Risky Business: How COVID Has Changed the Business Landscape
No one could have foreseen how quickly the business landscape would change before the emergence of COVID. While it was obvious business methods would change over time due to events such as environmental concerns or technological advances, most people expected this to be a long, drawn-out process.
But, COVID had an almost immediate effect on the modern working environment. Just about every sector has been affected, and the new way of doing business is likely to be a permanent fixture. However, there is still the question of whether this is now a risky business environment, or are companies in a good position to cope?
Read on for a more detailed look at the new business outlook.
Employee Rights and Engagement
Possibly the greatest change due to the COVID pandemic is the effect it is having on employees. Many workers have been working from home and appreciating numerous benefits while still producing the same amount of work.
For example, rather than spending an hour or more traveling to and from an office, employees can use this time to perform household tasks. Or they can spend quality time with friends and family members. Because of this many employees are reluctant to return to the office. Indeed, they do not see the need when they are still completing their workload within the required timeframes
If a company insists that these staff members go back to their desks, they may find employees are not as engaged and actually suffer a drop in morale. Instead, businesses may need to help employees change how they do their jobs to ensure all parties enjoy the best results. You can find out more about helping employees adapt at https://www.ignitena.com/.
There is also the question of the legal rights of staff members. If a company can not guarantee the safety of its staff, is it fair to ask them to work alongside possibly infected colleagues? There will likely be a lot of debate over the coming months as the business world seeks to navigate the most effective way out of the pandemic.
It is not only employees who need to adapt quickly. Business leaders are also experiencing unprecedented change. If they do not make the right decisions, staff members could lose faith in their leadership, and their companies could suffer a loss in revenues.
Most managers are familiar with speaking to their team members face to face. They can also ensure employees are working when they are at their desks. But, management now needs to trust their staff members more than ever, and they also need to find new ways of communicating important information.
Investment in Digital Technology
Communicating online, such as over Zoom or Skype, is now common, but it is not always easy when some internet connections are less than ideal. There is also the issue of employees who do not have up-to-date computers, printers, or scanners that they need to perform their duties.
The business impacts could be huge in terms of the investment required to ensure their staff can work to the best of their abilities. If clients begin to feel a negative impact from these issues, companies could lose contracts and find they are falling behind competitors. How businesses approach this problem could be critical for their long-term success.
Importance of Online Marketing
One clear impact of COVID has been the massive transition to online sales and marketing. A brick-and-mortar business can no longer rely on customer footfall. Therefore, companies now need to have a clear online marketing plan to draw in new audiences. But, this is not a simple process.
Digital marketing is a complicated and fast-moving industry. There is a need to understand how search engine algorithms work, how to use paid online advertising, and many other factors. Most businesses are unlikely to have an in-house online marketing expert and may need to outsource this side of their work.
While this can be effective, it is also an extra cost. However, as a positive, this situation could open up many possibilities for those working in the digital marketing sphere.
Focus On Brand Loyalty
Business strategies need to take customers’ values and ethics into account. While offering the lowest price is often attractive, many consumers like to buy from companies that share their beliefs. It is also not enough to pay lip service in this area. Customers want to know about the materials used for their products and if a business has environmentally-friendly policies.
Many businesses have stepped up and been a vital part of their community during the COVID pandemic. In contrast, others have not made an effort to help their previously loyal customers. It may be that consumers switch their allegiances to businesses that show a human side as well as competing on price.
COVID has shown that the future of business is not secure. If there is a new, more potent variant, there could be further lockdowns. It’s possible brick-and-mortar stores could have to close their doors, and online businesses may not be able to source stock.
Businesses somehow need to attempt to develop plans for these possible disruptions before they occur.
Risky Business Is Unpredictable
It might be many years before we see the true impact of the COVID pandemic on industries worldwide. But, there is hope that although risky business times may be here, companies are adapting quickly and will survive and even thrive going forward. There are plenty of opportunities for businesses that can provide customers with exceptional value and service.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, be sure to read more informative posts in our Business section before you go.
on for a more detailed look at the new business outlook.