By Kevin O’Connor
Nothing brings Americans and the world together like a common enemy. 9/11, Ebola virus, and the expansion of ISIS terrorism each unified people around the world and proved that focused collaboration can overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. New levels of cooperation and leveraging technologies in creative ways not only addressed the immediate challenges quickly, but changed future protocols for travel, security, communications, business, education and medicine. The new threat, Covid-19, will be defeated, in time, for many of the same reasons, but businesses must adapt to the significant post-virus changes to succeed. Think about the following possible changes and how you will adapt.
First the obvious change. The current and next generation of kids will think it is normal to sanitize their hands after they touch any surface that could possibly transmit germs or viruses. How might this change the design of office spaces to create additional “distancing”?
Consumer Purchase Habits
A significant shift to online ordering for everyday needs from toothpaste, furniture, electronics, and every form of food (prepackaged meal ingredients to high-end prepared Italian dinners) will become the norm. Restaurants that adapt well will grow and those that don’t will fail. Many brick and mortar stores will close. Are you ready to leverage the shift to online transactions?
With the shift of consumer shopping habits, many retail sales jobs will evolve into servicing those new online consumer habits. Amazon and Walmart adapt well and will continue gathering larger market share and will absorb thousands of displaced workers from the 2020 pandemic and continue to expand into new consumer segments. Many small businesses will fail but new ones will emerge as entrepreneurs begin to service niches ignored by Amazon and Walmart. After a record spike in unemployment, displaced workers with open minds will find new opportunities.
Online learning options will grow exponentially. Schools and universities will all have contingency plans for future disruptions including increased webinar classes and other new interactive tools for remote learning. Business will look for effective learning management systems and shift to live, interactive, training solutions.
Business Standard Operating Procedures
Web based meetings and interviews will replace a significant portion of face-to-face. Businesses will realize huge savings from their employees working remotely and want more. Employees who first experienced remote work liked the format, the flexibility, and the improved work-life balance so many will search for remote opportunities. Businesses will look for partners who can help them succeed in the post-virus environment by leveraging new technologies and unique services that appeal to the new consumer.
Change always creates opportunities for those willing to adapt. How will you adapt to the new environment so that your career and your business survives and thrives?