The year is 2020 and the new normal for businesses is transforming the global economy, from Alaska to Australia. You might have heard this phrase this year, and with good reason: The new norm is a trending expression used to redefine how many people, including businesses, operate from personal to professional ventures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to understand how your business is adapting to the new norm, you need to first understand what “old normal” is being changed and in what ways.
In previous articles, we discussed how to be more creative with your business in 2020 and how businesses can find a balance between the free-flowing nature of creativity and the restrictive nature of a pandemic. In this one, we will be addressing three new norms that are helping businesses work through the pandemic, and how your business could find inspiration to do the same. Pinpointing changes that are being made in the business world, redefining “productivity” and “growth” for the work environment, and making a thorough evaluation of this growing business mentality to help you determine what impact the new norm could have on you as you run your business.
Rethinking how business gets done begins with convenience for everyone
Returning to work or reopening your business might be pivotal pieces of a post-pandemic business recovery plan, but other options could bring more effective and longer-lasting results. When rethinking how your business can progress during these times, remember that a convenient process for clients makes for long-term, returning success for your business. The same goes for employees. A mobile platform that provides internal connection to businesses, Beekeeper, acknowledges the latter by stating that this pandemic has made companies realize there are different ways to operate that might even be better than what they were doing before. “The first sign that a new normal is upon us is the huge wave of remote workers who will not be going back to the office,” the article continues. “The world might be witnessing the beginning of the end of the workplace as we know it.”
This might not be a bold statement when we consider that most individuals have found comfort in getting work done from the convenience of their home for several months, and comfort isn’t the only advantage. Many have also found success in productivity while working remotely, and that includes many employees. Why not empower your team to work remotely, share information securely, and collaborate effectively, regardless of location? This is likely why one primary change that’s being made in the world of business is pulling work out of the office and into, well, the remote world of remoteness. This is where emails, video calls, and everything else technology-friendly get their shine.
Endeavor to normalize employee productivity from a digital distance
“Don’t expect your higher-ups to have it all figured out,” the NY Times says. While understanding the new norm for businesses, managers and employees alike are learning new things everyday. No one side has all the answers, and every side needs as much support and patience through this process as possible in order to collectively garner successful results.
For those who are business owners or in management positions, being able to manage employee work production outside of work is the new norm. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square, wants employees to be able to work where they want in an environment that suits them. With such moves being made across the globe, you must get comfortable gauging your team’s productivity when there are no physical employees around and you’re not able to manage projects hands-on.
It’s harder now for managers to see that some employees might be spinning their wheels and not making progress, so combat decreased production levels by checking in with team members to discuss what problems they are experiencing then create “hands-on” sessions where everyone inputs how current work processes could be improved. It could be as simple as carving out a 30-minute weekly training session to discuss new Zoom features then discussing thoughts after.
Encouraging employee suggestions, whether big or small, is always a good start. Productive work is always a team effort, and working remotely shouldn’t change that for any business. In a dream world, people will speak up quickly if something isn’t working. But the reality is that more action might be needed on your end. The initial goal is to make employees feel comfortable to the point that they can get involved in having honest, fruitful discussions about what is or isn’t working in the new environment for them.
For employees, the new norm would be doing the things that were done in the work environment, just not at work. The boss isn’t hovering over your shoulder anymore, so it’s easier to check that notification on your phone. Setting priorities, giving yourself deadlines, and organizing your time to let work be work are vital to your success. At the end of the day, the business’s statistics will be reviewed at the end of the quarter and year, and your performance will still be included. Don’t lose sight of the accountability that your role in the company holds. Remove distractions, recreate your best work practices, and don’t forget to persist in conversations about the work areas you want to improve, the parts of the company you want to explore, and how you may achieve that growth.
Your business and employees can thrive with the new normal
“For retail and entertainment venues, physical distancing may become a fact of life, requiring the redesign of space and new business models. For offices, the planning will be about retaining the positives associated with remote working. […] For many services, it will be about reaching consumers unused to online interaction or unable to access it.” McKinsey & Company
Our CEO, Joseph, encouraged remote work when work productivity needed a boost and implementing such remote-work practices then has allowed our team to hone in on improvements now. With our team, Creative 7 Designs has taken practical steps to refine the work-from-home process by implementing open, consistent communication where team members can express concerns, suggest improvements, and video chat or direct message at any given moment. And the reality is that this new norm for businesses isn’t going away, at least not any time soon. Many businesses have already started to make the new norm, the new norm for them. Have you?