About six weeks ago, it could have been said that the future of work was theoretically being shaped by the growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, and the expansion of working from home. To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how we work around the world would be an understatement. With that being said, here are three questions that you may have surrounding the future of work.
Question: How will the outbreak affect the current and future performance of our business?
Answer: Immediate and effective response is, of course, vital. The challenge lies in disclosing details of future impact in financial filings, as information about the current situation is evolving rapidly. As organizations manage and adapt, you may need to consider a number of talent, IT, succession, and cash flow initiatives to work through the uncertainty and volatility.
As an example, from a budgeting perspective – you are going to need a completely new plan for the rest of the year – and that plan is still uncertain since both the duration of closures and the timing and slope of recovery are all speculative, so you will need to plan out several scenarios.
The disruption to the global economy is altering industry structures and though it may sound impossible to think about right now, you need to dedicate the needed time and effort to focus on strategy and tactics geared towards the longer term.
Know this, the competitive environment that your company was a part of, will change and has changed. The question remains, when the dust settles, and it will, will you be prepared?
Question: What should you say to your customers, prospects, and most of all, your employees?
Answer: The worst thing you could do is nothing. Keep talking! Communicate as soon as and as much as possible with everyone you’re connected to – customers, suppliers, partners, employees, family, friends and neighbors. Find out how they’re getting on, what their problems are and offer to help solve them via email, phone, video call and or social media. We suggest that if you’re able, to support and protect employees, if you can, for as long as you can. We do however recognize and realize that the mechanisms for doing that could be ineffective given the circumstances.
The toughest part will be balancing the needs of the business with expectation setting and morale building, so employees know that their well-being is top of mind. Remember, this is an evolving moment in time but eventually things will return to some semblance of normalcy that you may not recognize. In the urgency of the moment, it’s easy to lose sight of the actions that might be needed tomorrow—and the day after that. Eventually however, you will need to start thinking about how you and your business will re-emerge from this from a position of strength and how you will adapt to the new normal.
Question: How are other companies responding to the current situation?
Answer: There is no doubt that the last month has created an urgent, unavoidable and unprecedented moment in time for corporate leaders to stand up and put their core values and beliefs to the test. Some will rise to the challenge, while others will not or just can’t.
With that being said, no one is coming out of this unscathed. Companies of all sizes are facing extraordinary operational and financial challenges. To deal with those challenges, companies are going to need to know exactly how bad things are and will need to identify and analyze the biggest financial pitfalls facing them. FYIsoft’s Reporting and Analytics tools can help with that. With every industry and business being tested in unique ways, the course of action may be different for each. Thus, the more tools and resources you have that can help, the better off you will be.
Many companies have already stepped up to support their workers, customers, and local communities while others are still trying to process what is unfolding before the eyes and the best path forward.
The reality is that right now everyone is trying to address and adapt to the immediate challenges that we’re all being presented with. Whether it’s the contraction of our workforce, new technologies to allow us to work from home, the altering of our supply chains, or the disruption affecting our business partners and stakeholders, environments and industries are shifting and you need to be prepared. FYIsoft can at least help get your finance house in order.
As we all adjust, it’s readily apparent that the events of 2020 will end up becoming the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations of our lifetime. How we work, exercise, shop, learn, communicate, and of course, where we work, will be altered forever! It will be on us to determine the beginning and of course, the future of work.