How To Improve Business Productivity In A Post-Covid World.

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has turned many aspects of the business world upside down. In addition to business closures and staff shortages, the growth of productivity has slowed for economies all over the globe. While multiple past studies have shown remote working to be more productive, the assumptions were not made with national lockdown, increased household stress, and extended school closures in mind. Now as businesses and their CEOs look to move forward in the midst of the new normal, many of them will have to turn their focus to finding innovative ways to foster productivity in a new environment while still remaining compliant in a post-Covid-19 world.

Restructure Business Functions According To The Value Added To The Business

For businesses, the Covid-19 fallout has included the fast track of several business functions, particularly digital business functions like marketing, eCommerce sales, and customer service. In a time where face to face service is becoming increasingly difficult, restructuring your business process to prioritise them according to their importance in the current climate can help you decide where to dedicate your energy, funds, and resources to improve productivity.

For instance, during the pandemic digital marketing and customer service have become crucial for businesses looking to return to normal after Covid-19. Most businesses have been shut for months and even after reopening, social distancing guidelines limit the number of customers they can serve in-store. Customers are also changing their purchasing patterns. Their screen time averages have increased 50 percent or more while another 50 percent now shop online more frequently. Capitalising on the change in customer patterns and the value of business functions can unlock a whole new level of productivity for a business and its employees.

Focus On Business Efficiency For Heightened Productivity

Now more than ever, business efficiency will prove to be paramount to business survival and maintaining productivity. Tackling internal business efficiencies and processes like repetitive business processes can maximise productivity and minimise distractions. For instance, utilising the benefits of digital business tools like video conferencing software to keep employees and managers connected. Another way to improve efficiency and ensure your organisation flourishes after the pandemic is to redraft your business budget to eliminate unnecessary costs. With declining revenue streams and additional costs to meet new health and safety regulations, making sure your business is financially efficient will be imperative if you are to weather the global financial consequences.

While there are financial relief options available to help US and UK businesses survive the rigors of Covid-19, 25 percent of them say financial relief will not be enough. Reducing overheads like utilities and office rental costs while working from home can provide a much-needed cushion against cash outflow. As for what it means for business productivity, a business that is able to reduce cost per output can claim to be more efficient and productive. As a bonus, the additional funds saved can be redirected to further increase productivity by investing in digital marketing software, remote working collaboration software, or even expanding your delivery vehicle fleet to match increased eCommerce sales. In a recent survey by Workfront 2020, approximately 56 percent of workers say productivity is being held back by obsolete technology at their company.

Empower Employees To Take Control

With remote working the norm for almost 50 percent of UK workers, businesses must explore opportunities to keep them engaged. Remote workdays may have doubled since Covid-19 but it also presents challenges like the increased isolation and roadblocks to encouraging worker morale. Studies from the Harvard Business Review and the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business have shown that empowered employees perform better at their jobs and are more motivated, which in turn impacts business productivity.

Empowering employees also encourages innovation on their part. For such a unique situation like the Covid-19, most businesses will agree that they need all the help they can get to successfully navigate it. Giving employees the confidence and tools to provide recovery solutions in-house not only saves money and time for the business but encourages employee loyalty and pride at a time where staff storage is a now. Therefore, having a workforce that is motivated and empowered to keep productivity high is extremely valuable. Providing opportunities for employee inclusion in the decision making process for the business going forward post Covid-19, prioritising employee-mentor connections, and maintaining an effective internal communication hierarchy in your business are all great places to start and can have a huge impact on creating empowered and productive employees.

During the first few months of the Covid-19 outbreak, an encouraging 75 percent of employees said they felt the shift had helped them improve their productivity. However, with it being clear that businesses need to prepare for the long haul, managers must begin to think of strategies to avoid having that surge in productivity wane. While it is a new territory for most, a few simple moves can boost productivity and keep your business Covid-19 compliant.

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