COVID-19 and Corporate Adaptation

2020 turned out to be quite the roller coaster ride, in more ways than anyone could have predicted. Not only did we have to find a way forward while people were sick and hospitals were full, but we also had to get used to transitioning our public lives to our homes. Zoom and Google Meet became major tools for educating large amounts of children from remote locations, and the same has been true for businesses and their employees.

Except for a small percentage of essential workers and those whose jobs required a physical presence, everyone’s workplace became their home. We had to learn to become empathetic in an entirely new way since we all were dealing with this major shift. The lines between management and employee became blurred. Meanwhile, technologies that previously would have taken a few more years before seeing full-scale use were accelerated dramatically. 

Finding solutions to our problems took on an entirely new light. From home, employees now have their work to complete like before, only now, all the reasons that a business model or system was inefficient became blindingly obvious. If the work is not engaging for employees but they were at a physical office then productivity is lost without anyone noticing. If employees are not engaged digitally, they just either don’t log on or show up to a shift if it doesn’t suit them.For some companies it’s about the amount of support employees can expect to get their work done. Many companies found that remote support isn’t something they can provide, lowering employee engagement yet again.  Efficiency became the name of the game, and technology allowed us to survive and adapt despite all the uncomfortable changes. 

As consumers turned toward the technology available to help solve the personal and professional issues in their lives, or to make their days more enjoyable, businesses had to adapt to this new form of consumer. 

No longer is it enough to host a storefront online, simply creating a place for people to buy products or services remotely. Learning how to reach a customer virtually while maintaining a brand image and customer experience amongst a flood of online marketplaces was the difference between a successful transition to a new way of doing business and going out of business. That was all it took to tank some major brands: to fail in maintaining a relationship with customers and to be unable to create engaging experiences for their employees and customers. 

It’s unlikely that even these adjustments to business culture will be enough to keep an edge on the competition or keep customers engaged and satisfied. Physical locations are beginning to reopen. The lessons learned during the pandemic will be essential to continuing to adapt to changes in our world. The option to work from home if physically possible will be much more common and save on physical location expenses. The ability to intuit and anticipate the needs and trends of the world today will be essential for future business success.


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