The coronavirus pandemic has created much more than a global health emergency. COVID-19 has forced important changes in the daily lives of individuals and companies worldwide.
More than two billion people in the four corners of the planet have been quarantined to curb the spread of the disease. Many industries stopped their production lines, stores have closed their doors, and companies had to adapt their ways of working. Many people needed to relearn how to organize their routines.
But, if everything has a good side, the unprecedented situation created by the pandemic gave birth to good ideas. It helped to accelerate business changes that have been under discussion for a long time. Business agility is now a must to survive. Technology and collaboration, which are gaining more and more space in the construction of a “new normal” is essential to support the new routine of individuals and organizations.
Long after leaving, the pandemic will leave some positive points to be incorporated into the routines, helping to transform visions, optimize resources, and improve the day to day for employees and managers. In a post-coronavirus era, it will be essential to:
1) Invest in a technological update to support the home office
Many companies that had been postponing home office projects had to react fast and develop technical alternatives and investments to unravel these initiatives. It was necessary to accelerate the adoption of remote access, video conferencing, and file-sharing tools to ensure continuity of operations. With this, many companies realized that it is not necessary to keep teams in the same office to continue delivering an excellent service in real-time. According to recent research in Latin America, home office work is expected to grow 30% after the pandemic.
2) Reduce bureaucracy to adopt new solutions quickly
The urgency to adapt businesses to the new reality of social distance and increased digital transactions provided a reassessment of processes. Time-consuming approval funnels ended up giving way to simpler alternatives, making it possible to do business in a more agile and practical way.
3) Reinforce the sense of collaboration and community
Faced with difficulties in health, economics, and business, the feeling of collaboration became stronger. Companies and society came together to help others where possible. The strength of that link will remain after the pandemic and must be encouraged within organizations. Barriers need to be broken, silos shortened, and teams urged to build new collaborative projects. The best initiatives are usually born from the union of diverse (and distinct) ideas and opinions.
4) Extended trust: learning to trust others
The pandemic made it clear: you cannot win alone. You have to accept the help of the other and trust him. The same is true for organizations. It is not possible to maintain a high level of delivery and achieve business success without the help of a cohesive, conscious team built based on mutual trust.
5) More active communication
Coronavirus pushed the need for broader communication and with wider audiences. With social distancing, organizations had to adapt their operations to digital. The change imposed a greater integration of remote teams and reinforced the importance of constant, transparent, and direct communication between all employees.
6) Focus on Associate Experience and wellness actions
The pandemic also attracted the attention of organizations to the health and well-being of their employees. Several new initiatives help to support emotional health, and human resources actions were intensified to ensure that employees feel supported at this time. The tendency is for these actions to continue after the pandemic, with companies beginning to balance the equation work life versus personal life can lead to greater satisfaction.
7) Valuing online training and online education
In times of isolation, virtual training became popular and proved to be as efficient as in-person training. Without leaving home, the time that was previously spent in traffic became an opportunity to study more. Courses, training, and online classes, previously considered as “plan B”, quickly became “plan A,” and are here to stay.
8) Show value to customers even when not present
The imposed changes helped to prove that many face-to-face activities can be done remotely with the same efficiency. Not to mention the amount of time and money saved by reducing travel requirements, alleviating travel-related stresses. This placed a greater focus on the results, which prove to be much more important than “an on-site resource.”
Red Hat Services faced this challenge at the beginning of quarantine, by needing to convince customers to continue the delivery of projects remotely, run remote Discovery Sessions, create Virtual LABs residencies, and amplify the number of online training.
It was a positive learning experience for us at Red Hat to see how our customers and ourselves could adapt to remote Services delivery so fast!
As the business world is changing, all organizations will have to face the challenge of adapting to the “new normal” through digitization and virtualization.
Companies with a more open culture, in which businesses are managed with transparency and flexible processes, will certainly adapt quickly with lower impacts. For more traditional companies, the crossing may not be so simple and smooth. But for everyone, on the other side of the horizon, there will be a much more effective and sustainable way of doing business as we navigate our way through this pandemic to the end.
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