24 Apr How the Coronavirus Will Change Business Structures
Traditional business structures and models are bound to undergo radical transformation because of the changes that the coronavirus crisis is unleashing on our society. The way global mobility conducts meetings, collaborates with colleagues, protects employees, and markets our campaigns—all of them will be stamped with the messages and methods mandated by the so-called New Normal.
Regardless of when a vaccine or cure is finally invented, approved, and released, global mobility managers need to adapt to these changes to ensure the continuity of our businesses. Doing so can also ensure our own financial and professional stability.
These are some of them:
A critical focus on workplace hygiene and office personnel safety
Water-cooler conversations and the collaborative open working space can already be relegated to things of the past. Forbes gives us an idea of future work practices to expect instead. To people who do report regularly to the physical workspace, cubicles will become necessary havens.
Facemasks will be deemed an essential part of the workplace “uniform.” Social distancing will be observed during departmental meetings and the rare assembly hall gatherings. All employees and assignees will be required to undergo a quick temperature testing before being allowed in the office. To those who do prove to be asymptomatic, they will have to work from home until the risk they pose to their teammates has passed.
A hybrid model that blends WFH and regular office reporting
Another article from Forbes points out that the traditional resistance of business owners to remote work has been smashed.
Even the most stubborn manager has to concede that departmental Zoom meetings have been known to run up to four to five hours a day. Some personnel actually confess to liking remote work, and would not mind doing it full time.
Still, management does have valid concerns about how to maintain productivity, cohesion, and morale among teammates who will work every single day from various locations. One probable solution: come up with a hybrid model that mixes WFH (work from home) and the traditional office set-up.
The employees can work at home on certain days, but (assuming that safety parameters have been met) report to a physical office on others. Guidelines will also have to be instituted to ensure that the deliverables are being fulfilled, and that no worker is slacking off just because they are working most days in their bedroom-turned-office. The temptation of Netflix, after all, is just one click away.
The supply chain will have to be revisited
The Harvard Business School warns us that the disruption that the pandemic has caused will force a re-examination of current, familiar supply chains. For example, if a supplier of raw material from one state suffered bankruptcy, then the business owner-cum-client will have to pivot and find a replacement quickly.
Flexibility is key here as they will have to spot a competent alternative as soon as possible. At the same time, the finance managers in these companies will use the shift as an opportunity to revisit prices and rates as well.
Potential suppliers positioning themselves for new business will either have to present a hard-to-turn-down value proposition, or offer more attractive (or affordable) rates.
IT will have to become even more agile
The best minds of Silicon Valley made agility, adaptability, and innovation non-negotiable core values in order to succeed. The rest of the world will have to follow. They simply have no choice, because of technology’s capability to connect entire communities together, streamline business operations, and even reach out to a greater digital market. Companies who have not invested in IT will now do so.
At the same time, these smart IT whizzes and their app developers will have to shift paradigms as well. Given the scarcity of resources, they might have to resort to less expensive platforms like no-code tools.
They might also have to create tech solutions designed only for the short-term, but can be changed almost overnight to another form in order to address a new concern six months down the line.
In short, while businesses will rely on technology in a way they had not before, the geniuses behind its development will train themselves to work on shorter, faster timelines—while never losing sight of the big picture.