’s certainly a different business outlook compared to six months ago.
With that being said, it’s important to try and make the best out of a bad situation. Consider some of the key lessons your business can learn as a result of this global pandemic.
When you start thinking about it, you realize that there are lots of things that COVID-19 has taught you about running a business. Here are the most important and valuable lessons to take with you as you rebuild:
Hygiene is essential – at home and in your business
Hygiene in the workplace has never been more important. Don’t assume that the strict hygiene measured introduced in your company only existed because of COVID-19. Think about why they were introduced – to stop the spread of diseases.
When you return to work with all your employees, shouldn’t you continue to try and prevent this? Get antibacterial soap in the bathrooms, and perhaps get your hands on some logo bacterial gels for a bit of branded sanitation. Enforce good hygiene practices on your employees when they return.
If this pandemic has taught you anything, it should be that the health of your employees is important. You can’t afford to have people taking time off work and asking for sick pay. This is especially true after you’ve already taken a financial hit through this virus.
Consider how many people are off sick every winter with various illnesses. Most of these could be prevented with good hygiene around the office. Everyone stays healthy, and you prevent productivity dips with absent workers.
Some employees benefit from flexible working conditions
Time away from the office has been bad for some, but amazing for others. This virus may have shown you that some of your employees are way better workers when they’re at home. For whatever reason, working from home can be beneficial to a selection of your team. You’d never realize this if this situation wasn’t forcing a remote work environment.
Therefore, you can actually improve business performance by adopting a more flexible approach in the future. Give your employees the option to work from home if they want it. Some may choose to do this permanently, while others could work from home for half the week and then in the office for the other half.
Not only does this ensure they work to the best of their abilities, but you can also improve employee morale. It’s proven that flexible working patterns are the best for keeping employees happy. They feel less fatigued, they can juggle their work/life balance a lot better, and this all results in positive feelings towards your business.
Happy employees are less likely to leave than unhappy ones. So, perhaps a flexible approach to work is the key to employee retention.
There’s so much technology to utilize within your business
Mandates forcing people to work from home has unveiled another revelation that can help your business. We’ve uncovered so much amazing technology that can really help companies perform daily tasks with more efficiency. Think about how many people are now video-calling clients and employees.
This was a rarity a few months ago, and now it’s commonplace. When things are back to normal, you should still call upon this technology. Instead of emailing a client, video-call them. It’s a more personal and professional approach that allows for better communication.
In turn, this helps to provide better customer service and make yourself look more professional and impressive.
This isn’t the only technology to call upon. Think about cloud software that allows for collaboration between your teams. You can still bring this back into the workplace after the pandemic is over.
Instead of employees walking around the office or going up to different floors to collaborate, it can all be done from their desks. The fact is that we have so much technology and software that we really haven’t been taking full advantage of. It has taken a virus for us to realize what’s truly possible.
Expecting the unexpected
Perhaps the golden rule to take from this is that you have to expect the unexpected. A year ago, nobody on planet earth was predicting the state of the world would be in. No one was predicting this even four months ago. The economy was on the up, business was booming, and everyone had just had an impressive fourth quarter of 2019.
Companies were planning for a successful 2020, and then everything was changed by a virus. The crazy thing is, it shows how one small act can have gigantic consequences on multiple people all over the world. So, you need to learn from this as you move on. Sometimes, it takes an event like this to realize that anything can happen at any given time.
Preparation is key for your business in disastrous situations
If there is no preparation plans for your business, then it will be badly hit.
If you had a thorough disaster recovery plan in place, would you have been hit this bad? The answer is a big fat no. Sadly, disaster recovery plans and emergency funds are largely considered as unnecessary.
People think that you’re spending money on things that will hardly ever come into effect. But, it’s like added insurance – it’s much better to spend money and have an extra safety net that to fall from your tightrope and have nothing to catch you. Take this to heart and ensure that your business never has to worry about disasters or random emergencies ever again.
The world will be a different place once everything clears up. In a few years or decades, we will look back at this moment as a key event in our history. You can’t predict what might happen, but you can take steps to ensure that your business is better set-up in the future.
Learn from the lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught you. The worst possible thing to do in this situation is to act like nothing ever happened. Don’t try and return to business as usual. It’s time to adapt and improve.