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How digital has (fast) become the main way to do business

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. – Marcus Aurelius

Maybe Marcus Aurelius was right? Standing at a wall of opposition or challenge is intimidating, but you know what it also is? Motivating! . Knowing the wall you must climb, can push you to find a way over it, around it or under it. And in some cases it will force you to find a way to deal with it in its current form, without trying to get over it or change it

That is almost precisely what many businesses have done to adapt to the current COVID-19 challenge and are having to do as they change the way they do business. Because let’s face it, business after COVID-19 will not be the same as before either. When you’re in lockdown, unable to operate the way you usually do, it becomes an “adapt or die” scenario. And those that have chosen to adapt are paving the way for a new way of doing business, predominantly digitally in the new normal, post COVID-19 lockdown world. 

Here are some of the insights we have garnered over the past few days and weeks: 

The realisation that employees can actually work from home

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been quite a substantial global shift from a person being in “control” of their world, and their lives, to one that has most working from home and thinking about the greater good of protecting not only ourselves but the rest of society from exposure to COVID-19.

Many companies have been toying with partial work from home strategies over the past few years, as the Millennials demand flexibility, never did we think that young and old and all levels of employment would need to adopt this on a permanent basis, and do so very quickly. 

What many have thought would be an impossible task has highlighted something that many of us have been aware of for some time yet have not quite acknowledged: People in many industries can actually work from home!  

It is already happening as companies are adapting to the reality that the next few months of isolation and social distancing are a necessity. Remote work will become strategic and the standard way of working is adapting to this. What we deem most important, however, is for organisations to have well-established processes where people are socializing, and no one is feeling isolated and falling through the cracks. And this is why the digital transition is key

Organizations are developing trust-based cultures with employees

Leadership, in many industries, are now engaging with people to work together creatively. What this means is that standard operating practices are being elevated to a new level and new (and possibly even more streamlined) ways of working are coming to the fore.

Businesses are also realising that there is no work/life balance in situations like the current crisis as the two are now one and the same. This is a big factor in the forced requirement for a trust-based culture to be the norm, with the old-school way of thinking (bums in seats) that has dominated many industries for a long time, is being forced to adapt.

So, the next time you’re in a Zoom meeting and your kitty jumps up onto your lap, welcome it. You’re helping change perceptions in the working world!

In-person meetings will be less important

In an industry built on communication, this is something we’ve known for a long time but is still something really difficult to adapt to. Humans are intrinsically social creatures and the connection with people keeps society whole. However, the necessity for meeting face-to-face is already changing and many are realising that instant digital communication, email, video and phone calls are still effective ways of communicating and conducting business.

It also means that many are experiencing a world without traffic and the haste of running from meeting to meeting, only to sit in the next pretentious boardroom with its fancy laser-pointers, conducting a meeting with a boardroom of people who are half-listening. Think of the time and effort saved too.

When the signal is bad, screen resolution low, face in full view, speakers on full volume, people are almost forced to be engaged and listen, otherwise, they miss out. This is the advantage of the digital meeting transition, the inadvertent requirement for active engagement.

Events and  learning are going virtual

When people are unable to be in a place, physically, yet still need to be “there”, how do we adapt? We call it the rise of the webinar. Suddenly, the true power of being able to hold an event that someone can enjoy from the comfort of their home or remote office has become a reality and is already becoming a norm.

Learning is also adapting as many businesses involved in training and education are now in a great position to scale and position themselves in ways that they have never done before. By removing limitations of access to brick-and-mortar facilities, the distribution and ways we learn are already changing and adapting and this is a great stepping stone in the direction of almost wholly digital learning for many.

New ways to market businesses are emerging

One of the key elements to any business process is effective marketing and now, more than ever before, it has become imperative for organisations to communicate with their clients and stakeholders. With traditional marketing mediums falling short in certain areas, the importance of adapting plans to reach people who are in the same place, day after day, has become imperative.

Companies are becoming quite innovative when it comes to their social media, SEM and email approaches, with companies using some great ways to personalise, segment and tailor their offerings to highly niche audiences.

Even the good old cold call is having its day again with sales teams needing to reach out and get in touch with prospects and customers via the phone. This is leading to further innovative ways to engage, adapt and create value.

So, what are the lessons that we can learn from this massive change of thought and way of working?  What can we harness from such changes going forward to make a better world for everyone?  How can we take these new ways of working and new partnerships being formed to make a better world? That’s up to each and every one of us! 

At TouchBasePro, we believe that by embracing the changes that are being forced upon us, we are creating a better organisation, a better employee experience and a better customer experience. We are thinking differently about our offerings and creating new business streams where we can. We have learnt that it’s important to meet customers, employees and each other where they are, and where we are at this very moment. We have become kinder and more tolerable. We have also learnt that although many of us are introverts, we miss human interaction, and although digital may be the way of the future, we look forward to in-person meetings again, and some great coffee. Maybe even a hug or two. 

We’re still sending free COVID-19 related campaigns for companies unable to do so themselves during this time. Get in touch with our team, we’d love to help!

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