The first quarter of 2021 is coming to a close. And we’ve seen ‘the new normal’ for businesses slowly easing in, becoming our reality.
Last year, we saw how companies struggled and initiated their pandemic coping strategies.
Today, many of them are still trying to come up with their own ways to stay resilient.
But questions for business owners still remain: Is this solution working? Is it enough? What are the risks? How long are we going to do this? What else should we expect?
In this article, we give answers to these questions by bringing together the common, universal views of industry experts.
The New Normal for Businesses According to Experts
Schools and stores have been closed. Covid-19 vaccination campaigns are being rolled out.
And there has been the easing and tightening of lockdown protocols, back and forth.
So what else can businesses expect and do in this new normal?
The Shift to Tele-everything
Distance learning, remote working and/or WFH, virtual meetings – these aren’t new. But adopting tele-everything scenarios will continue to grow, along with challenges.
The government is encouraging schools to strengthen online learning platforms used for distance learning.
However, teachers would still need the training for these online instructions. More importantly, access to education remains a major challenge for the poor, making the education gap more visible than ever.
Remote work arrangements
Jim Spohrer, director of cognitive open technologies at IBM thinks that the new normal by 2025 “will likely be better.” He notes businesses will continue to encourage more online meetings and more work from home.
Filipino professionals, specifically, find high satisfaction and increased productivity in a WFH setup. Yet, they feel socially isolated.
Institute for the Future Research Fellow Jamais Cascio talks about this pain point in terms of remote work.
He says it is likely that a significant number from the remote workforce will want to continue working from home. But the longer the forced isolation, the more people would want to return to human contact at work.
With solutions like Acumatica ERP software, working remotely doesn’t mean working in isolation.
Acumatica Cloud ERP as a tool connects everyone in your organization. It allows unlimited users, connecting your entire staff from anywhere so they can collaborate easily.
Makati Medical Center, one of the leading health care facilities in the Philippines, looked into health trends.
They note how the internet will become the new space for fitness activities. Digital health passes may be mandatory for travelling.
Also, issues around mental health will increase demand in mental health care, especially those who can provide virtual consultations.
Last year, one of the ways Filipinos coped was through putting up online businesses. DTI recorded about 73,000 online businesses registered at the peak of the lockdown.
ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada said that e-commerce accelerated during the pandemic. He also believed that there’s going to be a “permanent impact” of digitalization.
The government is also planning to get 500,000 MSMEs to do business online by 2022. This is a 400% increase from today’s 100,000 MSMEs doing eCommerce.
Cloud ERP software like Acumatica’s Retail-Commerce Edition enables businesses to continue operations amid the pandemic.
A lot of things can happen but many believe that the next few years will remain tech-driven. That the future is, and will remain, digital.
Business travel and mobility is another issue altogether. It is essential for many companies but the new normal makes movement difficult.
98% of companies have cancelled international business travel because of the pandemic. And the travel industry expects to recover to pre-Covid level by 2024.
There are difficulties securing visas and permits and varying degrees of quarantine per location. Most importantly, the health and safety of employees comes first.
With these, leaders ought to rethink of ways to adjust in terms of business mobility.
Modern Cloud ERP solutions like Acumatica is mobile-ready. Accessing your business information anytime and anywhere without the need for crossing borders is possible.
Mobility is being challenged and it doesn’t look like the situation will hugely improve anytime soon. Better start the transformation now for a future-proof business.
Focus on Safe Work Environments
Outside the tele-everything age of doing business should be a safer work environment. Needless to say, not everyone can do business remotely.
In cases when office re-opening is necessary, providing a safe workspace for your employees should be top priority. Here are ways to do it.
Makati Med also well pointed out that employee benefits should undergo major overhauls. Employee health and support programs should include the current health risks and emerging ones like mental health.
Prepare for the long haul
If you’re wondering where the hope in all these is, nobody can say for sure. What many of us can do is to turn challenges into opportunities wherever and whenever we can.
What matters is that all of us prepare for the long haul and find solutions to thrive.
The pandemic has changed the face of the workplace — probably forever. Know how you can stay digitally resilient in these uncertain times. Download our free eBook here.
For more information about Acumatica Cloud ERP, reach out to us!