As we emerge from the crisis period of COVID-19, businesses are beginning to plan ahead. Forward thinking businesses are revising their forecasts and setting goals for the coming financial year.
There has never been a more unpredictable road ahead for most small to medium businesses. One thing that's clear however is that as with any recovery from an economic crisis, there are going to be winners and losers.
So what is going to be the difference between the winners and losers? What is going to enable the winners to outpace their rivals? What attributes and capabilities are going to be pivotal to their success?
The Modern Workplace Revolution
The last several years have seen consistent rise in the adoption of modern workplace practices. Primarily these practices include:
- Flexible hours & working arrangements
- Remote working / Working from home policies
- IT Systems & Software that enable workers to operate from any device, anywhere, anytime.
These 3 things particularly have taken giant strides in the last few months. Previously held assumptions & arguments against modern workplaces have been shattered amidst thousands of SMB's being forced to adopt remote working during wide scale lock-downs. Businesses that were up to the challenge are reporting that employees are more productive and more engaged.
In fact, over 70% of businesses that have adopted working from home policies are claiming that they have no plans to return to the way things were, opting instead to adapt to a new way of working.
Winners vs Losers
There are some stark differences between businesses which are having success vs those that are not. Interestingly the businesses that state that remote working 'doesn't work for them' often cite challenges that other businesses have overcome with relative ease.
Mindset plays an enormous role in this. That is to say that without belief, you're unlikely to achieve your goals. In addition, businesses that lack a growth mindset commonly haven't adopted mature communication practices and structure. Consequently these are the businesses most commonly struggling with change.
A great resource for learning more on this is the Execution section of the book Scaling Up (Verne Harnish). Meeting Rhythms in particular is a practice we have adopted in our business that has allowed us to seamlessly transition to working remotely.
Mastering these habits and capabilities is whats going to allow businesses to outpace the competition. Furthermore, learning to adapt to modern workplace is going to be critical in the future to attracting and retaining top talent.
Any Device, Anywhere, Any Time
Operational excellence is one consideration. The other key element is the technology required to enable modern workplace. Thankfully the technical side of the equation is far easier to solve; albeit difficult for many SMB's who lack guidance and direction.
Technology has become simpler, cheaper and more accessible to the SMB in recent years. In other ways however it's never been more complicated. "One size fits all" is being replaced by numerous sub systems & apps, all interconnected and adopted throughout the organisation.
As a result, IT has to take on a different role in the new world. No longer simply a cost of doing business, technology is now a key driver to deliver:
- Improved communication & interaction with customers
- Increased value of products and service delivery
- Greater efficiency & effectiveness within the business
- More visibility on the key drivers of the business
Above all this equates to a more profitable business, achieving it's mission and vision.
A strategic engagement is required between SMB and IT provider to provide clear and actionable technology plans that deliver on organisational objectives. Where possible, modern workplace demands strategy that focuses on prioritising agility, effectiveness and security.
We regularly discuss how modern workplace can drive business forward with our clients and would welcome a discussion with yourself if you would like to Get In Touch.