The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on all of us. We’ve seen businesses struggle, from family-owned restaurants to international corporations.
Limitations created by the pandemic forced businesses to become more “agile” to survive during this tumultuous period.
What does it mean for a business to be agile during this pandemic? In a normal context, agility is a business’ ability to adapt to market and environmental changes. Because of COVID-19, however, companies had to make massive operational shifts to protect their business and their employees.
With lockdowns and quarantines being enforced across the world, it was difficult for many to operate at their regular capacity. But after some time, planning, and practice, companies recovered through agile strategies to keep their businesses running as effectively as possible while still upholding the new social norms.
In this article, we will analyze several aspects of business that had to undergo a shift to be more agile.
Operating with Limitations
Imagine having very little room to operate. What can you do? When a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic hits, the only option is to start getting creative. Companies had to rethink and innovate their operations to keep employees safe, while still effectively providing their service.
Consider the fitness industry. When you think of spin classes or boxing, the image of gyms and studios come to mind. Social distancing, however, put all kinds of traditional classes on hold.
Gyms and trainers made the necessary and effective transition into providing online classes. From pre-recorded sessions to live Zoom classes, people were successfully working out through online means. What started out as a major limitation eventually created a major boom in the online fitness industry. The trend has grown so much this year that even businesses that offered virtual classes well before the pandemic experienced a significant uptick in engagement.
In recent years, companies have been undergoing a “digital transformation.”
From internal operations to customer experience strategies, the pandemic accelerated the need for companies to start operating heavily within digital spaces.
Like in any kind of crisis, it became an “adapt or die” scenario. The boom in e-commerce is the biggest example of this fact. Social distancing protocols forced many physical stores to close their doors, and because people are trying to avoid more public places in general, consumer buying habits took a major shift into online shopping.
Communicating with a Purpose
Whether it’s between two businesses, internal discussions, or a company addressing their consumers, digital communication has played a vital role during the pandemic. On the business side of things, meetings had to move from the board room to platforms like Zoom and Slack.
While virtual meetings may not be able to fully replicate the experience of face-to-face meetings, many people have adapted to make such settings as effective as possible. In an in-person setting, presenters can rely on their body language, on vocal delivery to keep people engaged. In an online setting, however, plenty of that energy gets lost. To make up for such disadvantages, presenters focus on delivering more simplified slides to deliver their message as fast and clearly as possible, capitalizing on when people’s attentions are at their peak. These tweaks to one’s presentation style made big impacts as online meetings have become more normalized than ever
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