It certainly has not been business as usual for most businesses in this country since the pandemic began. Many elements of business have changed, and much of it is probably for good. Business has evolved into new formats for the duration, but much of it can be expected to stay because it is safer, and to some degree, more convenient.
After having had time to test the effectiveness of some of the new business methodology, here are some things experts expect to remain.
Working from Home Will Be Commonplace
While some industries cannot have their employees work at home, many businesses have found that it works well for them. Employees have had to get used to it if they are accustomed to working in an office. Some may not be able to adjust, but many are doing it successfully – and happily.
Employers discovered that it saves them a lot of money because they no longer need the larger office space. They downsized and found their utility bills were considerably lower. Employees have enjoyed being able to pocket the money normally used for their commute to work. They have also found that it is cheaper to eat meals at home.
Remote Meetings Have Become Normal
In those businesses that have remote employees, communication channels had to be developed to keep in touch and to keep teams organized. Software programs, such as Zoom, have now become the standard for office meetings for work at home employees.
Location Will Matter Less for Employees
Because of the work from home status that many employees now enjoy, companies will be less likely to demand employees to live nearby. As modes of communication get even better, and 5G becomes commonplace, working at home will become even more popular. However, getting employees to work according to the same time zone may still be a problem.
Expanding Sources of Supplies
Even for those companies that were able to stay open because they were essential, many of them discovered that their supplies were hard to obtain. Shutdowns in China and other countries – their major suppliers – created an extreme shortage for many companies. Businesses have since had to develop new sources of supplies and spread their suppliers among several countries.
More Focus on Digital Spaces
Businesses that largely ignored advertising online suddenly found themselves left behind. Those that were already using social media and other online avenues, such as email marketing, had a clear advantage. With customers now being accustomed to shopping online, businesses can be expected to maintain a focus there because fewer people are willing to go into physical stores. They have also discovered that it is much more convenient to have products delivered to their front door.
Increased Focus on Retaining Current Customers
Before the pandemic, many businesses were spending a lot of money on acquiring new customers. The pandemic has brought a shift, causing businesses to focus more on retaining current customers, which earns a much larger ROI. This may be due to the expected or realized smaller income from new customers.
Reinvention as Normal Business
When the pandemic struck, small businesses learned a new word – pivoting. Pivoting meant reinventing their business in order to survive. If the products they were selling were not able to sustain their desired or necessary income, they had to quickly pivot. Businesses are apt to need to continue to do this – especially if there is a new shutdown. Now that they have more experience, and as peoples’ needs and desires change, reinventing their business will need to continue.