Business lessons 2020: What worked and what burned out | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:28 PM, December 28, 2020

Business lessons 2020: What worked and what burned out

This pandemic-ridden year is about to end, but the changes and new practices that it brought to almost every possible sphere of human existence is not ending anytime soon. While Covid-19 brought with it a set of changes in the overall work culture and business thinking around the world, some of it proved to be effective, while others failed to make the expected impacts. As we are about to enter a new decade, we try to discover some of the work trends introduced in 2020 that are here to stay and some that aren't.

Remote working: Yayy or nayy?

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While some industries or companies found it absolutely impossible to continue the "Work from home" routine, for the others it worked quite well. Case in the study: The Toggle team. While in the beginning, we found it a bit hard to adjust with the routine, that involved being available past working hours to get things done that wouldn't take much time if we were in the office, we eventually found a way out of the mess and thanks to the boss, found a work schedule that suited everyone. (Despite our somewhat unhealthy lifestyles and crazy sleep schedules, it all worked out well in the end.) The entire WFH thing turned out to be a big "nayy" for a lot of offices, but simultaneously was a huge "yayy" for individuals or groups like the Toggle team.

Open desks have to go, time to bring back the cubicles

Those companies that went back to physical offices after the initial months are switching from open floor plans to the old cubicle style office spaces. While remote working might not be feasible for them, ensuring social distancing in office spaces has become a must. And open floor plans definitely don't serve that purpose. As the risks of transmission are not going to be reduced any time soon, looks like the cubicle trend is here to stay.

Unnecessary meetings: Big no-no

Meetings that practically don't add any value to the work at hand have gone out of practice in the last few months to a great extent. While the abolition of this culture ensures increased social distancing, over the months almost everyone realised how it also increases efficiency, ensuring better communication among teams. Hopefully, this culture will not be making a comeback any time soon.

Remote hiring and assessments

The hiring process has also gone online for quite a lot of organisations. Several corporate and other organisations have had online assessments for their recruitment processes for the last few months. Interviews, too, are being taken online. More opportunities have been created for freelancers, both beginners and skilled. Hopefully, this trend will be staying for a long long time.

Exploring the scopes of technology: Increasing dependence

The WFH culture has increased the workforce's dependence on technology more than ever. Even after most organisations have gone back to physical offices, the dependence on technology hasn't decreased. For most people, it has made work-life easier. Intensive investment in tech is gradually making its way. Having a functional website and a shared digital platform to work and communicate better is becoming a top priority for most companies. Technology definitely increases efficiency, which makes the increased dependence on technology a trend that is here to stay.

Maximizing profits or being resilient?

While many businesses, mostly startups had to shut their operation in the pandemic, others rose to the occasion by focusing on being more resilient to the face of adversity. While the uncertainty grappled, these businesses diverted their focus from maximizing the profit to ensuring community services and protecting their existing workforces. Rethinking the entire business model to make it survive has been a pretty daunting job for most businesses, but it has also been a learning experience. Resilience is a trend that is here to stay. Nothing is certain, preparing for the worst is always a good idea and ensuring resilience is always the right way to go about it; these are the definitely the pickings from 2020 for most small and medium businesses, including urban startups.  

 

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