As we hope to see the end of this health crisis in the near future, looking back on this long stretch of lockdowns, restrictions, and all kinds of unknowns grants us a glimpse into what it means to run a business in the midst of a pandemic. Although its impact on our mental health and our resilience is irrefutable, the most far-reaching implications on our lives have yet to surface, especially for business owners and entrepreneurs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed small companies beyond all limits of perseverance, which has caused many to close their doors, and others to sell, move online or adapt their business model by working remotely. Let’s cover the most notable ways in which this health crisis has changed the business world.
Leveraging online retail and m-commerce
Lockdowns, social distancing, quarantine, and social isolation have forced people to turn to online shopping even more than before. Naturally, since we spend so much of our time using our phones, the projections anticipating m-commerce sales to reach $3.56 trillion by the end of the year are likely on point.
Add to that, close to 70% of all sales come from mobile devices, so the world is rapidly moving towards mobile-dominant purchases. Knowing that companies cannot rely on brick-and-mortar sales alone, especially small and local brands, the move to online retail is the best possible outcome that helps them stay afloat.
Switching to remote work
Moving your sales online is one thing, but changing your collaboration processes to be almost exclusively remote is an entirely different matter. To reduce the risk of infection, companies are more likely to hire and train remote workers, but for some that want to expand globally, the need for employer of record services is also on the rise to simplify remote hiring.
The EOR process is becoming the go-to solution for global brands that are doing their best to prevent the pandemic to stifle their international outreach. It helps them establish a legal presence wherever they wish to have workers and to keep their operations uninterrupted, despite the health crisis. This helps create more jobs but also empowers the global economy to recover more quickly.
A greater focus on hygiene and prevention
As for companies that absolutely cannot work remotely and need office-based spaces to collaborate, preventative measures and strategies are now becoming commonplace among businesses of all sizes. Companies are now setting up entire prevention protocols as well as employee training seminars to make sure they can run their business on-site.
This approach to prevention helps keep businesses afloat and even thrive, especially when combined with regular testing, inoculation, and risk analysis. It also means that typical collaboration will be revised, with the office layout changed to ensure social distancing and prevent infections.
Innovation as the driving force in healthcare tech
The pandemic has put so much strain on first responders, but the business sector surrounding healthcare has found ways to help make the most of this dire situation: many have come up with innovative, game-changing tech solutions.
Not only are healthcare institutions embracing digital databases and telehealth apps, but they also have a growing number of tech and digital opportunities to reduce the spread of the virus, monitor patients, keep track of patient records, and the like. With increasingly smarter protection gear, advanced vaccine technology, and a number of scientific achievements fueled by the pandemic – the healthcare industry might be under tremendous pressure, but it is advancing fast.
More emphasis on cybersecurity
Healthcare digitalization, the switch to remote collaboration, and selling primarily online all have one major component in common: they’re all online. That means that most businesses need to revamp their security protocols and prevent new and advanced cybersecurity threats. As much as the digital world has helped businesses survive the pandemic, the need for stronger security strategies is now even greater.
Protecting sensitive customer data when they’re shopping online, preserving private business files, and preventing advanced malware threats are all quickly becoming central issues for companies of all sizes. Tackling the pandemic might be in the spotlight, but the need for security in the midst of it is at least as relevant.
Still waiting for the post-pandemic world to emerge, anticipating the ability to travel once again, businesses have had to adapt quickly and efficiently in order to stay afloat and retain their market positions. The trends listed here are far from the only ones reshaping how companies work today, but they will certainly play a part in how the business sector overcomes this crisis and greets the new normal.