The 3 Big Business Moves
It’s safe to say 2020 didn’t go as we had expected. The pandemic cost many people their businesses and economies across the globe suffered. However, this wasn’t the same for everyone…
Many businesses reacted fast to the growing global situation and through strategic implementation of some clever business moves, were able to not only help their companies survive but actually grow.
The interesting thing is that some of these big business moves taken, were not ones which were necessarily obvious. So let’s take a look at the 3 most impactful business moves throughout 2020 and how they are likely to continue into the future.
Becoming Fully Remote
The first UK national lockdown back in April 2020 left many businesses having to close and furlough their staff. However, those who thought quickly on their feet, adapted their business models to allow for their staff to work from home remotely.
Many companies who had previously never had staff working from home, found that with the correct set up and right IT support they were able to get the large majority of their staff working from home full time, and successfully at that.
It was often found that teams were felt closer, more productive and were delivering better results than they were when previously in the office.
As 2021 begins, the pandemic doesn’t seem to be going away. So for the third UK lockdown, businesses have been split down the middle. Those who managed to react quickly in the first lockdown and have now fallen into the full swing of working from home, and those who were waiting for things to return to normal – Only to discover a year on they haven’t. It tends to be the latter who are now really feeling the strain.
Furthermore, from a purely financial perspective, having your staff working from home hugely reduces your company overheads. Reducing the need for renting of premises, onsite maintenance and running costs.
So, the first and potentially biggest move in 2021 is becoming fully remote working where possible and entering the new age that we currently find ourselves in.
Becoming Cyber Proof
Again driven by the appearance of COVID-19 is the need for additional cybersecurity. Whilst cyber security is something most businesses do take seriously, there is an even higher need for it now that more staff are working from home.
Remote working brings with it the need for remote-access VPN’s, secure internet connections for sending data and ensuring users are safe with their own machines. Tasks, such as regularly changing login passwords, installing updates and staying safe from viruses and malware (particularly on employees’ own machines), increase in risk when the IT department is not there physically to ensure these tasks are fulfilled.
With more people working from home, which is looking to continue to rise in the future, it has been predicted that the rate of cybercrime in 2021 will hit new heights. This means it is more important than ever to make the business move towards your company being cyber-proof.
There are a number of ways you can go about this, whether it be to employ an in-house IT department or hire a third party. But going forward, this is only going to become more important.
Becoming more focused on employee wellbeing
The final biggest business move in 2021 is still related to the pandemic but less on business structure and strategy itself. Since the pandemic, suicide rates have hit the highest they have been since the recession. This is largely attributed to the disconnection from society we have all suffered since the first national lockdown.
Therefore it is more important than ever for employers to make the move to ensuring the wellbeing of their team to ensure that productivity remains high. This can be as simple as providing recognition for their efforts during this period of time or using additional incentives such as bonuses and gifts.
But it goes deeper than this. Employers also have a responsibility for the mental wellbeing of their staff, not only on a productivity level but a personal level. Therefore, it is essential employers check in regularly and monitor their staff’s mental health where possible.
There are a number of ways of doing this. Some may encourage staff to undertake mental health training to become a company representative and carry out sessions with the team regularly. They may also act as mental first aiders, with whom the employee can address their personal issues with.
Alternatively, they may provide access to a platform or app, allowing employees to track their mental wellbeing and earn incentives for taking steps to improve their mental health, such as being more active and eating well.
Whatever the approach, it is predicted there will be a huge movement to invest more investment into employee wellbeing in the future, for the goodness of the company and the employees themselves.
2021 – It Can Be Great
Whilst the past 14 months have brought with them a lot of doom and gloom, the fact of the matter is that by taking the right business moves, it is still possible for your business to grow. It is simply a case of recognising the changes your business needs to make and being responsive to this new environment we are finding ourselves in.