Re-Invent During Crisis
You never have a real change unless you have a time of crisis –Friedman Milton
Covid-19 pandemic has caused a global health emergency as well global economic slowdown. Businesses operations have been negatively impacted as the covid-19 keeps on spreading globally. Government have also introduced regulations and guidelines with the aim of containing the spread of the virus but in one way or the other affected business.
The new normal
I’ve been in discussion with my colleagues and business partners and one thing that usually comes up is that we all want to go back to normal. I hold a different opinion on the same. The normal we knew before pandemic was what we were used to but life during/after pandemic will just introduce us to a new norm. A lot has changed from early March after WHO declared Covid-19 outbreak as a global health pandemic.
As part of social distancing, organization have advocated for their staff to work from home with exception of essential services. In the last two months we have seen majority of staff working remotely from their homes and the concept being appreciated by organizations including governments. WFH is redefining the proverbial four wall offices. Corporates will now re-evaluate whether they need to have large office spaces to accommodate their staff or they can have majority of their staff work remotely and probably pop-in office once in a while. HR policies will also have to change to align with the new norm.
It’s a win-win for both employer and employee. The employer can save on rent; why pay for space that you are not using? For corporate’s that house themselves probably its time to lease those empty space to other organizations. The employee saves time spent in traffic to/from work and those man hours can be translated into production hours. Being stuck in traffic especially in Nairobi can get one crazy; from avoiding being hit or hitting a boda boda or a being bullied by matatus or when it rains and you get stuck in traffic for hours. The stress levels are high and have a negative impact on our productivity. But let’s consider the staff who works form home and doesn’t have to deal with all the stress. They are likely to be more efficient, effective and will be happier dealing with customers (internal & external).
There is a new market for home office and providing supplies for home offices. Home designers should jump on the opportunity and offer solutions to convert house spaces into comfy home offices. The home office designers should go a step ahead and furnish and provide office supplies and probably have a simple maintenance packages for their customers. In Tech, we offer almost everything-as-a-service and the same should work out for our home office – home office-as-a-service (HoaaS) – Sounds cool!!!
Every business has been challenged in the midst of the pandemic; others have been forced to close down due to government directives as we contain the spread of the virus. It’s one of the hardest times to do business. Its even worse for SMEs and the informal sector – I sympathize with everyone whose business has been forced to close down. Despite the challenges we all face we must re-invent our businesses for them to conform to the new norm. Technology is at the center of every change, today we can order our favorite pizza with our phones at home. Restaurants have realized there is a digital avenue that they need to explore with the many apps available that offer food delivery services. If that revenue stream can be grown, what the need of brick & mortal model? The restaurant could have a kitchen located not necessarily in a prime location then have food trucks positioned in various part of the city ready for delivery. Customer can make their orders with an app and get the food delivered whenever they are even when stuck in traffic!
Today, as Yelbridges we are re-inventing our processes to ensure our customers do receive most of our services remotely. We are also leveraging on technology more so VR, to offer training and to connect professionals (Cyber Security, Engineers, Medics, etc) without having them to travel and enable them to share knowledge at the comfort of their homes. Check out vcc.africa for more details on the capabilities of the Virtual Conference Center.
The pandemic has caused a drop in prices in oil, stocks and other commodities. For a prudent investor this is the best time to invest while prices are low. The same principle can be applied when dealing with business vendors. Everyone want to survive so this is the best time to negotiate with Third parties on services they offer to the business. Don’t hold on the project till when the pandemic is over but rather renegotiate with the vendor to offer the same service at a subsidized fee. Chances are the vendor will be more than happy to work with you as they also need to sustain their business. The larger picture is that each business support each other maintaining a healthy economic eco-system.
Our business is offering remote services to our customers passing down some saving to our customers. If there is a perfect time to do a security audit its now! Talk to our team to help you manage your cyber risks….
The sun will always rise even when from the darkest of nights
We must remain hopeful for better days ahead and support each other during these times of crisis. We can’t tell how long the situation will last but one thing we are certain is that this is not going to be business as usual. This is business unusual.