The 2020 pandemic would be the defining event of the 21st century for some time to come. One thing is for sure that we now live in a world that has fundamentally changed. There is no going back to normal. There is only the new normal. But what exactly does the new normal imply? How does the pandemic affect “business as usual”? We bring forth 7 macrotrends that present themselves as the pandemic rages:
Companies and employees, both have tasted remote working now. The opportunity for companies here is that they can hire someone from anywhere in the world. The opportunity for employees is that they could work with anyone in the world. Companies and employees who realize this, stand heads and shoulders above their competition.
Multiple reports suggest that employee productivity has gone up during the pandemic. Gone are the days when meetings were considered work. Outcomes have truly come to define work done. Companies now stare at two choices, either exploit and overwork their employees by making them work round the clock, or help them set work boundaries while harnessing productivity via technology and/or hiring.
With an individual seamlessly moving from employee to Dad, to husband, back to employee, it is important that companies ensure that the said individual doesn’t burn himself out. It is important that companies ask their employees to consciously switch off of work on a daily basis. In the long term this is good strategy. The flip side of this is an employee feeling overworked, tired, and ultimately looking for a better cultured organization. Ensure you’re the one.
Serve Locally – Collaborate Globally
Companies that are comfortable to hire where their customers are stand to gain a significant advantage over their competitors who stick with pre-Covid paradigms. An Estonian company today has the luxury to bag a Japanese client and put a Japanese team together to service it for a fraction of costs it would’ve incurred earlier. The added advantage is the frontline Japanese employees being supported by talent sourced globally, again at wages that are optimal for the company as well as the recruits.
Culture was critical before. Its importance only grows exponentially during these times. With near limitless opportunities, the only reason talented, hardworking employees would choose to stay at an organization is the culture that entrepreneurs create. Now more than ever, employees need to feel valued, part of a bigger community on a mission, they need to feel good about the work they are doing, they need to feel heard. The onus is on companies to create such a culture or risk losing their employees to companies that pay better and have a better work culture.
Resilience Vs. Efficiency
Companies focused on scale and efficiency in a post World-War 2 era. As the pandemic has shown with devastating consequences, companies need to incorporate resilience into their strategies and cash flow management. Scale makes sense only when there’s certainty that a company would exist in a year’s time. Do we have cash to pay our fixed costs? Do we have cash to pay our employees atleast for six months? Can we survive atleast for a few months if due payments suddenly get stalled? All questions that founders need to consider as they plan their growth in a post Covid world.
Be a Software and a Media Company
It is not enough being a company providing a product or a service anymore. If you want to actively grow your company, it is imperative that you have an IT company’s mindset coupled with that of a media company. You have to be creating platform specific content. You have to invest in branding. The company needs to have its own brand while the founders and employees have their own. And the branding needs to be based on value creation, not advertising one’s wares.
On the other hand, companies need to leverage software tools to increase productivity, capture and analyze data and manage their supply chains. Companies need to go beyond simple data entry and actively harness tools that allow founders to make better and better decisions. Also, email are to the current generation what snail mail was to ours. Today the younger generation aims to work fast, collaboratively, in relatively flat hierarchies. Thus it is very highly recommended that companies start using software like Trello, Slack, Asana, etc.
Here are a few industries that are witnessing unprecedented growth due to the pandemic:
- Online Gaming
- Online Entertainment
- Preventive Healthcare
- Mental Health
- 5) Privacy and Security
- Merger and Acquisitions
- IT Services
- Data Analytics
- Digital Art
- Digital Sales and Marketing
This is the right time to be in or be associated with any of these businesses.