In a swift and sudden fashion, many businesses had to shift from an office environment to a work from home environment. Often, organizations were scrambling to determine what changes were needed to ensure security, productivity, and company culture were not compromised. In some instances, you may have discovered new tools and processes that work really well. Or, perhaps the work-arounds didn’t work as well as hoped. As you plan for possible future disruptions, now is a great time to assess what to keep and what to improve. I encourage you to take this opportunity to consider how your business reacted to the forced changes, emerging with valuable takeaways that can help lead to future success.
Assessing the transition
Every company responds differently to stresses in the marketplace. Take a few moments to document how your business was able to adapt:
- How long did it take to get people out of the office? What areas caused the delay?
- How well did payment systems function? Were you able to get paid in a timely manner?
- Did you change the way you interacted with customers ? Did your customers respond well to the changes ?
- Which software tools enabled you to collaborate effectively?
- How well did you promote social interactions while working from home?
- Are you using people for repetitive tasks that technology could accomplish?
- Are your systems cloud-based? Did your people have access to the information needed to perform?
- Was security compromised?
- Do you have a single source of data or does your staff enter the same information into multiple systems?
As the year progresses, do you have a plan to return to the workplace? Will everyone return to the office or will some people continue to work from home? In either case, have you implemented processes over the past few months that need to be replaced with more permanent solutions? To continue your return to business, you will find benefit in reviewing the processes and tools worth keeping, what’s worth losing, and what you need to support your future plan.
It’s possible that future disruptions may occur later in time. What is the outlook if that should happen? Whether or not you permanently adopt some of the new processes and tools you implemented for COVID-19, you will want to have plans and processes in place if another “lockdown” occurs.
Sometimes when we’re forced into adaptation, we find value in new ways of doing things. The transition to remote work may have identified business benefits that it could not have achieved otherwise.
Once you determine your path forward, you may need help to successfully accomplish your plan. That’s what MarksNelson is here to do: we offer analysis, insight, and assistance to businesses who want to make economically savvy decisions.
Our technology team goes beyond obvious needs to help you identify solutions that support your business strategy. As independent technology advisors, we aren’t tied to specific platforms or quotas. We take the time to understand your business and we implement a rigorous process to identify the best solution for your goals. Additionally, we help you implement and utilize the solution, setting you up for success. After all, the only thing more expensive than purchasing software is replacing software that doesn’t meet your needs.
Given the current climate and the need to have efficient and flexible tools in place in case of another disruption, the time is right to determine how you grow forward. Our goal is to help you spend less time doing things that don’t contribute to your bottom line and more time focusing on what you do best. I hope that taking some time to look back on the past few months will help you move forward with confidence no matter what challenges come your way.