The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 600,000 individuals in the US, while some news entities put that number much higher. They say underreporting is widespread. It’s hard to calculate the death toll correctly, but one thing is undeniable: the pandemic represents a health crisis, unlike anything the Earth has seen in a hundred years.
There are no parts of society that the pandemic has not impacted. Certainly, the business world isn’t exempt. If you speak to any company owner or operator, every one of them will probably tell you that the pandemic has taught them some lessons they’re not likely to forget anytime soon.
Let’s talk about a few of those lessons right now. As a business owner, if you haven’t taken some time to think about each of these concepts, now is the right time to do so.
You Need to Embrace Technology
Technology is out there, and new developments seem to occur almost every day. There’s tech available that can help every industry, regardless of the products you make or the services you offer.
Many business owners understand they need to embrace that technology in a way they might never have done before Covid-19 first appeared. That’s probably going to mean something different for company owners in every niche.
You might have to look into a domainless enterprise for your company, or maybe you need to implement two-factor authorization for the workers who are connecting to your network. Whatever tech will help you the most, though, you have to use it, because if you don’t, your competitors will.
Once the pandemic started, it rapidly became clear that companies using the latest and most industry-changing technology would be the ones that survived. Businesses that rejected technological innovation put themselves at risk, and some of them ended up closing permanently.
You Must Allow Remote Work Whenever Possible
Remote work was starting to become popular before the pandemic, but once Covid-19 arrived, that popularity exploded like never before. Many workers finally understood that they didn’t have to report to a brick-and-mortar location to do their jobs.
Some of them still did, of course. Some niches, such as food service and retail, still need physical bodies to do the work. If someone works doing something like customer service, though, and all they need is a computer and Wi-Fi, it’s illogical to force them to leave their home to do it.
Now that the pandemic is in its later stages, many vaccinated individuals are back at work. Others, though, don’t ever want to stop working from home.
This has led to ongoing clashes between company management or ownership and their workers. It’s hard to justify making employees come back in when they can very clearly do their jobs from home.
Every business owner must ultimately decide how flexible they are willing to be in this regard. Some will probably balk at allowing remote work now that vaccines have arrived.
As a business owner, though, you should consider letting your employees work from home at least part of the time if that is possible. If you dig in your heels on this issue and won’t budge, you’re probably going to lose some of your workers for good.
You Can Only Push a Worker So Far
That last lesson leads directly to this one. Some businesses found out, much to their shock, that they can only push their workers so far before many of them quit.
There are many examples of this phenomenon working itself out in different sectors. For instance, many fast-food establishments found that they could no longer offer minimum wage and no benefits to their workers in the face of a pandemic. The employees started demanding better pay and healthcare if they were going to work while Covid-19 was rampaging through the populace.
Many establishments are starting to pay at least a little bit better than before the pandemic, while others are offering various perks. This is leading to some employees returning to work, while others are holding out for still higher wages and more benefits.
The moral of this particular story? You can push a worker hard in some instances, but there’s always a breaking point. Companies that treat their employees humanely have a much better shot at retaining them if there’s some major calamity, like a pandemic.
Flexibility Can Save You
Many business owners also found that once Covid-19 showed up, their operational model would have to change if they wanted to stay open. For example, some restaurants never used to deliver in the past. They were sit-down only.
If they didn’t want to shutter entirely, they often needed to go down to a skeleton crew. They could no longer retain servers and hosts since in-house dining was impossible for many months because of lockdowns and restrictions.
They had to start delivering their food, so they formed alliances with DoorDash, Grub Hub, and Uber Eats. Many of them weathered the storm this way because of their willingness to be flexible.
There are countless examples of this sort of thing. Some businesses went to an exclusively eCommerce model, where before, they did mostly or exclusively in-person sales at brick-and-mortar locations.
The lesson here is that businesses that are willing to move away from their original concept a little are the ones that are most likely to stay open when disaster strikes. The pandemic was the latest example of something strange and unexpected happening in the world, but it won’t be the last. Companies that can grow and change will remain open, while those that refuse to evolve will not thrive.
The businesses that survived the pandemic were the ones that learned each of these lessons. It’s hard to say what this country will look like in the immediate future, as we have not eradicated Covid-19 yet. However, the companies that stay open will doubtless be the ones where management is willing to adjust their business model when circumstances call for it.