The coronavirus crisis has already placed a huge amount of strain on the world of commerce and industry, and it would appear the harshest period is yet to come for most countries around the world. With officially recorded cases passing 350,000 at the time of writing , many major economies are braced for impact on what is to come the next few months.
As of right now, there may be an element of helplessness in terms of approach to business. These are unprecedented times, with most governments demanding all but essential service workers begin to work from home. The loss of commercial revenue over this period will be crippling for many, so business owners need to seek out every advantage they can to survive this incredibly turbulent period.
Perhaps the one saving grace of the current pandemic crisis is the state of the technology around us, and the access it affords businesses, their stakeholders and their clients to the enterprise while under such strained conditions. As a business owner, you should be adopting these now fundamental techniques to give your operation the best chance of sustainability through the next few months.
Remote engagement via the Cloud
What are now virtually compulsory working from home requirements for most staff pose understandable concerns for business owners. As an owner, you may have worries around staff productivity, their ability to access necessary resources and general workforce cohesion during this time.
Modern cloud technology, however, negates most of these fears. Via the cloud, business networks and databases can be reached from anywhere in the world that can offer so much as an internet connection. That means staff in most office-based roles can access all the core components required to do their job, and continue to be productive from the comfort of their own home – which, according to some studies, has shown to actually enhance their output .
Automation technology has crept into every facet of modern life, with life getting easier to live by the day. Automation is helping us better manage our personal finances, keep our homes running smoothly and generally offer us shortcuts around our day to day lives.
Where business is concerned, automated processes are helping both on the shop floor and behind the scenes. One such example, which is especially useful at such a time, is the use of chatbots in online customer management. While staff resources are strained, chatbots can offer an efficient and reliable, 24/7 service to any customers visiting your business with enquiries.
This allows you to retain an open line of communication with your key customers at a particularly poignant time – without so much as lifting a finger.
Communication at all levels is, of course, key to success in any line of business, but particularly at a time when your staff are separated from one another. The rise of simple, easy to use but highly diversified communications services such as Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts enable businesses to enjoy open collaboration between staff even when isolated from one another.
From basic text chat functions through to video conferences, these business chat apps will be crucial through the crisis period. Microsoft Teams for one has already felt the strain on this, with a reported 44 million users daily last week , as working from home numbers increase.
There’s no question that the coming months are set to be some of the toughest ever in the business life cycle, with few to no exceptions across all industries. While there is an element of unknown to how long this will all last and what the long-term economic ramifications will be, business owners can at least trust in the now fundamental technologies available to keep their operations ticking along as best as possible in this unprecedented window.
For more on the coronavirus crisis in relation to business insight and resource management,
has launched its global resource centre. Here, you can read up on the latest international business and tax insight around the world, and better understand how the virus is impacting, and will continue to impact, the global economy over the next few months.