The 2020 pandemic has been the worst crisis since World War II in 1939. Despite these challenging times, most businesses said they will in some ways emerge stronger from the crisis as it has enlightened us to the gaps and weaknesses in our businesses, and therefore help eliminate errors and improve them and areas of development may include:
Generally, planning for any future events is recommended. Plans are educated decisions or routines for the future, when you don’t have the luxury of time to decide the best decision to make. Predicting the exact effect and impact of COVID was impossible, and therefore is crucial to have a general crisi plan that is not specific and flexible to any problem business may encounter. The lessons learned from the crisis can be applied to any different crisis that may occur, and a great way to be prepared is to have constant real-life trials, a business continuity plan and apply the recovery plan and research to the mock crisis and evaluate its effectiveness. This plan needs to continually be reflected, adjusted and improved to minimise loss.
At the beginning of the pandemic, now and until this crisis is over, companies need to be agile and change operations quickly to acquire the different circumstances they go through, from demand to supply shortages. Crucial decisions need to be made swiftly, but need to rely on a successful plan that guides making any decision. Our current situation has stressed the importance of accepting and being comfortable with change according to an unpredicted situation business may find themselves into. Mr Davies reinforces this idea by concluding that ‘the ability to react quickly and decisively to change, and to be able to recover quickly from a disaster, is central to long-term sustainability’. Companies need to understand the moral of this chaotic time is to evaluate their business recovery plans, and understand the importance of communicating to all team members the decisions that will be undergone in a similar time like today.
One of the devastating effects of COVID-19 was its impact on labour supply, as the majority of countries went into lockdown. All non-essential employees were forced to work from home. This repercussion significantly increased the use of technology within businesses and enlightened them on its countless uses and advantages. Research has shown that ‘more than half of employees said they ended up using technology that was already available to them but previously rejected or ignored, forcing organizations to recognize the tech they had been wasting and confirms that digitalisation is the new normal and will remain a staple well after the pandemic, particularly video conferencing’. However, digitalisation does not simply mean incorporating more technology, but adopting a new framework that facilitates the rapid response to unexpected situations.
The coronavirus provided a big lesson in manipulating team productivity. Being forced to work from home revealed the vast amount of distractions apparent in the office, because the majority of the employees found that they were more productive in their home environment without the interruptions and interactions they had in the workplace. Consequently, working from home has also resulted in numerous implementations to arise, many of which employees believe will remain even after the pandemic has ended. A number of these practices include, ‘businesses being more trusting and empowering of employees, managers increasing flexible working hours, virtual teams working across locations and departments, and agile teams forming and disbanding around specific activities’.
Many companies found themselves in a difficult situation in lockdown, and were forced to innovate how they can adapt and find a way to manipulate this situation to survive. They needed to look for modern areas to connect with the customers and opportunities to manage the declining revenue. The pandemic made organizations understand the significance of introducing creativity and differentiation within the company and its systems. For example; the entertainment industry was one of many that struggled during the pandemic. It was inevitable that organizers were to cancel concerts, theatre shows, and weddings. But some were able to make it work online focusing on online experiences, with online conferences and hangouts to be more relevant to the unpresented times and the audience.
Any crisis is an incredibly stressful time, but a pandemic; our generation never experienced anything on that scale. Stressful is a complement. Considerably the biggest lesson business should learn from this crisis is to have a strong crisis plan, which is tried and tested that is flexible for any unexpected event. It will be the foundation of the company that then all factors depend on, for example the use of extended technology, and maximising productivity, equally as important is the agility to moment these decisions quickly but successfully. Ultimately, governments need to prioritize economic growth investment, such as education, research and infrastructure to overcome these challenging times.