Most businesses within the first year are in ‘survival mode, meaning you are trying to get to the break-even point as soon as possible. However, you don’t want to stay in “survival” mode for years and years, let alone decades. Throw in a worldwide pandemic, and breaking free of the “survival” mode cycle can be daunting and may even put you out of business. Knowing how to move into “growth” mode strategically does not need to be overwhelming and we can help.
If there is one thing we’ve learned from COVID-19 is that technology works. It has allowed many business owners and their employees to work remotely. We have learned technology has kept many productive and, believe it or not, even improve communication. With all the tech at our fingertips, there is no need not to move into a “growth” mode this year.
Essentially there are three strategic plans to enhance workplace interaction and grow your business during this “new” time. Gage has been consulting with CEOs and CFOs individually because each business will have its own unique variables to consider when formulating their workplace interaction plan.
- Fully-Remote Workplace – Organizations that were flexible enough to sustain a fully-remote workforce have opted to keep everyone remote until further notice. A fully-remote work environment presents its own unique set of challenges, but it also offers new opportunities to be taken advantage of. For this workplace interaction strategy to be successful, employees must be backed with technology tools that support key functions. For example, employees need to be empowered to remain in constant communication with other team members. Additionally, business owners need to provide them central access to data, with responsible levels of cybersecurity on the network. A remote team means more exposure to the network, but it also brings more flexibility than ever before. A full transition to this means that the business won’t be interrupted further by additional restrictions/lockdowns.
- Hybrid Workplace – The majority of businesses believe that this will be the most likely scenario in 2021. Over the past year, companies have cycled through lockdowns, partial openings and full reopenings depending on health risk factors. If a business owner wants to plan for this, they will need to consider ways to secure entrances/exits/access points with things like body temperature scanners or touchless door access controls. They also benefit significantly from tools like cloud voice with call forwarding to make transitions seamless when staff migrate from the office to remote work environments. In order for hybrid to work, remote technology needs to be secure and seamless, while workers/customers need to feel safe in-person.
- In-Person (w/Social Distancing) Workplace – For a minority of businesses, all activities are dependent on the physical location remaining open. For these businesses, owners need to consider how to adhere and accommodate various safety measures to ensure compliance and worker safety.
Regardless of which workplace environment is most likely, three critical aspects must be addressed within any workplace interaction strategy to ensure success:
- Employees need access to cloud voice to keep team members in constant communication and to ensure that office calls are properly routed to cell phones when team members are out-of-the-office.
- No matter which workplace environment an SMB finds themself operating from, the team needs to collaborate effectively. Businesses are well aware that solutions like Microsoft Teams exist, but they need to maximize these tools by customizing them to achieve business outcomes.
- Every single workplace environment needs to be kept secure.
For in-person strategies, this means secure access points, with tech like body temperature scanners to ensure illnesses cannot spread. This means that cybersecurity precautions have to be considered for remote workplaces because, generally speaking, home networks pose much higher risks than office environments.