By Catherine Lang-Cline
Businesses weather through many changing conditions. For example, this is the first pandemic we have had to work through, how is it going? Companies have had to cut back, sheer-up, layoff, pivot, grab at those bootstraps, and sometimes they would have to close. Some of them grew exponentially. Looking back on the last year of business, having the opportunity to function completely differently, what are you choosing not to go back to?
What this event has proven is that there were lots of really great things that changed when it came to running a business. Here are a few of my favorites:
Remote workers. We knew that this was possible, yet we were stuck in the idea that everyone had to be in the same room in order to make things happen. This has given us the opportunity to be able to hire an employee that lives anywhere. In turn, they don’t have to worry about traffic, parking, and what to do if their child or pet gets sick. You don’t have to worry about relocating. If communication and expectations are strong, it works perfectly.
Video conferencing. Having all of our meetings virtually has been a bit of a drag. But having some of them virtually could be a gift. If you have back-to-back meetings you just need to leave one and log on to another rather than miss one of them entirely. Customers prefer having a scheduled time and they don’t even have to leave their desk. Yes, we do want to get back to that face-to-face, handshake, hug, or elbow-bump life again, but this has served as a very effective alternative. The time and money savings on travel is a game-changer that can be seen on your bottom line.
Big thinking. When procedures and plans were thrown out the window, we all had to improvise. That may have meant developing or selling something new, pivoting, or rewriting the business plan. Whatever you needed to do it had to be rethought and it gave all of us the opportunity to create something different. This is how businesses should always operate, in the mindset of what are we doing, how are we going to do it with barriers, and how can we rethink this. Many companies not only survived but thrived with this new, aggressive mindset. Having the table completely overturned allows us to take a minute and analyze what really needs to get back on the table and what is waste. It’s a practice that we were forced into, but it might be one that we want to try again.
We have learned a lot over the last year so more can be added to this list. What are some of the things you’ve learned? Let’s not put a fence back up when it comes time to get back into the office, if you go back into the office. Keep thinking about innovating. One of my favorite quotes from Mark Cuban, “Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.” This past year, it took on a whole new meaning.
As always, if you are new to embracing the idea of remote workers, in our case, creative workers, contact us at Portfolio Creative. Creative people know to call Portfolio Creative.