The COVID19 Virtual Revolution

The COVID19 Virtual Revolution

Coronavirus has changed businesses for ever! No matter what happens, things will never be the same again. Everything from whether a meeting happens, where it happens, how it happens will change. Businesses are completely re-evaluating their models, their way of working, flexibility, costs such as offices, travel, use of technology etc etc. Things will never ever be the same again.

For most of the world this is a huge wakeup call, not only to the unnecessary environmental impacts we cause but also wasted time, wasted costs, wasted resources, and missed opportunities. It all hinges around technology.

Software

The first area we have all had to adapt to, instantly has been working remotely, being able to communicate and meet without being in the same location. Telecommunication software use has skyrocketed and here are some of the best ones to take a look at;

Zoom

https://zoom.us/

Generous free account. Competitively priced. Great performance. Lots of features for hosts and participants. Easy to use.

Microsoft Teams

https://products.office.com/en-US/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software

Highly customisable. Tightly integrated with other Microsoft Office apps. Included free with Office 365 business accounts.

Google Hangouts

https://gsuite.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/products/meet/

Easy to use, free to use, lot’s of features, versatile setup, lot’s of in call features etc.

GoToMeeting

https://www.gotomeeting.com/en-gb

Simple to use. Easy to create meetings. Can use a custom URL to access conference rooms. Free plan available. Although webinars are in a separate piece of software.

Market Comparison – https://uk.pcmag.com/cloud-services/9067/the-best-video-conferencing-software-for-2020

Diversification

Your business is going to need to be diverse and risk averse. For many businesses, diversification has had to happen to survive, this means things have been overlooked, it could have been easier, slicker, cheaper and maybe it’s not the best diversification that could have taken place. Going forward, your businesses needs to have a diverse product/service offering. In other words, if your business currently relies on being face to face, in the same room, delivery networks, stock, shipping etc. then you need to introduce new products and services so if anything should happen in any of these areas, you still have revenue, you still have potential, you still have a business!

The best example of this is the food service industry. Many face to face food establishments have had to quickly start offering take away and delivery services to ensure survival. Going forward, these could be fantastic diversifications that de-risk your business, allow maximum potential in a stable market, and protect your underlying business should one area be hit with a negative market force. Don’t have all your eggs in one basked reliant on areas that could be out of your control. De-risk, diversify!

PS. You might have more time on your hands and can get this diversification project/plan up and running now!

Contingency Planning

Businesses are now preparing for events like this to take place in the future. All businesses should have a contingency plan, if you still need to be office based, face to face or rely on any of these areas, then you must have a contingency plan ready to activate with little notice. Down time will be minimal in the future and businesses need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances, or risk losing out to those that can!

Did you need the meeting?

This question is now being asked time and time again. Going forward business decisions particularly ones with a cost associated are going to be on a need to have basis. Ie. you need the meeting, you need the car journey, plan journey, investment etc. far more evaluation of time and financial expenditure is going to take place, and so it should! For SME’s this is possibly preaching to the converted as resources are often finite, for the larger businesses, waste like the above is far more commonplace.

Flexible Working

Do you need an office? Does everyone or anyone need to be in it at all or all the time? What are the benefits of more flexible working? Are you governed by the 9-5?

COVID19 has highlighted massive gaps in business flexibility. We have been too regimented, too unwilling to change and too hesitant to evolve. Well now things will be different. Some of the businesses i have been talking to, are actually considering closing their offices and physical space altogether, moving to a completely remote working environment, with use of flexible meeting spaces around the country as and when it’s required! Sounds absolutely crazy, but is it? It’s cheaper. It’s easier. It’s greener! It’s safer! It’s more flexible! It’s better!

Flexible working reduces huge overheads, it gives staff the flexibility to work around their families and other commitments, it minimises risk, it is the 2020 way of working.

With new time tracking software, monitoring output and staff could not be easier, but most business actually find that the quality and quantity of what they deliver, improves. Staff are happier, more comfortable, can work in their own space around their needs and the business needs, everyone wins!

Business saves – office costs, utilities, rates, security, infrastructure, travel costs, less staff sickness etc.

Staff save – travelling expenditure, travel time, no personalised work environment, less risk in travel or sickness etc.

The whole flexible working model is healthier, greener, more flexible, less risky and makes everyone happier!

As always, any questions, just get in touch.

Thomas

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