Guarding Against Future Crises In Business

In the early days of 2021, there is still an uneasy feeling involved in any search for a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, it may be that this will always remain the case. And yet, without disregarding or minimizing the tragedy that the pandemic has inflicted all across the globe, there are certain potential positives coming to light.

A recent post here quoted from the book Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity, specifically echoing that the pandemic has served to “accelerate dynamics already present in society.” This statement is not limited to positive dynamics. But as you can glean from the book’s title, some of the positives present exciting and progressive opportunities – things that, in the long run, we may ultimately observe as the silver linings of 2020.

These opportunities cover all aspects of modern society. For instance, the movement toward remote education could ultimately lead to easier access to educational materials for disadvantaged students; more time at home will likely lead to more sustained focus on home quality and personal wellness. Many of the changes and opportunities we have seen are closely related to business and exploring this further is illuminating.

Specifically, some of the changes and responses to crisis we have seen in business appear more than likely to inspire business leaders to implement certain protections against future crises.

INDEFINITE REMOTE WORK

“A blurry mix of work, life, pajamas, and Zoom.” This is how a writer for The Atlantic described the future of jobs after the pandemic, and yet the future of work post-pandemic is largely unknown. Does the end of the pandemic signal a return to work as usual or did the pandemic expose inefficiencies in office-based work, making us rethink public workspace?

The implications of these questions are fascinating from several different standpoints, not the least of which are employee wellness and work-life balance. To guard against crises, it would seem likely that some level of remote work is here to stay, in some cases, as a precaution. The negative impacts of COVID-19 have made resilience and adaptability clear imperatives, positioning organizations for future crises. Remote work becomes an extension of that imperative, a means of limiting vulnerability. It brings flexibility, and in many cases a better fit for our post-pandemic future.

STRUCTURAL PROTECTIONS
Given the losses, debts, and even legal issues so many businesses experienced as a result of the difficulties of 2020, there is a reasonable expectation that the near future will bring about some structural change aimed at protection for future crises. I described the critical need for large-scale change to structures in a Post from 2013. This type of change requires Catalysts, and the pandemic is serving as just that. That large-scale change is a macro-level view. A more practical application in our current business context could be the likelihood of some businesses restructuring as LLCs. The personal asset protection benefits of this form of business are widely known and appreciated, and as ZenBusiness puts it, are “crucial” to the safety and security of personal assets. Considering losses and even fears brought about by 2020, that safety and security is likely to appeal to even more business owners than it has in years past.

Other practical structural protections may be somewhat simpler, yet also likely to be prevalent in business operations as we ease into 2021. They might involve anything from owners purchasing new insurance policies, setting aside savings for rainy days, investing in more expansive digitization to prepare for remote work, and more. But the broad point is straightforward: Businesses will be altering everything from entity structure to internal operations to establish more resilience.

HASTENED DIGITIZATION
In a similar vein to the introductory concept of COVID accelerating dynamics that already exist in our world, we are also seeing the pace of digitization in business hasten even more. And this would ultimately be one of the most positive changes to come out of the pandemic — something an article at the World Economic Forum says can “make the post-COVID world a better place.”

In the simplest of terms, the pandemic has already forced businesses of all kinds to adopt certain digital practices more quickly than they otherwise would have. These practices range from new cloud storage systems, to more advanced cybersecurity, to good old Zoom. But through this, business owners have recognized that digitization is now essential to survival and must therefore be embraced as further protection against any potential issues in the future. Digital advancement will therefore become a priority, leading to next generation productivity gains, enabling of life-long employee learning, positioning within emerging ecosystems, growth, and the resilience required for the future.

There are many additional ways in which businesses will change — some of which we can predict, and others will undoubtedly be unforeseen. With these examples, it is easy to see how wide-ranging the changes could be. What is clear is that in responding to COVID-19 and preparing for future crises, modern businesses are poised to strengthen.

Explore other pandemic topics via the links below.

FEATUREDA Post Pandemic Society



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