The Evolution of Businesses in Post-Pandemic World 2021

The pandemic has changed our ways of life. Little did we know in 2020, that the year we had made all the plans in the world for, would turn out to be one of the hardest in our history. Nonetheless, with so many lives lost, the search is for an adequate balance of safety as well as the business as usual.

 

While this is extremely difficult, organizations are trying their best to achieve it and return to the state of normalcy. We can’t expect everything to be normal, since we do not have a full-fledged vaccine developed. Once that happens, the scenario might change drastically and life would be expected to return to the normal.

 

But until then, social distancing will be the new normal and way of life as we walk around. Despite the restrictions being lifted in many parts of the world, people are still choosing to stay indoors and not step out unless necessary.

Business in the Pandemic Scenario

 

For businesses, this again means huge losses, just as it was when the pandemic started to spread at a large scale. No matter which industries, all of them have been impacted severely. While the businesses that run entirely on the digital front, such as SaaS, didn’t have much to suffer. Their sales and other aspects did come down, but at least it wasn’t a point of the standstill.

 

Similarly, when it comes to retail businesses, the scenario was the opposite, there was little that anyone could do and the only expectation was that the pandemic goes away so that people can once again step out. For manufacturers, this situation is even worse, since they are the ones that are creating physical materials.

 

With the halted movement of goods and no labour showing up for work, their entire organization came to a standstill. Their employees couldn’t even work from home, because of the lack of massive infrastructure and factory setup where equipment and tools are in place.

 

However, for most of the start-ups and small organizations, the transition went from office spaces to a remote working environment. Since most of the world was digital in IT-based organizations, tier employees could easily work from home and carry out the business as usual activities.

 

The Shift to Remote Environment

 

While it is easy to assume that no challenges might have been faced by organizations that entirely operate in digital mediums, the situation is the opposite. In other words, even as the organizations went onto working from remote locations, the lack of adequate infrastructure was evident.

 

Be it a stable internet connection to hardware requirements, unwanted lags, and latencies, the challenges were many. However, organizations have managed to overcome this to a great extent by supporting their employees to set up a workstation and arrange the necessary infrastructure. For example, Google offered a lucrative bonus to its employees so that they can set up their work stations and not face any challenges in working.

 

But while physical gaps were trying to be filled up, employees also felt a sense of disconnection from work as they shifted to the remote culture. The mental toll and the work pressure that was otherwise kept at bay with peer to peer conversations and water cooler catch-ups were not an option anymore.

 

However, organizations were able to take this with adequate work practices such as counselling sessions, laughter gigs, random catch-ups, and more. More to this, new touch-less ways of conducting day to day businesses were observed.

 

In other words, as we move closer in 2021, businesses will be discovering more contactless options for the customer. Even as the vaccine is developed, customers would want to minimize their contact wherever possible.

 

For example, payment is one area where this will happen. MasterCard recently launched two touch-less payment options that will fully take over in the time to come.

Shop Anywhere

MasterCard in association with Accel Robotics created AI fuelled computer vision innovation that will empower them to shop without hanging tight for any lines and so on. This will create an experience of an autonomous checkout process. While this is already in the testing phase, it is expected to launch for the masses by 2021.

 

Artificial Intelligence Powered Drive Through

How about personalized menus? Instead of calling people to every table for menus and other businesses, restaurants will look forward to replacing the entire system with AI business solutions. They will offer unique menus on cell phones dependent on an individual’s store preferences, requesting patterns alongside different sources of info. It will speed up the wait timings at restaurants and eliminate the need for ordering a person.

 

In other words, 2021 will be all about reducing in-person contact. Even with the vaccine in the picture, this will become the new normal and enable businesses to continue their profits by leveraging technology.

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