As we start to come out of the pandemic, many businesses are starting to think about what this ‘new normal’ will look like for them in their industry.
Although there are a lot of uncertainties about the next chapter in business, I do have confidence that we can take the knowledge we’ve gained over the past year, and use it to adapt to the next set of challenges we’ll have to face.
It’s hard to predict what the future will look like a week from now, let alone in a year’s time, but here are some of my predictions of what the future will hold for UK businesses after COVID-19.
Increase in remote and flexible working
After the last year of remote working and furlough, managers may have to accept that their staff simply no longer want to return to their old office life.
We’ll have to consider how we can introduce flexible working practices into our businesses to keep our employees satisfied and motivated.
This may mean letting our staff work from home a few days a week, or being more flexible about the times that they start and finish work to accommodate a better work-life balance.
Emphasis on alternative retailing options
The retail industry was forced to pivot throughout the pandemic due to the majority of retail outlets being closed as a result of lockdown. This allowed the industry to find alternative ways to sell products and services.
As customers have gotten used to these alternative arrangements, like shopping online or click and collect services, we may have to think about making these retailing options more permanent.
If you’re not able to sell as much in physical stores as you were before the pandemic, what are other ways to your products and services in front of customers?
Prioritization of new technologies
Over the pandemic, some businesses have embraced new technologies, while the businesses that were slow to adopt have been left behind.
In a world where people are using their phones and being online more than ever, it’s important for more businesses to use technology to set themselves apart from the competition.
Look for opportunities to adopt new technologies within your business, and make sure you’re not being left behind.
Managers need to get creative
As I said, we can make predictions, but can never really be certain about what’s in store for many businesses post-COVID.
What we do know is that things can change very quickly, so it will be even more important for managers to think creatively and be prepared to pivot and experiment with their business to avoid failure.