For businesses around the world, COVID-19 has become a time to revisit business models and rewrite the rules. This applies equally to companies that have adapted well to the pandemic-specific restrictions and to those who stumbled, albeit temporarily.
The way forward lies in reimagining work with a tech-first approach that enables employees to succeed and stay relevant in the new paradigm. To thrive, leaders will need to choose and invest in innovative technologies that would continue to make the virtual workplace human-centric and productivity-driven. The key is to follow a methodical approach, and here's where the 4R mantra for the new normal can help companies gear up for success.
Begin by evaluating the prevalent business model and operational strategy in the light of the pandemic. For the leadership, this means a retrospection to see if the organization was resilient to the crisis. Some key points to consider are:
- Were all the business units of the company able to continue operations with the same efficiency as earlier?
- Were any services or operations disrupted?
- Where did revenues take a hit?
- Did the pandemic have a negative impact on employee well-being and/or customer experience?
- What kind of unforeseen costs did the business incur?
Make your inbox more interesting.Every week, get an overview of the day’s biggest news from the Telecom and OTT space.
This review will help you conduct realistic evaluations about your business’ crisis-readiness.
By redefining your business priorities and goals you can be more responsive to changing dynamics. Take into consideration changes in customer expectation or behaviour, local and global market demand, company's financial position and employee location and availability to guide you in redefining policies, processes, and business operations.
For instance, as remote working becomes the new norm an analysis of employee health data becomes critical to business continuity. Similarly, deploying social listening tools to create a marketing strategy that resonates with the changing customer sentiments would be crucial.
Using data analytics and data visualization tools at the Redefining stage will give your company actionable insights that enhance the clarity of mutual expectations and avoid potential operational hiccups.
Boosting the productivity of the workforce will continue to remain the focus of leadership in the immediate future. A distributed operating model -- involving hybrid work arrangements, multiple work locations and elastic work hours -- will become commonplace in the new ‘normal.’ The result is a heavier reliance on digital collaboration tools, investments in home office infrastructure and a focus on cyber-security. Simultaneously, businesses will optimize existing digital channels and tools and find ways to use them in newer contexts.
Here are some use cases of how technology optimization can help at this stage:
- Transition to unified collaboration platforms for all core team conversations. The versatility of Teams and similar collaboration tools enable employees to collaborate and communicate as they did in physical workplaces. Crucially, many of these tools come with enhanced privacy and security controls that protect users against cyber-attacks.
- Invest in configurable, high-performance work devices to enhance productivity. Look for features that allow users to work from anywhere bundled with high-end security features such as multi-factor authentication to ensure information safety.
- A reliable wireless infrastructure, high-speed connectivity and moving data to the cloud are key to ensure continuity of work and uninterrupted communication irrespective of where your employee is located.
Till the current conditions stabilise and normalise, the only way out for businesses is to constantly recalibrate strategies. Incorporate a plan to reassess your business within specific time frames, based on predetermined parameters. Spot deviations from expectations and readjust the course of your business to meet goals.
Remember, this could be the defining moment of your business. It is also an opportunity to build a sustainable work culture and fast track your technology investments to build a more meaningful, employee-centric enterprise.