As we enter a new year, one thing’s for sure — the business world has never changed over the course of twelve months as it did in 2020. But, while the recent past brought uncertainty, anxiety, and even fear for businesses all over the world, 2021 could be a promising year full of wins (if you prepare yourself for the new wave now).
In this article, we’ll look at exactly what you need to know about what businesses can expect in 2021.
Remote Work is Likely to Become the Norm
Many employers expect their workers to remain remote at least part of the time after COVID-19 is contained. Twenty major companies also plan to make the transition to remote working permanent even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
This is why it’s important that you start putting in place protocols, systems, and procedures now to ensure your team can thrive in their new environment.
An easy way to get a head start is to invest in the multiple free tools and resources that are available to help remote teams during and after COVID. These include collaboration, communication, and project management tools that help your team members stay on track when they’re working in separate physical locations.
… But, Returning to the Office Isn’t Out of the Question
Only a portion of the US workforce has a job that is compatible with working from home. However, a return to the office will be different from anything we’ve seen in the past.
In order for your employees to feel safe, it’s important that you meet both their needs and expectations. This includes keeping your workplace clean, implementing social distancing protocols, reiterating the importance of regular hand washing and asking all visitors to wear masks.
You’ll Need to Adapt Your Digital Marketing Campaigns
Now that more people are staying at home and shopping online, it might be a good idea to adapt your digital marketing strategies. You should be able to reach your target audience with a message that resonates with them – one that makes your products appealing to their current circumstances.
Consumer behavior online has changed so much that it may be advantageous to ditch certain marketing strategies and double down on others. For example, PPC ads have more of a chance to thrive now that consumers are shopping more online and searching for products.
It all comes down to knowing your audience and niche, and analyzing performance data so that you understand what campaigns/products to focus on, and which ones to eliminate.
You’ll Also Need to Manage Employee Burnout
Customer service agents were among the most burnt out of all employees in 2020. However, they’re not alone. And if your employees are burnt out but their burnout doesn’t get addressed, you’ll have a major productivity (and morale) issue on your hands.
Essentially, it’s now more important than ever that you put employee care at the heart of what you do. Recognizing and helping them deal with their emotions will be essential as you try to steer your small business towards success in these challenging times.
For instance, small businesses that are planning to return to the office could offer remote working opportunities to individuals who are struggling to cope right now. You could also establish regular, routine check-ins with your team members and talk with them about what you can do to help beyond the usual benefits, such as bonuses and salary.
And if your team is working entirely remotely, remember that isolation can creep in and affect your team mentally. This is why it might be a good idea to organize regular virtual activities, such as games and casual video chats.
2021 is around the corner, and it’s likely there’ll be just as much upheaval to businesses as there was in 2020.
Now is the time to act. Use the tips in this article to prepare your business for the new wave in 2021 so that you and your team are able to get off to the best possible start.