The coronavirus pandemic has changed the future of business. Adjustments made during lockdowns and as things began to open will determine how businesses will fare. These 8 trends should be considered that will help organizations excel in 2021 and beyond.
The last year has seen businesses struggle to find new methods to maintain and increase profits despite lockdowns and other COVID-19 restrictions. As we enter somewhat of a post-pandemic era, we must adjust to a new normal. We also must prepare for the event that another wave will put operations to a stop again.
2021 will be focused on transitioning into a new way of work. We will be not only be recovering from the past and working in the present, but we will also be planning in this new environment. Consumer confidence is rebounding, and we need to be prepared to welcome them back to our businesses.
Hopefully, our recovery will bring about innovations that will take our businesses to new heights. If we can rise to the challenge. Here we share eight trends that business leaders should consider as we work in our new world.
The Eight Trends that Will Define 2021
The first trend is remarkable innovation and entrepreneurship. The pandemic required new digital methods. Businesses were forced to go online and digitize. Workers who spent their time in offices and labs during the day were working from home and creating new inventions. Entrepreneurs are taking the chance to get in on the flurry of e-commerce. Small businesses have had a rough time, but those working on their own have seen successes.
Biopharmaceutical companies are booming with the need for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. Advances that would have taken years to accomplish, were pushed through at a more efficient pace. Especially in the case of mRNA-produced vaccines. Medical innovation and technology are on the upswing. Bioengineering, data analysis, and automation have all merged to fight COVID-19. And these procedures have set a new bar and created new methods that can be used in the fight against other diseases.
New technology allowing greater productivity has created a new way of working. And businesses are using this new technology to improve and speed up business operations. The changes in technology that once would have taken a decade to accomplish have been achieved in a year.
None of this has been easy. The process of installing and adapting to new technology has been a struggle, but many businesses have done well. While some of these systems will have to be revamped and wrinkles will need to be ironed out. And that is the new endeavor that businesses are currently involved in.
E-Commerce improvements, healthcare virtual operations, and other systems are being refined and prepared to work well into the future. This will lead to continued improvements in productivity.
Portfolios are being restructured at a rapid pace. The Altman Z-Score was created to determine the probability of a company going into bankruptcy. Those companies with a higher score have a strong financial position. They will weather this storm better if they have put systems in place to do so. These companies are adjusting, finding opportunities in discounted assets and lower valuations. Companies that are created only to merge with other companies, improve it and take it public are making great strides. Private Equity companies are just waiting for the best opportunities to invest.
Consumer behavior has improved. E-commerce has created a new way of shopping for consumers. Groceries, clothing, household products are all being sought online. Being able to see their doctors online is something that they won’t want to give up. E-commerce was forecasted to hit 24% by 2024; it beat that by 2020. For businesses to capitalize on that, businesses must learn new ways to reach them.
The environment is being considered in a whole new way. If businesses can find a way to get in on recovery with environmental issues in mind, they can excel. Increased investment in green energy is already happening. The U.S. government is planning to invest $2 trillion in clean energy. Organizations need to consider the concerns of their investors while limiting climate risks.
Supply chains are shifting. While they cannot be altered and revamped in one day, changes are being made to improve processes. One factory going down mustn’t cause the entire stop of all production. With the use of AI and data analytics, organizations can better connect their chains and improve each portion of them.
Remote work has seen a spike and for many, it’s here to stay. As automation has improved, technology has made it possible for workers to be productive from home. Organizations will need to determine if they will keep the office space, and overhead involved, which their businesses call home.
They also need to rework their office spaces to keep employees well-spaced. Most importantly they need to discover the best way to manage workers and keep them connected when working from home.