2020 saw huge changes come about for the way businesses were run. The impact of COVID-19 was far-reaching, with very few, if any, businesses being unaffected by the pandemic.
It was not all doom and gloom though. Many businesses used it as an opportunity to review business practices and come up with innovative ways to not only keep their staff and customers safe and their business to survive but to flourish. These trends are set to continue way into 2021 and beyond – let’s take a look at some of them.
Re-configuring supply chains
In the first stages of the pandemic, back in March/April 2020, many everyday items were almost impossible to get hold of. The shelves in grocery stores were completely empty of toilet rolls, pasta, hand sanitizer – and let’s not even talk about the worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). This made many businesses realise how fragile supply chains can be, and so many decided to seek them closer to home to avoid delays should situations like this occur in the future.
This is probably the biggest shift in business that we have seen in recent years. While remote working was already on the up, with more businesses every day realising the potential benefits it has, the pandemic has forced even the most hesitant to look at this of a way of working. Employees who once traipsed into the office, coffee in hand every morning now work from the comfort of their home office or sofa and many are actually more productive than ever. Not only does it allow existing staff to work safely, but when it comes to hiring in the future, it opens up more options. You can hire staff that live the other side of the world if you so wish – globalizing your business is a very ‘now’ thing. It’s a much simpler process than ever with tools such as Zoom, and it is easy enough to pay staff overseas – for example, here you can look at How to open a US bank account to make it easier to pay American-based staff.
Prioritizing employee wellbeing
On a personal level, the pandemic has hit us all really hard. Many people have gone months and months without seeing family and friends, and have not been able to go on vacations or trips. Employers are recognising this and taking steps to protect and prioritize wellbeing. Many have implemented mental health or duvet days, giving staff a chance to relax. Others have become more flexible around children or caring for elderly relatives. Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue for 2021 and beyond.
One of the more positive aspects of the pandemic is that it has brought many communities together, with businesses working together to help the vulnerable people. From local shops offering free delivery to printing shops offering to print off children’s homeschool work for free, collections for hospital staff and homeless centers – there are lots of community initiatives and support happening between businesses.