How to ensure your business bounces back after the coronavirus

In the space of just a few weeks, the coronavirus has upended our way of life in so many ways – arguably none more so than in the way we work. Thousands of businesses are now operating remotely, with staff working from home and communicating online. But the question is, what can your business do to ensure it comes back fighting fit after this all – eventually – blows over?

Remain Agile and Willing to Adapt

It doesn’t matter if your business is cash-rich or a market leader. When rapid, drastic change sweeps the world, only those which adapt successfully will survive. In the past few weeks alone, businesses have been forced to reassess their fundamental processes to keep cogs turning.

Those which already implemented agile working to at least some degree have had a massive advantage. Their teams were well-prepared to plug-in from home and get to work as soon as lockdown restrictions were put in place. More traditional businesses, however, have struggled, with some having to bulk-buy laptops and other technology in a rush to adjust.

In a post-coronavirus world, your organization’s ability to adapt quickly will remain key. This current crisis has highlighted how fragile the structures we cling to are – and how quickly everything can change. There’s no knowing what challenges lie further down the road, but see this crisis as a wake-up call: your adaptability will define your survivability as a business.

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Consider Implementing Wider Changes

Times of great change are as good a time as ever to implement further, wider-reaching changes to how your business operates. There’s no doubt that many are taking this time to reconsider some of the fundamentals.

For example, with everyone working remotely, you’re free to rethink your office design and layout without disrupting your workers. Some businesses are even rethinking the purpose of their workplaces altogether: why bother paying for real estate when business can continue just as effectively with everyone out of the office?

We understand why this train of thought is tempting – commercial real estate costs have rocketed in recent years. However, you’ve got to remember what would be lost if your company worked remotely full-time. Your staff would become lonesome and less motivated, your company culture would all but vanish, and you’d attract less talent to your company.

Permanent remote working may be right for some businesses, particularly those with only a handful of employees. But, while we certainly recommend being more flexible going forward, getting rid of a central workspace altogether isn't a great idea for most organisations.

Set Your Priorities Straight

Every business has different priorities currently, but now’s a good moment to step back and reassess. Think about what really matters to your company and what you want to achieve after lockdown. No matter your goals, reaching them will require having the right people along for the journey.

After the lockdown, it wouldn’t be wild to predict an abundance of talent flooding the job market. Some will have been laid off from their previous employers, others will just be looking for a fresh start. But this influx shouldn’t mean you rest on your laurels – competition for their attention will be fierce.

To stand out from the crowd, your workspace needs to sing. It needs to express your brand’s identity, support your employees’ day-to-day tasks, and look like somewhere people would enjoy working. You could do this by simply rearranging your current workspace, but a brand new office fit out would be more effective in the long run. Think about it: your staff returning to a vibrant, fresh, and exhilarating new workspace would be the perfect antidote to an extended period of home working – and it’ll get fresh talent applying to work for you too.

Whatever your priorities after this crisis, having the right people on board is paramount. Think about what you can do during this downtime to take full advantage when it’s all over.

This Too Shall Pass

It’s been said a hundred times, but it’s true – it won’t be long before COVID-19 is behind us. To come back stronger than ever, businesses need to take advantage of the current downtime to prepare. They should consider becoming more agile in their workflows, implementing wider changes now to avoid disruption, and reassessing their growth plans to take advantage of new talent looking for work. We’re in uncharted waters right now, but it’s a great opportunity to both reflect and look forward to what you’ll do differently in the future.

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