- May 28, 2021
- By Doug Saunders
- Company Structure , COVID-19
- adaptation , advertising , covid , covid 19 , covid-19 , future , patreon , self checkout , stores , tik tok , tiktok , workforce , workplace
The Future of the Workplace in a Post-COVID World
The COVID-19 Pandemic has touched almost every aspect of life as we know it around the world. The way we interact with one another has dramatically shifted. Meetings no longer require board rooms, schools don’t need classrooms, and even the most traditional storefronts have moved online.
This duality has become a double-edged sword for companies working to adapt to the overnight shifts in the landscape of human history. On one hand, rapid developments in the use of technology have increased business efficiency, reduced costs, and increased communication between the consumer and business. On the other hand, it has been extremely difficult for employers to shift to a virtual landscape and still engage their employees.
If 2020 did one thing for humanity, it tested our ability to become more innovative. The tools and apps we use and what we use them for have shifted. We all want better solutions, and circular business models that incorporate feedback from customers have a competitive edge. This is even more important when we consider that a brand can no longer just be a name with an inventory online.
Grocery store chains such as Walmart and Kroger will be piloting self-check-out-only stores in the next few months, phasing out human cashiers. McDonald’s and several other major fast-food chains have already rolled out kiosks for placing orders and are experimenting with robotics that can perform kitchen duties.
This doesn’t mean that the robots will replace all humans, per se, but for the jobs that AI technology and automation do replace, corporate leaders must adapt to create positions that allow their employees to innovate according to their customers’ feedback.
Companies that have moved with grace during this challenging year have found that consumers no longer choose a company based only on brand or availability. It’s not enough to have an end product that solves a problem. Social responsibility plays a large role as well. When people hear of a company, they also expect to hear that the company works to be diverse, customer-centric, and a good place for their employees.
Even as physical locations continue to reopen, businesses have also taken the time to automate as much as they can. That has removed the need for many entry-level labor positions. While this is an unfortunate side effect of technological advancements, it emphasizes a move towards business models that are more efficient and provide value with as little extra production, good or bad, as possible.
Apps like TikTok and Patreon have allowed people to create content that can be monetized. The products that these consumers use to create or produce content are what fuels this symbiotic business relationship. TikTok becomes more popular the more people use it, increasing advertising profits, and user subscription items. The increased revenue is used to scale and TikTok benefits from all of it. The content creators on the app are also benefiting as well. Social influence and the attention that can bring is untapped value in and of itself. Coupled with a business model designed to increase brand awareness, promote a personal skill or interest or share a hobby changes the way we can share value in society in ways that we haven’t seen before. In the long term, this should allow for a better work-life balance, freeing up the consumers’ time while allowing people to earn an income doing what they are good at.