If we’re presented with a difficult situation or a challenge, it’s generally in our best interest to find solutions to overcome these hurdles. In the case of COVID-19 and its effect on so many facets of our work lives, new measures and adaptations became a necessity that companies and businesses had to quickly adapt to so that they could stay afloat.
Businesses had to figure out ways to be as efficient as possible, and in a lot of cases, these ways involved making things remote. All of this will most likely continue into the unforeseeable future, and only time will tell how the rapid adoption of various technologies will affect businesses in the coming years.
Looking at how things stand currently, and with the little time that we’ve had to get used to these new norms (which haven’t yet been perfected) there are still a few good business practices that arose amid all the madness. Some of these newly developed techniques will have a place to stay once the dust settles, and hopefully, the memory of Zoom fatigue will vanish from our memories like a bad dream.
So, let’s try to look ahead into the post-COVID-19 world and see what newly acquired methods you’ll be able to continue using.
Stick with the remote practices that work.
The digital transformation that’s unfolding in front of our very eyes is the beginning of a new era that’s reshaping the very foundation of work as we know. The concept of working from home is something that has become the new norm along with all the benefits that a ‘mobile office’ offers, and presumably, it will only grow in popularity.
Throughout the pandemic, businesses had time to put on their thinking caps and come up with creative solutions to address various aspects of how to keep their business functioning. They were able to figure out a way to make it all work (to an extent). Whether it was figuring out the remote onboarding process or rehiring the employees they had to let go of.
In the case of any businesses, big or small, the owners should be aware of all the different digital collaboration tools to simplify things for them. Using Zoom or Google Meet has proven the efficiency of such practices when it comes to saving time and establishing a direct line of communication that is easily accessible for most employees.
Additionally, allowing for casual hangout calls can serve as a beneficial psychological solution that puts that human element to working from home, and casually lets employees have a quick chat, that we all so very much miss.
A sound approach to such meetings is something that great managers need to instill into this new work environment so that these meetings don’t feel like an afterthought. This becomes a tricky situation for managers since so many traditional ways of managing are being re-invented, so it’s in the best of interests to analyze different layers of remote practices that have proven to work and implement the ones that worked best one things get back to ‘normal’.
This could also be a good time to figure out automated email marketing for your business if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon quite yet. Automating all of your business practices saves both time and money and in 2020 not automating at least some part, if not the majority of your business is something you simply cannot afford not to do.
Another remote business practice to consider is electronic signatures. Documents still need to be signed by multiple parties and when everyone is stuck at home, there’s nothing easier than sharing a contract or a proposal amongst the signees and collecting the necessary signatures.
Use automated employee management even after everyone comes back.
Apart from having an automated employee management system in place proving to be a highly useful source of information of the entire team, it simplifies managing people by eliminating the need for messy paper documents and shared drives.
Such a system is beneficial to the business of all sizes and by streamlining all parts of the employee life-cycle, makes managing and keeping all of the tabs of employees simple and easily accessible all in one place.
If you happen to be looking to expand or you’re simply short-staffed and in the process of recruitment, you won’t have any troubles when it comes to applicant tracking and onboarding, which can all be accessed from an automated employee management platform.
Such programs also allow for assessing employee risk, employee resources at home, and other various capabilities, which makes lives for managers that much easier. In a time of great uncertainty, having a system that simplifies one of the most challenging and headache-causing business-related tasks is a gift that keeps on giving.
Use this time to develop autonomous decision-making skills and best practices.
Hopefully, by now you’ve built-up enough practice and experience to know what works and what doesn’t by taking mental notes and trying to envision the future in which skills learned and mastered during this time can be applied to when everything goes back to relative normalcy. Managers and their employees have had enough experience to build up a system that can be implemented into the new workflow.
You can without a doubt continue to use newly learned skills and implement them in whichever way possible, whether it’s communicating, sharing work-related data and information, or simply continuing the workflow which everyone got so accustomed to.
Keep in mind that your employees have also undergone a phase of adaptation, and perhaps some who weren’t as outspoken as before have found their voice and are enjoying this new methodology of work more while showing better performance at the same time.
Allowing for autonomous decision-making within your business and having employees show initiative can prove pivotal in the general team morale and this practice should continue onwards.
Increase one on one time, and reduce unnecessary communication.
If there’s anything that remote work has taught us, it’s that we’re able to focus more on work and less on being distracted by the chatter and unproductive communication. By using tools such as Slack and ProofHub, businesses can create a better work communication experience.
The availability of such products has shown an increase in work productivity, a better one-on-one cohesive experience, and general performance as a whole. This is another point that we’re trying to make when stressing the fact that communication should always be a priority.
It’s also important to note that methods of collaboration have also improved while the risk of interruptions has been minimized. Managers and employees as a whole differ in all levels of business, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting better levels of communication which before were most likely done through emails and face-to-face encounters.
If businesses can adapt and continue communicating digitally just as we’ve witnessed throughout this pandemic, sharing of information, data, and general work-related interactions will be faster and more efficient.
Keep efficient resource use practice in-place.
Once things get back to normal, you’ll have newly acquired skills and methods at your disposal which you can easily implement into your daily workflow. These techniques can be used to a great effect at your office, without much difficulty when it comes to integration.
Use cloud-based services and digital document management solutions to share and comment on the documents. This improves both collaboration and communication within your team while removing the unnecessary headache along the way.
automated employee management, paperless offices, channel-based messaging programs are all great examples of technologies that are helping us out in the time of distance working, and they can continue to be of great service in the years to come.
As businesses continue to adapt and implement these newly acquired practices, more development will only accelerate and get better as time goes on. This is a special time for small businesses to adapt to the future and by doing so, prepare themselves for the unexpected while having a reliable system to fall back on if things get out of hand again.
For the time being, we can only observe and make sound decisions out of what we’ve had to endure and witness, and with confidence, take everything that we’ve learned a step further. One thing is certain, though. Remote practices are here to stay and in a lot of cases, that’s a great thing.
Darya Jandossova Troncoso is a photographer, artist, and writer working on her first novel and managing a digital marketing blog – MarketTap. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, creating art, and learning everything there is to know about digital marketing.