For the past ten months, businesses all around the world have faced various challenges. Some have suffered terrible losses. However, others managed to emerge from the crisis more potent than ever – even without proper coaching. We continue to see how flexibility stands out as a prominent feature that often determines the fate of a company.
Many business lessons learned amid COVID-19 are here to stay, and that, it turns out, is a positive thing.
Agility Means Survival
As gamers will know, building a fighter’s agility is crucial in many fighting games. Strength, dexterity, and health are vital, but it’s agility that will determine whether you will beat or be beaten. It’s similar in business; flexibility will decide if you will sink or swim. During these turbulent times, it is of the utmost importance to have the ability to assess the situation instantaneously and have quick reflexes. Only then will you succeed in adapting to newly developed conditions and ensure survival.
The sudden explosion of the COVID-19 pandemic left many businesses with their back against the wall. They had to make the decision, and they had to make it fast. Were they going to try and adapt or close their door for the unforeseeable future? The rapidly changing business scene has forced many to get out of their comfort zones. In some cases, such actions have revealed the companies’ hidden weaknesses. The smart ones used the newly acquired information to their advantage, fixed the underlying issues, and got out of the gutter even stronger.
Technology to the Rescue
Given that everybody who can work from home does so, the reliance on technology has grown even more significant. Due to the remote work, many companies had to react quickly and provide the technological infrastructure to make the work possible. Naturally, this required substantial resources in some cases. In other cases, employees have started to use the technology that was already available to them. However, they had ignored it, unaware of the advantages it could have provided for them.
Moreover, everybody had to learn new skills. Initially, many people stood perplexed in front of the array of different online conference platforms, but soon they became pros at Zooming, Skyping, Teams, and other video conferencing forms.
The Talent Pool Has Just Grown Larger
With remote work, and consequently, more flexible working hours, businesses are no longer limited to one geographical location when hiring new staff. They aren’t even limited to a single time zone. While that’s nothing new for some business areas, such as customer support or software engineering, other businesses that had never imagined such possibilities felt like a whole new world was opening up before them. And the benefits of having diversity in your team and the opportunity to recruit the right person, regardless of where they physically are, are tremendous. This factor has affected many of our clients very advantageously.
Home Offices Foster Productivity
Not being able to go to work prompted many people to relocate their offices to their homes. To ensure settling in a new space trouble-free, they did their best to create a comfortable working atmosphere at home. And so, an unexpected revelation came to them: Somehow, productivity has increased as is clearly shown in the latest productivity numbers in the U.S. It came as a surprise that they could do more work at home, but they soon realized that the home offices protected them from the usual distractions and interruptions that happened regularly at work.
This revelation may lead to some healthy practices even when the whole COVID-19 situation dies down:
- More flexible working hours will eventually create better organizations.
- Virtual team working – the ability to team up cohesively with colleagues from other departments and branches – will improve the company’s problem-solving capacity, boost creativity, and ultimately create a better work atmosphere.
- More-empowered employees working independently without physical supervision will elevate their confidence and feeling of responsibility, and their trustworthiness will be respected.
The Need for Social Interaction Prevails
Humans are sociable beings. With the development of technology, its increasing accessibility, and the appearance of ever-growing social media, it seemed for a second that humans were growing distant from each other. The pandemic has proved that we desperately need social interactions. Although digital collaboration is present among colleagues, and they even organize informal online meet-ups, it was evident that employees miss the traditional water-cooler chats and lunch breaks.
When it comes to the managers, it’s harder for them to maintain high morale and motivation remotely. However, the unfavorable situation we all face has made us think outside the box. Such creative thinking has resulted in finding unconventional solutions to any issues that might come up. Finally, it all boils down to the glaring fact that the attitude of those in charge will dictate the level of positivity at the (virtual) workplace.
The global pandemic has affected every possible sphere of life and has made us uproot many of our habits. It has also forced us to develop new skills and learn to adapt to new situations. When it comes to work, many people and businesses have been facing severe problems. The entire hospitality industry ground to a halt at one moment, which was a massive blow to many countries’ economies. Moreover, many people have struggled to find work-life balance because the line between them has become blurry. And it’s no wonder because all of a sudden, your home has become your workplace. Therefore, it’s imperative to learn to adapt. Businesses need to be agile and strive to reinvent themselves to fit the current world order. It is the way to become resilient and emerge stronger. And remember, we are all in this together. Be safe and prosper.
Please feel free to share with us a story of how you are coping with this pandemic. And, give us a call if you want to discuss ways to make your organization more agile or help you personally navigate this difficult time; we’re only too glad to help.