Article written by: Joseph Safina | Published by: Forbes Finance Council
Since the pandemic started earlier this year, there has been a great cultural and lifestyle shift. This change away from the normal 9-to-5 lifestyle has affected businesses as well as individuals. Companies have changed operations, adopted new working strategies and restructured their operations.
The negative side of Covid-19 is obvious. However, it’s not all gloom; the pandemic has had silver linings for companies and employees. Working from home, teleconferencing and adopting new tools are just a few of the recent trends. Here are some of the pandemic’s positive effects.
Working from home has always had some stigma, and because of that, many companies had previously been unwilling to allow their employees to work remotely. However, once cities began locking down and movement was restricted, remote work was largely adopted where possible.
For many organizations, this was a great move. Companies have realized that employees can work with less supervision and still meet targets. With this success, working from home is set to become mainstream. In fact, I’ve found that some employees work even better when they don’t have to face office anxiety.
Regardless of what has happened in recent months, Covid-19 has been an opportunity for companies to “put things in order.” Many companies are now more prepared for disaster than they were before. Through business impact analyses, companies have come up with more effective mitigation strategies.
The pandemic has proved to be a true test for leadership. It has allowed business owners to strengthen their companies and implement preventive policies for future crises. Adversity readiness measures that businesses have adopted include:
• Revisiting continuity plans.
• Identifying potential points of failure.
• Keeping sight on other business risks.
• Adopting a people-first mindset.
• Improving their emergency response.
• Revisiting their approach to loans and debts.
All these strategies will be vital in protecting businesses from future crises. The majority of affected industries, such as travel, entertainment and hospitality, have learned a lot from Covid-19. Because of this, companies in these industries should be better able to adapt during future crises.
The pandemic has also prepared individuals for hard times. Many people have realized the importance of saving money and acquiring new skills. Since Covid-19 began, I believe people have become more resilient than ever before.
The pandemic has opened new doors for software applications to enhance workflows. Companies have embraced new digital tools to make work from home a reality.
Virtual teams now use collaborative tools such as Zoom and Google Meet to create a unified workplace. Other tools, such as time trackers and biometric attendance systems, have also helped facilitate remote working.
Companies have made great strides to adopt cloud solutions, too. This is because the cloud is the backbone of remote working, enabling safe, seamless access to data and company systems.
Communication has also changed significantly. Platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams have gained more relevance in the past few months.
These types of tools are no longer enhancements, but the mainstream of remote working. Soon, more collaborative solutions will likely change the way people connect and work.
Many companies have seen an increase in overall productivity since shifting to remote work. One survey taken in March and April found a 47% increase in productivity year over year despite the increase in employees working from home. Unlike the rigid 9-5 system, employees have more flexibility to schedule work when they feel motivated.
Since the pandemic started, many companies have gone the extra mile to support their employees. This includes:
• Providing rehabilitation and moral support programs for affected employees.
• Supporting work-at-home programs.
• Offering wellness check-ins and seminars.
• Encouraging virtual workouts and fitness challenges.
• Connecting virtually with team members.
Employees want to know they are working with good companies, and these acts of care provide organizations a chance to show their support. These kinds of resources also have the potential to boost employees’ morale and encourage more productivity.
Even as the pandemic continues to spread, all is not lost. There is a lot for both individuals and companies to reap from Covid-19. The scope of work has changed. Many employees have more flexibility, and organizations have an opportunity to show they care.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joseph Safina is CEO of Safina Capital, specializing in large-scale funding,
M&A, business development and marketing.