Business Beyond COVID: The Future of Work

By October 1, 2020 February 18th, 2021 IT Insight

During the past few months, we have all adapted to working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Personally, we’re wearing masks and engaging with people digitally or at socially acceptable distances. We stand on the little graphics that are dotted on the floor in checkout lanes everywhere. We’ve become acclimated to the new normal that seems to change constantly. And what is normal really? I think we’re still way too early in the game to declare anything about this pandemic as normal.

And so we try to project best practices for this mercurial period in our lives. Should businesses re-open? How do companies stay alive if they opt for full pandemic-proof initiatives? How can we just watch eroding customer satisfaction and diminished employee productivity, not to mention limping profits? There are some things that hand sanitizer just can’t fix.

Show COVID who’s boss

Obviously we need to act in ways that show respect for our customers and colleagues, but there are some things businesses can do right now to avoid being just another statistic during this pandemic.

The last several months challenged business leaders in every industry, and while there may be some industry-specific challenges, most focused on setting up remote operations, reorganizing supply chains and making brutal financial decisions. What shakes out of all these initiatives? Companies must prioritize injecting new energy into their organizations. Keep your head. Act mindfully and avoid reacting. Rebuild for the long term.

Tactics to work on now to revive your business

It’s understandable if business execs are still a bit shell shocked and would prefer to stand back a bit more. But, really, can you condone passive behavior from yourself and your employees? There’s too much at stake to stand by and watch your business get pushed around by a bully pandemic.

Some critical tactics will set you on a secure path again:

  • Create a 90-day digital recovery plan. Two things are sure as you plan to launch a post-COVID business: plans must be high impact and they must be digital. Focus on tech savvy operations, analytics-fueled productivity and automated support services.
  • Think long term too. Creating a short-term plan will course correct your COVID-battered business, but you’ll need to also think long term too. What do the numbers show about heritage products, solutions and business groups? Maybe you had some initiatives that have just been limping in with puny profits. Maybe it’s time to cut the cord on things that just don’t work in this new normal.
  • Rewrite your technology plans. Take a critical look at your company’s tech investment. Rewrite the plan to coincide with bold, new corporate plans and more relevant technology solutions. Consider the support of your managed services team to help craft a more authentic tech plan for your post-COVID business.
  • Re-tool for speed. If you thought you were built for speed before the pandemic, you won’t even recognize your business in the future. Everything needs to be done yesterday. Overnight turnaround will be the mode for most of your deliverables. The quicker you get facile, the stronger you’ll be.
  • Sync work with employee needs. The pandemic has changed the dynamic of home life as well as business operations. Stay open-minded when it comes to re-defining new work styles to accommodate employees with newly acquired stressors.
  •  Build purpose into your post-COVID business. Whenever tragedies like a pandemic occur, people always want to know why. In most cases, we simply don’t know. But businesses can emerge stronger from this pandemic if they align business or social purpose in some way to the work. Make purpose part of your new business culture and employees and customers will rally as you push forward.

Navigate with ease

At Calyx we believe that business plans — and accompanying technology plans — should not be static. This is even more painfully obvious today as we all set our sights toward a post-COVID world. It can be a high wire walk somedays as you greet customers with positivity when your concern for your own business clouds your mind. But if you stay open to course correction, you’ll navigate the post-COVID world with ease.

I like to think that “the only thing you can count on is you can’t count on anything.” That’s true to a point. The way we’re all doing business today has some commonalities and the fog of the pandemic wants to invade every day. That may be true but there’s one constant we can all count on when we’re forced to pivot on a plan. Technology. And you can count on the established, committed team at Calyx to not only support your operations today, but also work with you to generate solutions that keep customers engaged and loyal, long after the shadow of COVID-19 has passed.