surviving to thriving

What will the business world look like post-COVID?


rethink business modelAs we are hopefully coming towards the end of the Coronavirus pandemic, due to the fact that multiple vaccines are now being shipped out on a large scale, there is a lot of hope for the world of business around the globe.

If we focus solely on the United Kingdom for the sake of this article, then we can understand that almost every industry and every different business sector based in the country will benefit from seeing the virus finally come to an end. Of course, you can argue that some online retailers and streaming platforms and such have actually developed further thanks to people staying at home, but for the most part we will all be better off after the pandemic comes to a close.

So, what will the main changes to the UK business world look like after the pandemic? Even though it is tough to answer that question right now, as businesses for the most part struggle on to achieve survival, we can see how some things will play out. The things that have proven to be more cost-effective during the pandemic will likely stay around for the foreseeable future for example.

Working from home is here to stay

One sure-fire way of saving cash each month for business owners across the country is to stop paying high rent costs for office blocks, and get employees to work from home. This is what many UK-based business owners have learned over the past year. If your staff can produce the same level of work and save you on rent at the same time, then nobody would blame you for going along with it. Business is after all, largely about making as much money as possible.

Recently, it has often been suggested that remote working may continue into the future on a part-time basis. For example, office-based workers may travel into work for three days of the week, while staying at home to work remotely the other two days. Could this develop into common workplace practice over the next few years? If productivity levels continue to increase and money can be saved in the process, then we struggle to see why not.

Applying for a job could become a very different process

Nobody really quite knows when we’ll be able to work in close proximity with other people without having to wear face covering masks or follow the many other social distancing guidelines. Therefore, when will job interviews and the job application process as a whole become normal again? Perhaps Zoom call video interviews are the way forward for us as a society. For better or worse, businesses all around the UK are getting more used to going through the interview process in this way, so it could stick around for a lot longer than we originally imagined it ever would.

Here’s what Spark Hire has to say about the developing situation, “In a recent survey put out by OfficeTeam, it was discovered that 63 percent of human resource managers use or have used video interviewing recently in the hiring process. That’s a pretty steep percentage if you think about it. Moreover, 13 percent of hiring managers plan on using it even more in the future”.

Convenience will be key 

Customer service is extremely important to businesses with an online audience, just as it is to those that would visit a physical premises in order to purchase an item or enquire about a service. However, you obviously cannot be there to talk to your clients online the same way you would be able to in person, so instead businesses will choose to make things as convenient for them as possible.

Could we move to a four day working week? 

 A four day working week has been tested in both Japan and New Zealand, but proved to have mixed results reported by the respective companies. Microsoft claimed to have a 40% productivity increase while trialling this in Japan in August 2019.

The productivity increase could have presented itself through workers enjoying the fact that they have a four day working week, allowing them an extra day of freedom and relaxation. This boost in mood could well equate to a better attitude towards work, but it isn’t necessarily the case for all individuals following this new trial plan.

4 Day Week have reported that they witnessed a huge jump in productivity across numerous areas by shortening the working week by a full day. They believe that team engagement levels rose overall by a considerable margin.

Of course, many business owners will not believe in this concept as they’ll simply see it as losing out on a day’s work from members of staff each and every week. Now, you could hardly blame them for not being too overly optimistic when it comes to this subject.

The end of social distancing

This is something everyone is looking forward to experiencing, and it will most definitely have a huge impact on the world of business. It will not feel as if we are back to normality until the social distancing rules are completely extinguished. Even after everyone has received the vaccine, you can expect some sort of social distancing guidelines to stay in effect for a little while longer as a precautionary measure. Try not to be fooled into a false sense of security immediately after receiving the vaccine yourself, as there is still a lot not known about the lasting effects of it, and how long it actually works to protect you for.

When social distancing finally does end for good, which we expect to happen at some point in the future, businesses will be able to fully open and operate with full functionality once more. This will include opening all physical premises which have managed to make it through the pandemic, welcoming customers back into shops, improving overall sales and even more.

There really is no wonder why business owners across the country are looking forward to returning to normality and not continuing on with the ‘new normal

Need help getting through the pandemic?

Small businesses in particular can quickly run into financial troubles if they aren’t careful, making it difficult for them to survive in many instances. One useful way of saving money and trying to get through the  trying period of the Coronavirus pandemic is to cut out the costs you don’t necessarily need. Marketing isn’t essential while your business can’t function properly, so switch out your current plan for word of mouth.

Friends and family can also lend a helping hand by posting about your company on social media or on a blog they run, so don’t be shy of asking them to. Your friends and family will likely be your first point of call when trying to give your business cost effective marketing push. They can effectively advertise for you by informing their peers about your company, or even give you an early online review to get you more validity online. The more online reviews you collect, the more members of the public with trust you and purchase products and services from your business. This will save you money on marketing and advertising campaigns during a time of crisis, which is hard enough to get through as it is without piling one extra unnecessary costs.

Another thing to consider when trying to save money in order to get through the pandemic is making the ‘work from home’ business model a permanent fixture. Knowing you don’t have the expense of office spaces on the horizon may allow you to use your money in better ways, rather than simply hindering your business during this difficult time.

Obviously now, working from home is pretty much the norm and the vast majority of UK-based workers are logging into work via their laptops in a spare bedroom on a daily basis. This is set to continue and even increase as time goes on, and many have predicted that half of the UK-based workers will be working remotely in some way over the next few years, even if the pandemic comes to an end.

Working from home not only saves you a great deal of money on office overheads, but it also gives your own office for free. If you have a desk and a computer or laptop, in the modern day you’re all kitted out and ready to start thinking about how you’ll run your own business remotely. So, let your imagination do the hard work from the comfort of your own home.