iCrowdNewswire Dec 6, 2020 8:00 AM ET
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything about the workplace. Even though some businesses have returned to work slowly, people are still adjusting to the new normal. There were some organizations that never stopped running, and some that actually increased like manufacturing, essential businesses, and supply chains, but there are others that have taken a hard hit and it will take some time for them to go back to the status quo. Therefore, Israel Figa believes that it will important to take note of some of the important lessons that every business has learnt from this pandemic because it will help them in planning for future contingencies.
So, what are some of the workplace lessons that businesses can take away from the pandemic? Dr. Israel Figa has mentioned some of them below:
Sick employees should stay home
The COVID-19 pandemic has keenly illustrated the importance of sick workers to stay home, so they don’t infect their coworkers and the public. Historically, statistics show that most employees are likely to come to work even when they are sick. Dr. Israel Figa states that the coronavirus has emphasized exactly how dangerous this practice is, but some employees cannot afford to stay at home even when ill. Thus, new laws are now being introduced to provide workers with access to the option of paid sick leaves. Businesses need to adjust to these accordingly and avoid calling in their employees when they are ill.
Open floors may not be optimal
Social distancing habits in private lives is now shifting to business distancing as well. Dr. Israel Figa believes that open floor plans could actually become a thing of the past, as businesses are working to reinstate people with spacing in mind. Even though many had touted their support for open floor plans, there have been more detractors. Some of the reasons to discourage it include lack of morale, privacy, face-to-face communications and even reduced productivity. While not every employee will be able to land a corner office in the future, there may be a shift from close proximity going forward.
Remote work can be done
As technology has advanced, many employees have been looking for the opportunity to work-from-home, but most businesses were always hesitant. They were unable to figure out if staff could be managed remotely and productivity could be maintained. However, the coronavirus pandemic has thrust a number of businesses into the remote work model and they have discovered that it works. In fact, Israel Figa says that employees are not just completing work sans pants, reducing dry cleaning bills, avoiding frustrating commutes, but are also keeping up with the pace and have a high morale.
This has prompted a number of businesses to run with the trend. Some have gone as far as informing their employees that they have the option of working from home permanently. Others have extended the option of work from home because the second wave is now making waves. Even though telework was forced upon the business world, it appears to be working.
Be ready for the worst
Even though the return to profitability is going to be a slow one, Israel Figa suggests that businesses don’t forget its lessons. Every business needs to have rainy day funds. As your business slowly makes its way up, you should start setting aside a portion of the earnings to weather any other unexpected storms. It could be a small percentage of the gross income, but it can go a long way in helping the business to ride out any economic hardship that might spring up. You never know when such contingencies may occur. In fact, it is also a good idea to recommend the same to your staff as well and even introduce retirement plans.
Communication is vital
The coronavirus outbreak helped a lot of businesses realize that they had non-existent crisis management and lackluster communication. Subsequently, Dr. Israel Figa recommends that when businesses start returning to productivity, they should plan on making improvements in how they deal with any other future challenges. Can you contact all employees quickly and notify them of any issues? Email is certainly helpful, but it may not be the most efficient option to use. It may be time to come up with text accounts that can be used for communication.
Make investments in technology
If businesses had had technology in place and had provided training to their employees, it could have made a big difference between lagging behind and shifting seamlessly to the remote work model. According to Dr. Israel Figa, an investment in technology is undoubtedly a sound one for every business nowadays. There were a lot of small, as well as large, businesses that were caught off guard when the pandemic struck. Instead, they should have been ready to serve their customers online to stay afloat, but were forced to play catch up. Thus, prepping for the future means ensuring that your business can meet demands, no matter what the source may be.
Come up with a plan B
A lot of businesses had to shift online when the pandemic resulted in the closure of brick-and-mortar stores. They didn’t have a plan in place and there were a lot of challenges and even hits and misses before they were able to build their rhythm. They even lost some clients because of these mishaps. As Israel Figa says, having a plan B could have made all the difference and the biggest lesson to learn from now is to come up with one right away for any future problems. Plenty of major manufacturers, along with small businesses, were able to retool to stay afloat. You have to ensure that your business should also be able to do the same. Coming up with contingency plans is only an investment in your organization’s future, so you should get on it right away. You can brainstorm with employees and consider opportunities in order to be ready for what the future brings you.