Ready For The Post-Covid Era?
SME Magazine Singapore|Issue 32, 2021
COVID-19 won’t be around forever. Businesses need to plan for the future, which is not going to be back to normal.
Ong Xiang Hong

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have brought home several lessons for business, which would have been impossible to know otherwise. For example, is has been proven that productivity is not lost when working from home. In fact, the pandemic proved that remote work is now a real possibility.

As we move on to the next phase of the pandemic, now is the time for businesses to act on the data, insights, and lessons learned. These can be used to boost business value today and build a resilient strategy for tomorrow.

MOVE QUICKLY, BUT FIRST…

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that speed is important. The virus hit fast and hard, but businesses reacted just as quickly. Reorganising supply chains, shifting to remote work, and speeding up decision making were just some of the examples of alacrity that businesses shown they were capable of.

Now, the question is: can organisations maintain that momentum into the future? And not just speeding up when needed, but maintaining that speed. It has to be sustainable. To get this done, companies have to look not just at capacity, but also the mental health of their workforce and the burnout often experienced by employees. Proactively reacting to the needs of customers and building digital capabilities is also crucial to the post-COVID era.

THE SHIFTING EXPECTATIONS OF TALENT

Now that people have gotten used to working from home, it’s unlikely they’ll want a return to the five-days-in-office work week. Flexibility is now the new normal, as far as employees are concerned.

Sure, there’s no replacement for collaboration in an office. The office will always be a place where the core of business activity will take place. And it’s where the relevant culture points will be built. But there is no longer a need to come in from Monday to Friday.

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