Understanding the New Normal for Businesses
The world isn’t the same as it was at this time last year. With months of question marks surrounding business, and with more people than ever searching for their place, companies have had to make some operational concessions that, if we were to assess the situation today, don’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been both a nightmare and a learning experience for many of us. If your business has been negatively affected by the pandemic, or if you are operating with a remote work staff, you would love to go back to normal. Unfortunately, you may find that what we have is the new normal and that the office will never look the same way again.
Things could be worse. Even as the situation still evolves, hundreds of thousands of businesses have closed and millions and millions of people are out of work, seven months into the pandemic. This has made it impossible to actually get a feel for what normal will look like after this whole thing is over. There have been some studies, but the only prevailing sentiment is that people are stressed out and tired and need to move off of the idea that the world is going to be just like it was in September of 2019 when no one had heard of COVID-19.
So where do we go from here? For the business owner it has to be about getting back to sustained productivity. For many businesses that are still plugging away, it’s as if their business has been hit by a tornado and they are figuring out how to move past that disaster.
For many of these businesses, technology has become the answer. Not only have a lot of businesses worked quickly to implement remote work contingencies, they also have become more cognizant of what IT means to their business. While most business owners know that they have to prioritize data security and invest in collaboration tools, they now understand that there has been an uptick in innovation due to the pandemic that is pushing advanced IT solutions onto the mid-market and small business market.
Technologies fueled by AI and other machine learning algorithms are now commonplace because the time is now for businesses to do more with less. The world’s economic strength isn’t going to get much better overnight, so smart businesses will use smart tools to get what needs to get done, done.
What’s more, the mobility that was growing pretty rapidly, is now ready to be a staple of business. Solutions that can be used from anywhere on multiple devices was once, not too long ago, looked on as a campy feature. Now businesses are forced into accepting mobility as normal, because of public health and because it has been proven that productivity can be maintained—and often improved—through the use of the remote workforce.
Things have been trending this way for around a decade, but with so many people working from home, cloud-based collaboration tools are now becoming more and more important to the productivity of businesses. The SaaS application is the new open office, with millions of people taking advantage of the growing capabilities of these platforms.
Another thing you are seeing is, as businesses realize they can save half of their monthly telephone costs by switching to VoIP, more and more companies leaving their traditional telephone company for hosted VoIP providers. Not only can VoIP serve the needs of the traditional office, it can come in extraordinarily handy when a business’ workforce is scattered. VoIP platforms also provide the ability for an organization to build an effective video conferencing solution, something that has seen substantial increases in use over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Equalized Opportunity through Tech
Today’s normal also makes it possible for people who are proficient at a job to work at one without necessarily having to meet the superfluous requirements that many organizations set for their new hires. It becomes a matter of who can deliver, rather than whose resume looks the best, regardless of sex, race, or any other irrellevant qualifier.
It’s not looking like things are going back to the way they were, because after restrictions open up, you will see a workforce primed with new skills and businesses that have overcome a lot to still be in business and grinding away. The new normal is a testament to the perseverance of goal-oriented people.
If you would like to learn more about the technology that is being used to fuel security, productivity, and collaboration in today’s business, reach out to the IT experts at White Mountain IT Services today at 603-889-0800.