2020 was a tough year for most of us, as the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t only bring in a health crisis but an economic one as well. The majority of businesses had to close up shop temporarily due to stay-at-home orders, and most also had to adopt remote work setups with little to no planning.
For most business owners, the past 12 months had been a year of continuous strategizing and adapting for survival. It was a year of learning, too. Here are the top five things 2020 has taught us about IT, leadership, and business.
5. Communication matters
During the early days of the pandemic, your organization probably had to deal with a lot of uncertainty, chaos, and misinformation. It was a stressful time not only for top management teams that had to keep cash flowing, but also for ordinary employees who had to get used to new ways of working.
In 2020, we’ve seen how keeping communications open helped organizations keep their staff on the same page. Whether it be through video calls, emails, or other communication channels, keeping everyone informed about the business’s current status and future plans helped assuage people’s fears and minimized the circulation of false information.
4. Top-notch management is a must
The companies that will thrive after the pandemic are those that were able to make timely and effective decisions, such as migrating workflows to the cloud early on, downsizing office space, and taking advantage of falling advertisement rates.
The events of 2020 have made it clear that when there’s a crisis, you need the best leaders at the helm. You need insightful and strategic managers who can make the best decisions even under pressure.
3. Work-life balance is important
If there’s one thing that the coronavirus ordeal has taught us, it’s that life is invaluable. While some remote workers have caught on this idea, most still haven’t realized it, and they continue to throw themselves into their work.
According to global employment platform Monster, the percentage of employees experiencing burnout symptoms has continued to climb as the pandemic stretched on. This negative disposition has affected staff productivity, and, ultimately, company output.
To avoid burnout, make an effort to live a more balanced lifestyle: exercise regularly, get a pet, pursue artistic endeavors, or do other self-care activities.
2. Agility is no longer just an option
This is something that business leaders have perhaps learned the hard way. The majority of business continuity plans pre-COVID have been focused on natural disasters and financial crises, and therefore not quite applicable to a pandemic emergency.
To survive the health threat, businesses had to be agile: they had to rapidly, continuously, and systematically adapt to the changing landscape by using innovative means to maintain their competitive advantage. Response times had to be hours instead of weeks.
In the coming years, businesses will need to revise their contingency plans and invest in tools that will make them more agile. This brings us to the next point:
1. Reliable technology is crucial in keeping a business alive
2020 saw a heavier reliance on technology as businesses turned to IT solutions to remain operational in a crisis. Various cloud-powered technologies like Microsoft 365, in particular, became even more in demand as these tools have proven to be indispensable in enabling staff to work from home and access company data from anywhere with an internet connection.
And because businesses depended more heavily on the cloud, they also necessitated tougher cybersecurity solutions, especially for their remote workforce who were highly vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks, malware, and other cyberthreats.
We’ve always known that technology is a business game-changer. We are aware that it offers a trove of benefits such as cost savings, information protection, and ease of access. But in 2020, IT has become more than a tool to gain a competitive advantage and streamline workflows. It has become a lifeline.
A trusted business technology specialist, SpectrumWise offers a suite of IT solutions and services that will support your organization’s growth in 2021 and beyond. Schedule a no-obligation meeting with us. Call us at 704-703-9859 or send us a message today.