By Jim Talerico,
The relationship between workers and the workplace may be different in the future because of the crises we faced in the first half of 2020. How will organizational cultures be impacted? What technology, safety, workplace design, and employee training & development investments are business owners contemplating? Will businesses offer workers more choice and control over how they work? And how will worker duties, functions, and responsibilities change? Below are a dozen trends experts predict could impact workers and the businesses that employ them in a Post-Covid-19 world.
⦁ The Continued Growth of the “Gig Economy.”
“Gig” workers refer to independent workers who engage in short-term work arrangements with businesses. Examples of “Gig” workers include temporary workers, independent contractors, consultants, and freelancers. These workers are attracted to the idea of being self-employed, seeking more meaningful work, and looking for more flexible work schedules that better fit their personal needs. It is estimated that over 40% of the labor force will be “gig” workers in 2020.
⦁ A Greater Focus on “Scenario Planning.”
Businesses have had to be more focused on “scenario planning” because of day-to-day uncertainties involving supply chains, sales, scheduling, and the short-term cash requirements of the business. Scenario planning is an adaption of military planning that accounts for different possible responses based on changing conditions and it is predicted that this increased focus on short-term planning will have a positive impact on businesses both in the short and long-term.
⦁ A Heightened Concern for Worker And Workplace Health and Safety.
The recent pandemic has forced businesses to focus more on workplace cleanliness, sanitation, ventilation, masks, and social distancing. As a frequent flyer, I feel that a heightened concern for cabin surface cleanliness and bacteria-free ventilation systems on commercial flights will unequivocally impact passenger, pilots and flight attendant health for the positive, and I expect the same for patrons of and workers at restaurants, retailers, hospitals, government services, and public places.
⦁ An Increased Focus on “Transparency,” “Autonomy,” “Mastery,” And “Purpose.”
Transparency to help people feel safe … autonomy to help keep others safe … mastery of new technologies and efforts to make the home workplace as productive as working in the office … and purpose in redefining the business’ role in serving the customer and the community.
⦁ Transforming The Nature of Collaborate Interactions.
Buzz words transforming collaborate interactions today include: video enhanced collaboration, digital event planning, project management user platforms, smart whiteboards, physical store, restaurant & office redesigns, and touch screen check-ins, ordering and payment systems. Because people are more separated, managers also need to increase their focus on reinforcing the employee’s sense of belonging during these trying times.
⦁ The Rise of the IT Department.
IT departments have been kept busy over the last few months keeping networks safe, establishing & monitoring remote workspaces, improving the company’s customer relationship management capabilities, introducing new collaborate, on-line work environments, and helping to create video content. Experts are predicting larger budgets for IT in the next few years that will accelerate the use of new technologies in every area of the business.
⦁ The Acceleration of “Self-Directed Learning.”
As the world becomes more specialized, so does the need for individual training and development. The International Review of Research in Open and Distant Learning recently found that the amount learned from an on-line class is greater than traditional lecture-based courses. Many idle workers are engaging in self-directed learning, and it’s also easy to see this trend continuing its upward trajectory in the future.
⦁ “Future Proofing” the Business.
Business leaders are future proofing their businesses by listening to customers, employees & suppliers; diversifying their revenue streams; improving their branding; proactively managing risk; looking for ways to innovate, iterating processes; helping employees develop new skills; and soliciting new ideas from their advisors.
⦁ Leaning On Top Tier Employees.
More than ever, business owners today need to make sure customers are happy and the work gets done. Businesses experiencing a cash crunch have had to choose between their “essential” and “non-essential” workers. It’s the business’ top tier employees that are helping companies refocus operations through modeling, job redesign, workplace safety, innovation, collaboration, and communications. Given a less certain future, talent acquisition will likely focus on top tier talent that have the diverse skills needed during these uncertain times.
⦁ The Increase of Tele-Delivery of Healthcare and On-Line Food Delivery Services.
Tele-health services and on-line food deliveries have exploded since Covid-19. Ninety-one (91%) percent of healthcare providers will offer telehealth services this year, which will boost their profits by $19 to $121 per visit.
Between February and April, POS software provider Upserve saw a 169% increase in on-line ordering at restaurants, and an 840% increase in weekly on-line orders. Eighty-seven (87%) of customers who use third-party food delivery services state that the service makes their lives easier. Given the trends, it’s hard to see these services going away in the future.
⦁ Reducing Political Risk By Decoupling From China, Bringing Industries Back to The US, And “Buying American.”
New trade partnerships, like the USMCA and recent trade agreements with South Korea and Japan, coupled with efforts to onshore production in China will result in many new US manufacturers. Although it will not happen overnight, corporate tax breaks will facilitate a renaissance in American manufacturing, that will embrace new technologies like machine learning, robotics & artificial intelligence and expand the domestic economy as more people in the US buy American.
⦁ Rethinking Business Travel.
The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) expects a $83 billion decline in air travel in 2020. According to Conte Nast, best case, air travel will recover to 70% of Pre-Covid-19 levels in 2021. Anticipated changes business travelers can expect include: the increased use of technology to book travel & check-in, amended travel rules & services, immunity passports and pre-travel health testing, more cancelled flights, fewer direct flights, reduced hotel services, longer lines if you rent a vehicle, and higher travel costs.
“Necessity is the mother of invention.” As businesses return to normal, they will be looking for opportunities to both reinvent and differentiate themselves. How businesses transform themselves is probably a little different for each industry and business, but their future businesses will likely intersect with many of the above predictions.
Our Small Business Owner’s Covid-19 Survival Kit is available through our on-line store on my Square web site https://greater-prairie-business-consulting.square.site/.
It contains over two dozen files filled with a plethora of financial, tax, HR, safety, leadership, sales, marketing, and government information to help business owners survive the Covid-19 Coronavirus Crisis.
We offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee if you are not completely satisfied!
James J. Talerico, Jr., CMC ©
About the Author
A nationally recognized small to mid-sized business (SMB) expert, Jim Talerico has consistently ranked among the “top small business consultants followed on Twitter.” With more than thirty – (30) years of diversified business experience, Jim has a solid track record helping thousands of business owners across the US and in Canada tackle tough business problems and improve their organizational performance.
A regular guest on the Price of Business on Bloomberg Talk Radio, Jim’s client success stories have been highlighted in the Wall St Journal, Dallas Business Journal, Chicago Daily Herald, and on MSNBC’s Your Business, and he is regularly quoted in publications like the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, and on INC.com, in addition to numerous, other industry publications, radio broadcasts, business books, and Internet media.
Jim Talerico is a certified management consultant CMC©, an honor bestowed on only 1% of all consultants worldwide. He is also the founder and CEO of Greater Prairie Business Consulting, Inc.
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