It took a pandemic for the businesses to realize the importance of crisis management, workforce reliance, cybersecurity, digital transformation, and advanced technologies. With the future of business at stake, change was a top priority during the pandemic. Also, risks transformed into opportunities, and impulsive thinking was the need of the hour. Coronavirus jolted businesses in a way that safety and survival took precedence over goals, profits, and expansions. The increase in trust and dependency on digital transformation and technologies was one of the many outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic. More like a wake-up call for companies to pan their attention towards crucial yet neglected criterions such as risk management, consumer management, employee safety, and more, the future of business now depends upon new probabilities and transformations.
Also, it’s fair to construe that the post-COVID business environment is far from returning to its original pace. The new normal is here to stay and likely to change even more. With executives noticing the gaps and barriers that threatened their businesses, the future of business might witness many companies breaking these barriers and adopting leading-edge measures to increase sustainability. Moreover, with a year full of crisis, umpteen changes, and the struggle for survival future of business is likely to witness the following modifications:
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Influential leadership: Given how motivation was the driving force that kept the employees stimulated during the pandemic, the leaders had a major role to play in the game. Also, their responsibilities grew multifold as the executives had to manage the workforce, inspect cost management, meet targets, handle new prospects and perform damage control, all at the same time. With the future of business introducing work fluidity as the new normal, the leaders will have to continue bracing the frontlines and keeping the workforce and company motivated to perform even during the crisis. The future of business, more or less, always depends upon the leader and his approach towards the crisis, chances, and changes, and influential leadership will play a crucial role post the pandemic.
Work and business fluidity: The future of business is unfathomable without remote working and flexible schedules post-COVID-19. Though once deemed non-traditional and risky compared to the time-honored 9 to 5, the casual culture emerged as the trump card during the pandemic. And besides digital transformation, flexible schedules and remote working were essential in keeping the businesses afloat and helping the economy survive the downfall. Additionally, the companies realized that work was manageable even without having employees present in the cubicles, which is why many businesses are now embracing work fluidity and breaking the barrier of mainstream working culture. Nevertheless, executives will have to carry out training and keep the teams in sync to prevent miscommunications and steer-aways.
On the business front, several companies have grasped the importance of global presence and would want to expand their reach to maintain revenues, in case their local businesses shut down. Hence, to strengthen the future of business, companies may employ international teams or increase their global presence as a part of their crisis management plans.
Consumer-driven purposes: Consumer management and values will take precedence. The pandemic has made the customers particularly conscious of their needs and buying patterns, which is why they are now critical about what to buy, how to buy, and where to buy. Hence, to make the consumers feel valuable and safe, the businesses will have to modify and invest in more consumer-driven purposes and tailor-made experiences to increase their reach and retention rate. The future of business post-COVID-19 is likely to be more consumer- and market-driven to maintain optimal turnovers.
Increase in employee resilience: The unpredictable switches that the businesses had to witness during the pandemic had both a positive and negative influence on the workforce. Although it opened doors to flexible working hours and schedules, the novel working patterns triggered stress, burnouts, and steer-aways that even the executives could not fathom. Moreover, the impulsive integration of digitalization was overwhelming for companies that operated on traditional methods. The post-COVID era will witness an increase in upskilling and reskilling to increase employee resilience and their potential to survive through future crises. The safety and wellbeing of the employee will become a priority to improve loyalty towards the organization. Training programs and workshops will increase, and executives will have to be the driving forces to bridge the gaps between the employee and the employer’s belief.
Rise in digital and technology implementation: The pandemic arrived as a wake-up call for the businesses to embrace digitalization as the mainstream channel for day-to-day operations. The future of business now looks incompetent without digitalization being a part of every plan, prospect, and goal, which is why the post-pandemic era will have companies remodel their revenue-making strategies with advanced technologies. Besides this, companies are now looking at integrating AI and automation to reduce workforce and expenditures. With automation increasing swiftness and robots taking over manual tasks, integrating these advanced technologies will be the next big switch to look out for in the future.
COVID-19 has undeniably made companies step out of their cushy chairs and look beyond revenues, profits, and growth. Though some businesses could resolve through impulsive strategies and damage control, others failed to capitalize and sail through the distressing virus. However, post-COVID-19, businesses will now have to accept that there is no going back. The new normal is here to stay, including flexible schedules, digitalization, automation, AI, and more. Additionally, they will have to prioritize crisis management and workforce resilience that were earlier sidelined and overlooked. The operations will have to restart with new plans, goals, and strategies while keeping the new normal as the core.
The future of business will now depend on accepting these post-pandemic transformations to survive and thrive. Plus, executives will have to take on influential roles to accelerate new norms and use digitalization as a method to find new outlooks for the business. And since the COVID-19 pandemic has already compelled most businesses to switch to digitalization, cut-throat competitions may be the next big thing to look out for in the future. Will Indian companies be able to bounce back and prevail? We’ll have to wait and see.
- From surviving to thriving: Reimagining the post-COVID-19 return | Kevin Sneader and Bob Sternfels | 1 May 2020
- Business After COVID 19: What Will Change | European Business Review | June 11 2020
- COVID-19 and the future of business | IBM CEO | Strategy And Management
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