The Covid-19 pandemic that has affected millions of people has disrupted the course of various sectors like education, entertainment and business across the planet. During the beginning of the pandemic, to prevent the spread of this infectious virus, all of the companies, educational institutions and places for social gatherings have been compulsorily shut down. Though each of these fields faced its own challenges due to the disruptions in the workflow, shutting down enterprises and industries resulted in a noticeable downfall economically.
The year 2020 alone faced a 7.5% drop in global GDP. According to Statista, the global gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to be $87.55 trillion in 2019. This GDP drop that happened in 2020, caused almost around $3.94 trillion loss in economic output.
How do companies operate during the pandemic?
After months of facing economic challenges, companies around the globe started to extract the advantages of the internet by making use of online tools. Since these business development tools use cloud-based services, the need to maintain and manage data internally using local servers has been eliminated. These tools also offered cross-functional collaboration across various teams and flexible external collaboration with partnered organizations’ teams. All of the online business development tools come with an interactive interface that is efficient yet simple along with calendar functionality, internal messaging, notifications and strong security features like multifactor authentication (MFA). These applications are also platform-independent. Hence they function as intended and effectively across various operating systems and devices to keep the employees connected. Some of the most effective tools for business operations are mentioned below.
- Marketing and Management – Marketing and management tools help in gaining customers by identifying the right group of target audience to explore and demonstrate the company’s products and services. These tools are very helpful in building relationships with business partners and customers regardless of the timezone and geographical location.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – CRM tools help coordinate customer data. The collected data will enable the company to understand the customers’ requirements and effectively work towards them. These tools also offer better features for communicating with customers and data protection.
- Project Management (PM) – Project management tools are essential for storing and accessing files. PM tools enable the employees to easily collaborate with their teams. This, in turn, will help in gaining real-time information and stay up to date with project-related activities. Employees can also share their timesheets and update tasks seamlessly with the teams.
- Human Resources (HR) – Online HR tools assist companies in hiring the right candidates. The HR tools provide a portal where potential candidates can upload their information. Other vital tasks such as annual reviews can be automated. It is advisable to choose HR tools that comply with regulatory requirements.
- Finance and Payment Processing – Online finance and payment processing tools eliminate the need for manual calculations. Most of the available financial tools in the market are highly efficient and cost-effective. These finance tools generate payslips for every transaction and help companies to keep track of their taxes.
Impact of covid on non-digital businesses
Whilst extracting the advantages of online tools are being very effective for many businesses across various industrial sectors, these tools cannot be used by all businesses. For instance, Many governmental organizations still carry out a lot of tasks that are based on paper and not cloud. As of today, many governmental organizations still rely on manpower and are yet to adopt any sort of automation technology to accelerate the workflow. By judging from the current scenario, it would be very difficult and time-consuming to automate governmental processes.
Other industries like food and agriculture and manufacturing where manpower is inevitable, are very much being affected by this pandemic situation due to the unavailability of employees on-premise. This caused major losses to these industrial verticals. To keep up with the losses, industries eventually had to reduce their employee count. This, in turn, created numerous cases of unemployment during this unprecedented time. According to a study, it has been found that over 16.9 million people have become unemployed as of July 2020. The common reason was found to be closed or lost business because of the pandemic.
What would be the future of work post-pandemic?
The pandemic situation has forced companies to adopt remote work. The comfort of working from home is not only favorable for the employees but it has been advantageous for companies as well. For instance, as employees work from home, the cost to maintain the company’s infrastructure has been reduced. This trend is more likely to be continued even in the post-pandemic era as well. Many companies like Chargebee have already started providing permanent work-from-home options.
If companies would prefer having employees at work environments post-covid, the entire way of business operations have to be changed. Companies should offer flexible working options such as hybrid working, where the employees can work from home or office as per their needs.
Considering the remote working environment, employee productivity would become very crucial. Switching between different working environments must not affect the business process and productivity in any way. This can be monitored used advanced productivity tools. This also means that collaboration tools will be in demand more than ever. In short, the pandemic has made businesses to be dependent on technology. This dependency will only keep increasing in the post-pandemic era.
Companies can restructure their infrastructure by following social distancing protocols just to be extra cautious in reinstating their business process with employees in their work environment. The post-pandemic era will help explore a new side of technology and business that has not been encountered before.