Being Prepared: What we can learn from 2020. Posted on January 13, 2021 - 2:36 am by John Webster The COVID-19 pandemic saw many businesses – big and small – adopt a digitized approach to doing things. Tech stocks boomed as digital alternatives to traditional business practices were heavily sought after. Meetings were scheduled in virtual meeting rooms, documents digitized for sending, signing, and storing and the commute to work reduced, for most, to no more than 10 meters away from where they slept. With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, businesses, employees, and customers are asking the question: “What will 2021, look like?” The office worker landscape. Many have realized that a digitized approach to business has its benefits, and employees have been the main recipients: with no need to travel to work, the removal of commute time, and time spent in traffic jams, gave time back to employees to spend on other things that matter to them. Not everything was perfect though, as some employees struggled to draw the line between work and home life, with both distorting together in a difficult-to-balance mix. The use of audio-visual conferencing technology not quite able to replace the face-to-face human aspect of meeting in person but was better than not being able to see your team members altogether. Having a safety plan. What digitization has taught us in 2020 is that it pays to have a plan for when unforeseen events disrupt every-day life. Circumstances varied, and those businesses who were able to implement a work from home strategy continued business as usual. The evidence for a disaster plan, for events like a global pandemic, weighs heavily in the favor of a digitized approach, and businesses can benefit from a well-thought-out plan. One of our government clients stated that the ability to adopt a digital signing solution seamlessly within their business operations, and scale that solution up or down as required was hugely beneficial. Not only is it important to be implementing a digitized approach, but also having the correct digitization tools at your disposal to operate, or scale up and down, as required. Working from home. Implementing a work-from-home strategy was a must to continue business as usual, but it has unwittingly proven an interesting experiment – is working from home a legitimate way to operate a business? Research suggests that the lockdowns provided workers with the opportunity to take responsibility for their own schedules, focus on work that matters and view that work as worth-while. However, employees still need to have access to all the things they would normally have within the office – internet, desks, chairs, computer, mouse, keyboard, webcam, etc. The initial set up could take days, weeks, or even months depending on internal inventory levels and getting items shipped and delivered. The ideal scenario? Having a prepared checklist of all things required for your team to work from home, effectively and efficiently, with little to no implementation time. What’s Next With 2021 underway, now is a good time to revisit business practices and put contingency plans in place to plan for the unknown. Be prepared. Digitize your business processes today. Contact us for more information, or visit our website.