It’s a term that’s been thrown around aplenty since March 2o2o — “the new normal.”
While the world starts to make progress tiptoeing around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are starting to reopen, events are slowly starting to ramp up, and the economy has its sights set on stabilizing as coronavirus vaccines rollout across the continent in optimistic numbers.
But it’s not as easy as slipping into an old work outfit. New strategies are being implemented throughout the business landscape to ensure employees and employers can more easily adapt to the new normal.
When the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world into a global health crisis, measures were put in place to help curb the spread of the virus which took its toll on the economy as businesses were forced to limit operations or shutter in compliance. Employees and employers are now trying to get acclimated to the new normal as measures start (and continue) to ease. Businesses are now looking to act decisively and strategically to take advantage of the world’s changes.
The key for businesses is to find a balance between resuming and rebuilding operations while keeping employees safe. It is also important as a business to implement measures to avoid further transmission of the virus.
Today, we’re going to highlight strategies that businesses can use to operate and thrive in an environment using “the new normal.” Hopefully, the working world can soon call itself a post-COVID environment.
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How can businesses adapt operations to the new normal?
It goes without saying but resuming operations after a worldwide crisis can be daunting. But fear not, the proper strategies can help your business recover from loss and get back on the right path towards a trajectory of growth.
Employees have played a primary role in sustaining operations and keeping company’s metaphorical heads above water throughout the pandemic. Now is the time for businesses to listen to them. A business should communicate and be compassionate towards building trust with its employees.
Consider creating channels or effective ways for your employees to give you feedback and strengthen your bonds with your team. Any concerns about their overall health, job security, living situation, or financial status should be listened to.
Businesses should be seeking feedback in regards to how the staff feels about changes. Listening to your employees will go a long way with mental and physical health being at the forefront. As the business and economy start to recover, so should the people that work for it. Just make sure the trust is a two-way street.
Implement a safe working environment
Some important tactics should be implemented as your workplace readies your full workforce back to the office:
- Stagger the capacity to the worksite. The first batch of returning employees should include those who no longer wish to work from home and whose physical presence is deemed essential at the office.
- Create a cycling system. Spread out the operational hours by minimizing the number of employees on-site at any given time.
- Reduce interactions with third-party staff, external parties, and customers. Consider exploring digital platforms to lessen the risk of exposure to your staff.
- Implement measures that can maximize social distancing protocols and be sure to install hand sanitizer stations and dividers.
- Ask your staff to wear face masks indoors when keeping distances is not possible.
Explore different digital technologies
Now is the time to consider expanding into the age of digital tech. By using a variety of digital platforms, your company can reduce the risk of viral transmission and can ensure the return to work unravels smoothly.
For example, substitute face-to-face meetings with online video conferences, like Zoom or Google Meet. Video conferences offer businesses the chance to communicate with customers without the risk of exposure to the virus. Seamlessly enter video conferences for check-ins with staff, brainstorming sessions, and collaborations with clients and other businesses.
Companies can also choose to organize documentation, data, and recruiting information onto a digital platform. It reduces the need to have person-to-person meetings and can be effortlessly shared with entire staff members at once — so long, board meetings!
We’re not expecting every company to make the switch as Microsoft demonstrates in the below video, but it offers a glimpse towards the digital workplace transformation that collaborates workplace management in a virtual world.
Re-evaluate your company’s financial model for growth
At the height of the pandemic, businesses started scaling down and making conservative choices to cut costs and sustain day-to-day operations. As you reshape your business plan to adapt to the new normal, re-evaluate your company’s financial strategies.
The transition from short-term cost reduction to focusing on more long-term investments and opportunities for growth. In March 2020, businesses needed to focus on hanging on in the short term but finding a financial balance between the short and long term should now become the main focus.
Companies should continue to monitor financial performances over the coming months and consider all forms of support — whether that’s government aid, relief programs, or angel investors. You got through the sticky part, now look towards the mid-range and long-term goals.
Invest towards potential future crisis prevention
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for everyone. A worldwide pandemic might have been laughed off a decade ago but we all witnessed firsthand how very real it can be. Now might be a good time to invest in future crisis prevention plans. We’re not recommending creating a new vaccine, but think about how your company can handle another potential health pandemic or crisis.
Consider how much your company was impacted by travel bans. Maybe automation tech and outsourcing could become wise investments going forward. Cloud applications can help you scale the workforce and enable a quick transition back to remote working.
With the switch towards a more digital-based workforce, consider investing in cybersecurity solutions to prevent any type of cyberattacks.
Businesses around the world were caught off guard by the pandemic. We’re over 16 months from the start of the outbreak and are still trying to grasp the long-term effects.
It’s essential to learn from what happened and adapt to the conditions that are becoming the new normal. Secure your employees, operations, and help plan for any potential crisis in the future. The world is making a quick leap towards the digital age and you might want to hop on board.
What are some new normal strategies your company plans to implement as we attempt to adapt to the new normal?