What awaits companies once Covid-19 is over

“Necessity is the mother of invention” - Plato

Even though the vaccines are already being applied, there is still no clear date of when we will get out of this pandemic and, once we do, things will most unlikely be as they used to in 2019.

Currently we are all looking for coming out of the pandemic but, once it ends, it will be the companies that will have to continue struggling to survive amidst an adverse economy. Although uncertainty has been our companion throughout these two years, it is also true that we already have more certainty about the future than at the beginning, when articles like this tried to forecast the future of companies in a sea of doubts.

Indeed, we cannot predict what awaits companies after Covid-19 is over, but we have made a summary of what we consider the three main challenges and skills of companies. 

REIMAGINE

Regain stability will not only consist of trying harder to win back clients and get new ones, but above all, of unlearning and changing the way we used to view our business models and processes.

While it is likely that customers and consumers are returning little by little, it is also true that they will no longer do it in the same way they used to years ago.

Businesses that were successful because they involved contact with people, such as nightclubs or music festivals, have had to redesign the customer experience in an era where society will have a greater concern for well-being and hygiene.

Maybe people who previously felt more comfortable shopping or solving problems with their services in-store, have lost their distrust of these remote technologies now that they are forced to do it by phone or internet. That is why companies must rethink their customer’s habits in order to get the technology that allows them to provide the solutions their users need.

The Digital Leap

According to McKinsey & Company, a key factor in maintaining leadership after Covid-19 lies in accelerating the uptake of digital strategies to facilitate this business reimagination. The pandemic forced us to contact people remotely and consumer habits are being oriented in that direction. So it has been and will be: Patricia Merino, co-author with Patricia Cánepa of The Future of Work (2020) ensures that the adoption of the digital world in the first months of the pandemic has made it all 5 years ahead.

This digital leap, and the fact that one of the areas with the highest growth during the pandemic has been customer service’s digitization, entails a very particular interest in cybersecurity and a new way of analyzing customer information to provide a better experience.

A survey conducted in October 2020 indicated that companies are three times more willing to conduct remotely or digitally at least 80% of their customer interactions. This also means that the security and validity of digital data will become one of the greatest challenges and priorities in the post-pandemic world.

In another aspect apart from customer service: according to journalist Alexandra Gheorghiu, economic crisis will make people and companies seek to save and will expand the range of financial products focused on the medium and long term, generating opportunities for the industry financial and FinTechs.

TELECOMMUTING

Many companies had their doubts about teleworking; the pandemic forced them to give it a try and they found that it can be run with fewer resources. Even productivity in the United States increased 4.6% during the third semester of 2020 and 10% more in the second semester, which is the largest six-month increase since 1965 (although a decrease was reported in the last quarter) [1].

Patricia Merino, co-author with Patricia Cánepa of The Future of Work (2020), indicates that with the Covid-19 scenario “an important myth has been broken: that teleworking does not work.” We cannot assure that the home office came to replace office work, but it did come to stay at least partially because it offers new work alternatives that have proven to be positive and that is a point in favor of the post-pandemic.

HUMAN CAPITAL

The pandemic has shown that can be defeated only by working together and closing ranks. In the same way, mutual support between companies is helping to stay ahead in the economy and for that, they require having the best team, with leaders who have proven to be more resilient and who, rather than managing crisis, can anticipate opportunities and unforeseen events.

Patricia Cánepa, co-author The Future of Work (2020) believes that, in the world of work, human skills that are getting fundamental importance will be collaboration, empathy and creativity, in addition to an acute development of critical thinking to visualize the different perspectives. We go back to the first point: ability to reimagine.

It seems difficult but we are sure that, if we can change the way we see things, we will not only survive but even achieve a thriving future.

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[1] Productivity and costs: Third quarter 2020, revised,” US Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 8, 2020, bls.gov