Even as COVID nonchalantly transits from the pandemic to the endemic stage, the implications on life, livelihood, and the economy have been devastating. Individuals and organizations were challenged to reimagine, reinvent and adopt novel ways to deal with COVID-19’s unprecedented consequences.
The fallout from the pandemic hit certain businesses (brick and mortar retailers, start-ups, small businesses, and vendors) the hardest. According to a survey by McKinsey on small businesses, “… 1.4 million to 2.1 million of them (25 to 36 percent) could close permanently due to the disruption from just the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic” in the absence of any intervention. Only healthy pre-COVID businesses had a chance of surviving past the pandemic.
Although the predicament of certain businesses got chronicled vividly, others have flourished during the pandemic. Online retailers like Myntra, Big Basket, and Amazon, restaurants with delivery options, and online food ordering aggregators like Zomato and Swiggy witnessed a boom. An article in Business Standard documents the journey of six Indian start-ups. Pine Labs, Razorpay, Unacademy, Zerodha, Nykaa, and Postman beat all odds to emerge as unicorns.
Many small and big organizations, like, TATA, HDFC, and Infosys, have reinvented themselves to stay relevant and productive while safeguarding their employee’s interests. This migration to a new work terrain has demanded incredible agility, functional creativity, and brave actions.
Transitioning into a new work model has been a paradoxical mix. The specific nature of the business, work culture, and employees’ circumstances determine whether it is a cakewalk or not. Businesses like production and manufacturing companies requiring the onsite presence of employees may not be able to transit into hybrid or online modes. Many organizations might never return to their post-COVID work methodology. There can be no broad-spectrum solution that fits all organizational requirements. However, the post-COVID work scenario can gain from specific business planning. Some of these are:
Adopting transformation-management skills.
Restructuring day-to-day functions after identifying the vital processes like work cultures, values, and communication practices.
Choose between onsite, remote, or hybrid working models and up-skill accordingly.
Revamp the office space to conserve organizational priorities.