Even though the pandemic hasn’t been particularly kind to the economy, there are always some silver linings. From the more obvious, like spikes in production for cleaning products, to the sensible-though-overlooked, like the prepared food delivery services, to the somewhat comical, like increases in liquor sales throughout the country, some Business Trends have been able to actually see growth during the pandemic.
Though not all of these are particularly new, here are three trends that began at the onset of the pandemic and are expected to continue after COVID-19 is finally put to rest.
Remote work has been gaining popularity for a decade, as has the amount of technologies available online to make remote work feel more and more like a regular office job. Even with the benefits, many companies were still very skeptical about allowing their employees to work remotely before COVID, but the pandemic, and the stay-at-home orders that came with it, left employers without a choice. Thanks to advancements in business and data analytics, it is very easy to measure a given person’s output and performance, and companies are realizing that remote work, in many cases, is actually better work, and thus labor hours well spent.
As businesses re-evaluate what has worked and what hasn’t during COVID, remote work will certainly be weighed heavily and included in strategy guides for the future. The benefits to employees are pretty obvious: less time in transit (no time), money saved on travel, parking, eating out, etc., more time spent with family or on hobbies, and for most it also meant a more comfortable workspace, although some people report having trouble focusing at home.
For companies, happier employees means better employee retention, saving a lot of time and money on turnover time and training. It also means less office space needed, which is often a large part of the expense budget for small business and startup companies. Money saved on brick-and-mortar office space can be used on any and all of the revolutionary web-based tools created to make a dispersed team feel like they are together at a conference table.
This pertains mainly to the good industry, but whereas pre-pandemic America was making great strides in reusable packaging and bulk purchases, legitimate fears of contamination now exist, and will probably exist for some long after the threat of COVID is justifiable. With that, single use packaging has once again become the preferred means for customers to receive their goods, as the contents can not be contaminated during shipment or while on the shelf.
Eco-friendly packaging organizations should see this as an opportunity to utilize their products to protect both the environment, and the consumers who are fearful of contamination.
“No touch delivery” and phrases of the like have been front-and-center in advertising during the pandemic, and certainly for good reason. With apps abound that allow consumers to order their goods while sitting at home and touching nothing more than their phones, even smaller companies should be taking note and thinking about creating ways that customers can order and communicate from the comfort (and safety, for the time being) of their homes.
Looking Forward Ultimately, what the coronavirus pandemic has re-taught the business world is that it’s never okay to get too comfortable. This unparalleled string of economic changes caused by the coronavirus has, no doubt, caused many C-suite executives to toss up their hands and say, “How do we plan for something like this?” The economy, as a whole, will almost certainly be taking steps to implement preparatory and protective aspects into their business