10 Ways The Future of Work and Business is Changing from Lockdown and COVID Regulations

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

No one has a crystal ball, but there are indications that “normal” is a distant memory along with your 2020 New Years Resolutions. We are moving towards a new way of doing business and work while dusting ourselves off from lockdown and COVID Regulations.  

These changes are not a bad thing, if you’re prepared, that is. We did a bit of research and here are some thoughts on likely changes that are happening as we speak:

1. People will Leave Home Mostly for the Experiential 

Now that we can smell freedom, do you actually want to leave home?   As we are able to crawl out of our proverbial shells a bit more, exciting and novel experiences will attract people to visit your business physically. Forget spending time in ques for shower gel and frozen peas, unless of course you like discussing which pasta will go with that homemade tomato sauce you perfected during lockdown. Think of interesting locations and intriguing sensory experiences that will attract people into your physical space.

Opportunity: If your business engages with customers in a physical space make sure it has novel and interesting reasons for people to visit.  While you are at it, do you have a way of digitally transacting?  If you haven't yet, now might be the time to consider this.

2. Sanitising and Social Distancing is Here to Stay

No surprises here. Reduced numbers at the office will remain encouraged.  Physical meetings will only take place if there is a real need.  We are likely to see a ratio of a couple of digital interactions for every physical meeting - for example work from the office only 1 day a week.

Opportunity:  Besides government regulations, think of clever ways that you can make sanitising and social distancing fun for customers and team members in your physical space.  

3. Demand for Pay as You Use Services and Resources is on the Up

You get what you pay for… well, not exactly.  During lockdown some services were severely hampered if not halted altogether, yet we were still expected to pay or partially pay - think schooling, gym memberships, school transport etc. 

Expect an increase in the demand for Pay-As-You-Use services meaning you only pay for what you consume at the time, no strings attached.

Opportunity: Can your offering be changed into a Pay as You Use Service?  This may be attractive to customers who are shy of committing to subscriptions, retainers or monthly memberships.

Pssst… did we mention that this is how Kukula operates?  Marketing and communications freelance services to keep you ahead of the game - best of all you only pay for what you use, no retainers or fixed fees.  Let’s chat :).

4. Staffing Models will also Move to Variable Pay and Contracts

As companies recover from the economic impact of COVID and lockdown regulations, staff members may also be asked to work with variable pay and contracts to curb running costs.  Reduced salaries and hours, variable days of work etc are likely to be the order of the day. 

Opportunity: If you are considering variable pay or reduced hours for your team, be careful and thoughtful in the way you plan and roll this out as you want to maintain a team spirit, commitment and morale while communicating the seriousness of the decision to keep the business afloat and growing.

5. Rethink Value

Cash is king and cashflow is its best friend. If you can, sacrifice a little bit of profit for getting revenue in the door over the next few weeks and months. It will also show your customers that you are here to help.

Opportunity: Where can you offer specials, discounts, pay now and get free delivery etc?

6. Low and No Touch will Increase

Safety precautions are made vulnerable by mandatory physical touch requirements such as manually entering credit card pins and touching door handles.  Look for ways to eliminate or reduce mandatory touch in your physical space.

Opportunity: Conduct a physical user journey at your premises and look for ways to improve and reduce touch. 

7. Increased Digitalisation

Our money is on those businesses who were ahead of the curve on digitalisation before lockdown.  Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams for video calls, Whatsapp groups or better yet, Slack to keep teams in touch. Project management software such as Trello or Avaza and cloud based CRM Systems empower businesses to function fluidly regardless of the physical location of the individual team members.

Opportunity: In which areas of your work or business are you still using manual processes?  Where can you integrate manual input with your digital systems? Which new projects can you completely execute in digital?

Which brings us to the next point...

8. Kiss Goodbye your Hard Drive as Primary Storage

If you haven’t already switched.  The cloud is the new way of working.  Simultaneous editing of documents by multiple team members and real time interaction allow computer crashes to be fixed in a matter of minutes as you simply switch devices and log on.  What is not to love?

Quick tip: Watch out for pricy monthly SaaS (that's Software as a Service) subscriptions.  A few dollars here and there seem low at first, but add up after a couple of subscriptions.  Also keep an eye on the Dollar Rand Exchange Rate as most of these services charge in foreign currency. 

9. Physical Space is Still Important

Physical spaces are not about to be booted completely. Interpersonal relationships are vital to staying connected.  That is why we don’t see companies ditching physical space all together, but rather reconfiguring spaces.  For example meeting rooms with video conferencing facilities, exciting experiences in the office that will draw team members and customers to come out to visit.  More Friday afternoon drinks at the office to stay in the grapevine and Monday Morning Pow Wow Sessions to keep the team together and on the same page. 

Opportunity: How can you better utilise your physical space to be more attractive to staff and team members? Is there a need for reduction in space?

10. Greater Urgency to Match Social Justice and Business

Some say it is impossible to cure our social problems with capitalism, but we at Kukula Marketing are eternal optimists.  It is safe to say that the vast majority of our population has had their income negatively affected by COVID. The need is greater now than ever before for out the box thinkers to find solutions that solve real business needs AND provide real social & economic relief.

Opportunity: How can you continue doing business and at the same time help in your community?

Sources & Further Reading: 

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