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January 20, 2021

4 changes business owners need to expect post-pandemic

Undoubtedly, the pandemic will have a lasting effect on our businesses and lives. It tested our determination, resilience, and adaptability. Small businesses especially were in crisis mood throughout the year 2020. But the amazing ability to pivot and adapt has helped businesses evolve and survive. Obviously, the rate of change isn't going to slow down; however, businesses must anticipate the challenges that lie ahead as much as possible. While it might not be so easy to predict precisely, entrepreneurs need to expect these 4 changes to likely remain:

Remote work is here to stay

In-office collaborations play a massive role in a business as it’s important for building relationships and personal bonds between coworkers. As well, it’s essential for creating a company culture and boosting productivity. However, since the pandemic, employees’ safety takes the front row seat, which brings the genie out of the bottle on remote work. The doubts and previous questions on whether remote work can be efficient, productive, or successful are answered - it’s here to stay.

For businesses that choose to go back to the regular office setting, there’ll be a shift towards restructuring the workplace and providing new layouts allowing for more spaces between employees. Businesses will continue to test the waters as they grapple with finding the right hybrid model for working.

More emphasis on employee well-being

A greater emphasis on the well-being and safety of employees will prevail in the workplace in 2021. Burnouts, mental health issues, and stress have become really popular over the past decade and are now front and center in employee safety and well-being conversations. Lots of businesses have put easy access to health programs in place as well as virtual team building events. Another notable observation is an increase in the number of organizations offering education around resilience and mental health. Even with the emergence of the Covid vaccines, employees will find it hard to feel safe at work even with safety protocols in place.

Upskilling and reskilling of employees

Nothing has come close to disrupting the global economy like Covid-19 in the last century, which has also caused a widened skill gap. Businesses all over the world are exploring innovative ways and new technologies to remain profitable and competitive. Also, the rapid increase in remote work has necessitated the need for automation. With remote operations bound to continue in 2021, businesses need to ensure their employees get the requisite training to keep them not only relevant but growing and thriving as well.

The skills that’ll be crucial as we go are cloud computing, AI, cybersecurity, among others. A remote workplace makes it really easy for businesses to fall victim to data breaches and cyber-attacks. Businesses will have professionals able and willing to step up, and get the training and upskill needed to succeed in cybersecurity roles. In 2021, reskilling and upskilling employees will be a priority.

Digital transformation will accelerate

Digital transformation is no longer just a buzzword or a fancy term used by agencies. The acceleration of digital transformation is due to technology, which has allowed our businesses and much of our lives to move in ways that won’t have been possible 20 years ago. Our rapid technology adoption will keep fueling digital transformation efforts. Before the pandemic, businesses that started down the digital transformation path were less disrupted, bounced back and adapted pretty easily. Businesses will double down on transformation efforts, embrace change management to improve performance and productivity, and make sure they have everything set for what lies ahead.

Bottom Line

The road to recovery is long, uneasy, and marked by a series of plateaus. Opportunities will only be realized if business owners and leaders are prepared to embrace change and face challenges. Getting back to where we were before the pandemic might take years. A lot of the measures put in place in response to the pandemic will have a huge bearing on practices, policies and behaviors in the workplace. Reskilling and upskilling, embracing digital transformation, and establishing health and safety protocols are just some of the trends that will change the shape of the workplace.

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