With Covid-19, many businesses have been forced to rethink their operation models to keep themselves relevant in the pandemic. Much of the commentary around Covid-19 has been about adapting to the ‘new normal’, as health restrictions and social distancing continue to be implemented.
However, with the pandemic likely to have long-term effects on how we work and live, businesses need to be prepared for a more sustained and permanent change in the way they run their operations.
The shift to remote work
Businesses which were already reliant on the use of technology pre-pandemic have perhaps found it easier to make the transition from physical workspaces to remote working. However, those that had been reluctant or slow to adopt cloud-based technologies have been forced to make a somewhat chaotic and immediate shift to using them as work-from-home becomes the norm and data needs to be accessible quickly in real-time.
The evolving nature of the pandemic, coupled with unpredictable clusters forming and spikes in infections means that businesses have very limited reaction time to any movement curbs imposed. As such, it is crucial that businesses continually review their operating models through constant experimentation to see what has been working for them and improve what has not; so that they can be better prepared to adjust to any challenges that remote working brings about.
In time too, when work-from-home measures evolve into hybrid work environments where remote and on-site working co-exist, businesses would need to make additional considerations to organise additional administrative duties such as temperature screening and staff ‘check ins’; as well as split team arrangements and staggered working hours.
Balancing the demands of hybrid work
Businesses would benefit from speaking with their employees, suppliers and clients to understand what challenges they are undergoing, and how any workflow processes can be improved. These parties are also undergoing the transition to a new normal too, and businesses should be sensitive and receptive to their suggestions to improve service processes.
During uncertain times, it is common for businesses to lean towards maintaining the status quo and not undertake any major changes. However, it is precisely during such times that businesses should seek fresh ideas and explore new ways of doing things. The uncertain and transitory nature of periods such as the pandemic can be a boon for businesses if they choose to see the situation as an opportunity to work with more creative freedom. During a crisis like Covid-19, the ability of businesses to sustain and grow through new models of working significantly increases their brand value as well as customer value index in the market.
For businesses keen to jump into the innovation bandwagon but are unsure how, they can consider investing in enterprise resource planning systems such as Sage 300. Sage 300 is an end-to-end cloud-connected business management solution that unlocks your business potential while reducing costs and improving performance to enhance business visibility. Sage 300 also allows businesses to claim up to 80% support from government-aided grants such as the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG).
Innovation through Productivity Solutions Grant
A joint initiative by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore, PSG supports SMEs keen on adopting IT solutions to enhance their business processes through digitalisation and productivity upgrading efforts. The grant supports pre-scoped business solutions in the areas of customer management, data analysis, finance and inventory tracking, providing funding support of up to 80% of total qualifiable costs.
The fundamental theme of surviving this pandemic is about exploring new ways of working and opportunities to innovate, sustain, grow, and redefine the old models of process.
The best way to adapt to the new normal is by simply accepting that it is here, and to embrace it. The new normal presents a significant opportunity for businesses to innovate, adapt and move forward with a positive outlook if they look beyond their challenges and seek out opportunities.