How to ensure business continuity and employee resilience in a post-COVID world

The pandemic disruption made work-from-home the standard way of operations. However, this has also started becoming an issue as the work-life balance has become challenging to maintain.

The year 2020 has been an unusual one. Unlike any normal time when the world of business focuses on growth, business expansion, and future plans, this year has been about resilience.

The ability to survive and adapt has become the biggest asset for any business organisation. Companies have been doing their best to keep an eye on emerging scenarios, proactively adapting to changes, and coming up with new strategies and innovations to stay strong amidst the pandemic disruption.

Under such circumstances, it has become essential for leaders to create workplace strategies that revolve around resilience.

Since the arrival of the digital age over a decade ago, the millennial and the Gen - Z workforce has been at the core of corporate discussions. They are the majority now, and the younger generation is increasingly going to drive businesses forward in the years ahead.

Catering to their needs is essential to the successful running of an organisation. What is surprising to observe is that this tech-savvy generation believes in the power of personal networking and in-person discussions.

Thus, business leaders need to ensure that the free flow of communication and interaction should not be hampered, even when, many people are working remotely despite the pandemic impact.

Usage of digital technology and personalised communication tools will be essential to drive motivation and team bonding in the years ahead.

The pandemic disruption made work-from-home the standard way of operations. It is said that flexibility at work, pertains to allowing the employees to work anytime from anywhere. However, this has also started becoming an issue as the work-life balance has become challenging to maintain.

Remote working in the digital world might be convenient for young employees who live alone. Many of them have switched to ‘workation’ lifestyles, moving to the mountains or the beachside.

However, working from office might be more suitable for people with children and extended families at home. Hence, business leaders need to display fluidity of operations and create options for people to work on/off-premises as per their preference, and not as a rigid organisation-wide practice.

Business continuity in the digital age is much dependent on a robust, dynamic, and advanced technological support that can provide seamless functionality even during an uncertainty. Remote working tools and technologies are crucial to business operations in the post-pandemic world.

At the same time, leaders also need to identify and provide their businesses with technology that perfectly meets their needs. There are endless options and tools on offer in the market. However, depending on the industry, company structure, and scale of operations, what works for one might not yield results for others.

Hence, business leaders need to be specific about what technology they need for their companies.

For instance, customer service processes might be better off automated through AI-based IVR systems. Similarly, contactless automation for on-premise facilities could be ideal for office buildings. The aim is to reduce wastage, cost overheads, and risks to employees’ wellness by using technology.

Workforce wellness is a key concern for modern business leaders. The conventions of gym and cafeteria or flexible seating are no longer adequate. Employees are working on the anywhere/anytime basis, and it is not only their physical but also mental wellness that must come into focus.

In most cases, remote working is more challenging because employees need to perform the same tasks with the same efficiency, but with lesser infrastructure support and facilities than at the office. Thus, employers need to encourage employees to maintain work-life balance even when working from home.

Allowing them leaves and perks, as well as offering them healthcare support, access to mental health consultations, and healthy work culture can boost productivity and loyalty in these challenging times.

The way things stand today, business resilience is dependent on an adaptive operational strategy that takes into account all the challenges and remains employee-centric. We are witnessing a transition, which has been hastened by the pandemic.

Hence, understanding the needs of the workforce and the customers, and integrating those needs in the business strategies is the best future plan that any leader can create.

Edited by Suman Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)