Following the COVID-19 outbreak, social distancing has been the primary strategy to protect the world’s healthy population. In an effort to continue to function and keep operations alive, our office of 22 staff transitioned to working remotely, which was an occasional “benefit” for just some of our employees before the pandemic. In the language service industry, research indicates that 68% of businesses work remotely since the benefits seem to be plenty for both the employee and the employer. Among the benefits we find higher productivity, time and money saver, women prefer to be home with their kids, higher retention rates, the possibility to recruit qualified talent regardless of location, and no fixed costs.
The language industry is used to managing both customer and vendor relationships remotely, but what about the rest of the key players? A socially distant business model will require significant changes in operations and management strategies, improvements in human resources and communications to manage a virtual team as well as an investment in technology (cyber security, better servers, systems, among others).
The pandemic is already producing a change in behavior and it is likely, research suggests, that some of these behaviors will remain in place even after the pandemic. Even though not every company can operate remotely, it is very likely that all of those industries that can adopt this model, will.
These are times to stop and think, reinvent ourselves, especially for those companies that are being hit hard during times of quarantine. Consider new ways to deliver your product or service, partner with others, stay connected to your customers, work on your online presence, talk to people to get ideas, invest time in the future of your business to show up ready when we go back to the “new normal”.
Food for Thought
How can you adjust your business model or operations in an environment of social distancing? Where do you look for ideas on how to operate your business virtually? What roles should technology and social media play?