When the covid-19 crisis began and countries went into lockdown, businesses had to quickly find new ways of working as their teams endeavoured to continue with their daily tasks whilst working from home wherever possible.
These newfound remote workers had to learn different skills and use technologies that were in many cases alien to them in order to be able to carry on meetings and communicate with suppliers, colleagues and customers. Cloud-based functionality in software meant that many could access their emails and data remotely wherever they could get an internet connection.
Meetings started to take place using Zoom, Skype and comparable technologies so that everyone could meet up virtually. This re-affirmed to many businesses that whilst this is maybe an alternative way of doing things, in many senses, just as effective. It’s more cost-effective, with no travel or accommodation costs; it’s immediate and it allows people to take part who may otherwise have found the costs and logistics of a conventional get-together too prohibitive.
Staff working from home found that the flexibility that this offers means that firms can have longer contact time with their customers and suppliers, no longer subject to the strictures of office hours.
So much for the catalyst and its immediate effects. As the economy unlocks, it’s now time to forward plan, building upon the benefits of enforced remote working to implement a digital transformation, merging the best elements of pre- and post-lockdown working.
There are numerous challenges in designing and implementing digital transformation and planning for life after Covid-19. Forward-thinking businesses will have worked through the crisis by preparing strategies to move their businesses and procedures online. Businesses that had the foresight and resources to put a digital strategy in place will come out better and stronger than competitors without the same vision.
The key is to look at arrangements that were put into place in the context of crisis management and develop them into a viable long-term strategy.
Marketing teams, for example, have found new ways of staying in touch with the customer base by streaming videos of new product launches, providing a virtual walk-through of their stores, using online chat to engage with customers and myriad other digital engagement strategies. Customers have, by and large, reacted positively to this new way of working.
There is now a growing acceptance that COVID-19 isn’t going to simply disappear in the short term and strategies need to factor in contingency across the board. Many consumers and staff alike remain anxious and are looking for reassurance that appropriate social distancing contactless arrangements will be in place. This is, in fact, a tremendous opportunity to build and consolidate customer and staff loyalty as they see firms adapting to their needs and pre-empting their very real concerns.
Now is the time for the C-suite to lead the business forwards with an acceptance that there will be new ways of doing things. By no means everyone can or will fully embrace remote working, for example, and many have expressed reservations based upon somewhat mixed lockdown experiences. It’s time to make sure that the team members have the skills and expertise to mitigate the diverse risks and limitations and to develop, implement and fully exploit the inherent advantages of a properly conceived digital strategy.
Many businesses in the V bounce era fear that they will find themselves falling behind their competitors. To ensure that your team has the right skill set to enable you to carry out the right digital transformation for your business, why not get in touch with our expert team here at Ross Clifford Associates and find out how we can help you make the most of the unprecedented opportunities that lie ahead.
Central London (WFH), £300 p/d. Initial 3-6mth contract. Expected to roll.
Central London (WFH), £70k
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Central London (WFH), to £35k + Excellent Bens. (Freelance £250 p/d).
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