For businesses to survive and strive in the 2020s, they must embrace the changes COVID-19 introduced to the global workforce.
While all the trends described below have history, the virus has necessitated them for today’s businesses.
Here’s how things have changed:
What Should You Invest In Today to Face Tomorrow’s Challenges
There are hundreds of tech-related factors influencing today’s working environments. Starting from ergonomic chairs, under-table treadmills, relax zones, and so much more. And we all know one PlayStation is never enough.
However, these “extras” are just the tip of the iceberg. Working in the “new normal” and beyond requires so much more.
Those are some leading tech trends every business owner should consider:
1. Asynchronous Communication
Your 2022 team (and beyond) doesn’t require people to co-locate in common physical environments. Hypothetically, you can manage your San Francisco HQ from anywhere. All the while, a Filipino assistant provides admin support, and your customer service team resides in India. And let us not forget, your Latvian marketing director doesn’t need to be physically present in the US to get the job done.
With your talented teams spread across numerous time zones, you need innovative ways to communicate and collaborate to ensure efficiency.
Fortunately, dozens of great tools can help project management and workflows without requiring real-time communication. And let’s face it - regular office meetings are never as productive as expected.
2. The Metaverse
If you’ve watched Surrogates with Bruce Willis, you know what I mean. Our digital avatars are coming, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Facebook - pardon me, Meta - and Microsoft are already in a race for leadership over this burgeoning market. Some even call it the next internet.
Let’s face it - although we are netizens, we are people first. We need human interaction, even if it’s virtual. And although remote work has its perks, it steals a psychologically crucial part of any employee’s mindset - the feeling of being in a team.
Expect office life as we know it to change. So if you are currently considering a vast and shiny new workplace for sale, I’d recommend you wait for a bit.
Bitcoin? Ethereum? DOGE?
Asides from cryptocurrencies, blockchains have the potential to eliminate numerous flaws (including security issues) in any business with a vision. Today this tech is most suitable for enterprises and large companies that are capable of taking full advantage of its potential.
Many firms already use blockchain to securely share sensitive info, tracking, logistics, and much more. Even over the long-term, its excessively high costs prevent this tech from busting out and dominating the general market.
4. AI Information Management
Ever hear of document management and processing systems?
If not, perhaps you should get out from under all your red tape. Ah...who doesn’t love good ol’ paperwork?
We all hate it, I know.
This trend has been around for quite some time. What’s surprising, however, is how many companies haven’t implemented such systems today.
With advancements in machine learning and natural language processing, it’s now easier than ever to automate your information management. It's best to let our teams unleash their full potential instead of making them librarians.
5. Improved Cybersecurity
I can’t stress how important this is.
Okay, so you’ve already explained to Grandma that there are no random princes (usually originating from Africa) that wish to send her a million dollars. Kudos!
Still, let’s get serious.
There’s a straightforward and effective strategy I can recommend to all businesses. I call it [drumroll] “TEACUP.” And no, it’s not a very intimidating name for a cybersecurity policy.
Jokes aside, here’s what TEACUP stands for:
- Plan B
Did you know that there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds? And most of them are aimed towards businesses. Here’s what you need to do to protect your business:
- Train - You should invest in your staff’s cybersecurity training. If you don’t want to splurge on hiring a professional instructor, plenty of online resources are available. Even a single phishing email can cause big trouble if your team is unaware of the best basic cybersecurity practices.
- Evaluate - Assess your cybersecurity systems’ efficiency. Your organization must be up to date with best practices and SOPs to help guarantee your organization’s, clients’, and partners’ data integrity and security.
- Authentication - Using two-factor authentication (2FA) is a straightforward and adoptable method to improve your company’s security when managing and accessing sensitive data. This can even include business emails.
- Control - An easy-to-follow cybersecurity policy is a must. This should include user levels and permissions that enable employees to access only the data they require. It’s also a good rule of thumb to include background checks on all new hires since more than a third of global businesses are affected by an insider attack each year.
- Upgrade - Unfortunately, this point entails investments that not every business can afford. Still, depending on your budget, you should attempt to create a secure infrastructure for your digital and physical assets.
- Plan B - There is no such thing as a cyberattack-proof business. You know the saying - “Better safe than sorry.” This clearly applies when it comes to your business’ security. The least you can do is regularly backup your organization’s data.
Your business today isn’t the same one you managed a few years ago. If you want to keep your company flourishing, consider the tips above. Like Ernest Hemingway once said - “Never confuse movement with action.” So, take the appropriate actions and adapt quickly - progress doesn’t wait.