Why now is the time for businesses to embrace change
It’s hardly controversial to say that 2020 has been a year of unprecedented change. Businesses across the globe have had to respond and adapt in new and innovative ways to remain profitable. Some industries have been more successful than others; finding flexibility in previously stiff joints and becoming what they need to be in a world unrecognisable from the year before.
There has been a fair amount of discussion regarding the lasting impact of these changes. If all of those meetings really could have just been emails, does that mean the meeting as we know it is over? And with no immediate cure for COVID-19 on the horizon, how long will a return to normality take? Will the world be changed forever? The first vaccines are still months away, and there is not yet any guarantee that they will be able to fully extinguish the virus. In such an uncertain situation, businesses have started to question everything.
- Working from home: the beginning of a permanent trend?
As people around the world traded their cubicles for their home desks, it became apparent that this model of working just clicked for some companies. Employees of Twitter and Facebook were informed that they could continue working from home even when the rest of the world reopened, in a move that suggests that the conventional office could become obsolete. While it’s unlikely that everything will become virtual-only, this shift has the power to transform workspaces. For those with awkward commutes and accessibility needs, working from home is a game-changer.
- Being prepared for crisis
There’s nothing like being forced to adapt to make you consider your responses. Though we hope that nothing like this ever happens again, it’s essential going forward to be prepared for the unexpected – whether that means ensuring appropriate financial aid is available, keeping employees connected while working from home or developing emergency quarantine protocols.
It pays to be prepared – COVID-19 is an extreme example, but even smaller levels of disruption (such as theft, flooding, and accidental damage) can cause massive problems. As a study from Direct Line shows, the average insurance claim made by small to medium-sized businesses is £2,500 – a significant chunk of money that many simply do not have.
- Change is still happening – the pandemic is far from over
With lockdown restrictions around the world being eased and some countries able to return to something approaching ‘normal’, it’s easy to think that the turbulence of last spring and summer is relegated to the past. Yet as infection rates rise again in certain areas, such as Europe and the United States, it’s clear we can’t talk about the pandemic in the past tense. Instead of thinking about changes already made, we need to be considering those that we’re still making – and those we have yet to discover.
- Whatever happens in the next year, the world won’t be the same as it was before
Progress isn’t always linear, it’s true. No one could have anticipated what 2020 would be like to live and work in – and the same can be said for 2021. As the economy slowly gets back to its feet and the world starts up again, we’ll be a different society to the one we left behind in 2019 – and not just because we’re better at making banana bread now. Many countries will have severely damaged economies, and this will change the business environment in ways that are still unforeseen. If a vaccine is successful, it will still take some time to roll out – and it could be that consumer habits will remain changed years into the future.
COVID-19 brought the world to a halt. Now, as we begin to look to a future with an effective vaccine, we get to choose what direction we go in. Change isn’t merely inevitable; it’s essential to success in a chaotic business climate.
It may be scary to embrace change, but now is truly the time.
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