It would be fair to say 2020 was a year like no other. Since its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, the novel coronavirus spread around the world leaving a trail of death and disruption in its wake. From lockdowns to isolation and homeworking, the effects of the virus have hit companies hard and, in many cases, caused the complete closure of previously successful firms.
Even now, as we enter spring 2021 with the promise of the mass rollout of vaccinations, it’s become clear the world has fundamentally changed – many experts predict forever. Certainly, in the short-term at least, the effects of COVID-19 are unlikely to simply disappear.
Fundamental changes to not just how we work – but where
Through lockdown, businesses have had to learn to adapt and make fundamental changes to the way their staff performed their jobs. Remote working has become commonplace and there is considerable evidence to suggest the practice will continue long after the virus has passed.
To future-proof your firm for these changes, try taking a look at how your employees currently work and find ways to improve their team-working. By investing now in open source on-prem slack tools and software, you’ll empower your staff to work collaboratively online and be far better prepared to see out the darkest days of the virus. Perhaps better than that, you’ll also vastly improve employee efficiency, communication and team-working.
Invest in your online operations and website
Almost without exception, the companies that have weathered the virus best (and, in some cases, even profited), were those that already had a strong online presence and were already set up for the rise in remote working. Look at investing in cloud security, online back-ups and external networks – and also don’t forget your website. In the days of COVID-19, people moved online more than at any time in history for everything from entertainment to shopping, so be sure you take the time to properly audit your existing website and, if needed, look at having it updated.
Check how you perform in the major search engines
As well as making sure your site is up to scratch, be sure to spend some time and money on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO was already a vital part of company PR and promotions but, in a world where there has been so little opportunity for making physical trips to premises, more people than ever have turned to search engines to find company information. Consequently, it’s essential your company features under search terms and phrases likely to be used by your customers to find firms like yours.
Reevaluate your need for office space
For most firms, office space and premises constitute a major expense – even if the property is owned rather than rented. Clearly one of the best ways to stay afloat during these difficult times is to cut your running costs to a minimum so spend time evaluating whether you actually need premises during (and after) the pandemic. With so much work now being performed remotely by employees, you may well find you no longer need to spend on a workspace (or can at least downsize).