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How Covid has Changed How we do Business

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Over the past couple of years, no matter where you are in the world, the Covid virus has undoubtedly affected day-to-day life: wearing masks, social distancing, even full lockdowns of everyday activities. These changes have not only affected us all as individuals, but also entire businesses and organisations, as well as the way we have had to conduct business since the beginning of the crisis. Some have had to continue operating as essential workers with reduced staff numbers, some have had to close, and a number of businesses have been forced to shut down entirely due to the economic struggle.

However, it’s not all bad news; some of the ways in which we have had to change our working lifestyles over the past couple of years have provided valuable solutions to various problems that resourceful businesses have been able to capitalise on since the easing of social restrictions. Maybe you’ve incorporated some of these yourself without even realising it?

Working From Home

Nearly every day of our working lives, we’d wake up in the morning, grab a morning cuppa, and head into the office for a full day’s work. But of course, all of that changed when Covid struck; businesses were being forced to close their office doors for the safety of their employees. As such, employers had to come up with other solutions in order to ensure that workloads were still being completed on time, and with as few issues as possible.

The main way around this has been working from home; employees have been encouraged to set up a space within their house to work away from the office during the pandemic. And while this was initially a temporary measure for some businesses, it has opened the scope for working from home to become adopted as a more sustainable measure of work. In the event of an employee struggling to get to the office for whatever reason (weather, health, traffic etc) they can log in from home and complete their work remotely, while still easily maintaining communication with the staff in-office.

While this isn’t always a viable solution for all businesses (working from home as a warehouse operator, for example, might be a little tricky!), it is something that has enabled many businesses to run productively and efficiently throughout, and long past, the Covid lockdowns and restrictions.

Cloud-Software

On the subject of working from home (or away from the office), one of the major problems restricting businesses is workers having access to programs and software. If it’s installed locally, and your computer is in the office, you’re going to struggle to get access to your files and programs anywhere else, which can be a big problem if you lose your computer or leave it at home after a long commute into the office!

A major solution to this which many businesses have employed in order to circumvent the issue is to use cloud-based software to allow employees to access their software and programs from anywhere. Not just from the office or home, but also from the train, in a café, or on a boat around the Mediterranean!

This can apply to any types of software, ranging from day-to-day systems such as Office and OneDrive, up to financial and payroll software, as even confidential and sensitive information can be stored securely and safely on cloud servers, as well as the software used to utilise them for everyday tasks. The overall accessibility bonus granted by allowing employees to access their data from anywhere in the world is huge, and over the Covid restrictions has allowed many business to continue to operate with working-from-home scenarios. Following from that, organisations have continued to use Cloud-based systems moving forward, as the benefits are massively useful to any kind of business.

Virtual Meetings

Even if you haven’t used it, I’m pretty sure you will have heard the software name Zoom mentioned over the past couple of years. Businesses, families and various other groups have been able to use systems like this to keep in touch, and it has allowed us to stay connected when the pandemic made it more difficult to do so. Social distancing has certainly made face-to-face meetings much more difficult, that’s for sure!

While this was initially a solution to a temporary problem, it has now provided insight to many organisations on the use of video call and remote meetings, and how this can affect business. It’s much easier (and more cost effective!) to have meetings with your team and co-workers over video calling and screen sharing than it is to all meet in the same place. Additionally, the availability to contact clients or customers for virtual meetings has allowed businesses to maintain the personal connection with their clients while doing business through the restrictions, but also past the pandemic too.

The pandemic has thrown a lot of curveballs at businesses in how we operate over the past couple of years, and it has been an incredibly difficult time for a large number of organisations. Many businesses have struggled though, and many more have had to close altogether due to the pressure and strain put on them by the varying restrictions and regulations preventing them from operating as usual.

However, whether it has been from intuition, entrepreneurship, or simply critical thinking and problem solving, businesses all over the world have found many different ways to help each other through these difficult times over the past couple of years. As a result of this, the above solutions (and many more besides!) have become an almost integral part of many businesses and how we operate in the modern era.

While some may only have been implemented as temporary solutions, they have surprisingly become incredibly important to how we conduct business post-Covid, and as such, it’s amazing to see how much technology evolves and adapts to the world, just as we change our methods and working practises to accommodate new technologies. The only way is up!

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Linda Barbara

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