For companies to achieve long-term resilience, it is imperative for them to ensure that the speed they successfully unlocked during the pandemic remains sustainable in the future, says global management consultancy firm McKinsey.
To do this, organisations will need to take into account not only potential strains on capacity but also the mental health of their workforce and the burnout often experienced by employees.
In a survey-based report titled "Speed and resilience: Five priorities for the next five months", McKinsey explains five questions that businesses need to answer to prepare to achieve long-term resilience.
What kind of demand shift should we expect, and how do we get ready for it?
Both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) companies expect to see meaningful shifts in the shape of future demand. This will affect their commercial model.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many households prioritised buying goods over services (such as restaurants and hair salons, many of which were closed anyway). As a result, pent-up demand could lead to a spike in spending on services as and when normalcy returns. What is still unclear is which services will return and in what form. For example, consumers have been spending more on home-based products, such as streaming and meal delivery.
How do we incorporate new ways of working to enhance productivity and health?
Over the past year, organisations have become well versed in the basics of ensuring a safe working environment. More recently, however, companies have reported that some of their workers appear to be more willing to participate in higher-risk activities simply because they are tired of living with the virus restrictions.
Self-reported data from a wide range of organisations point to individual and team productivity higher than before the onset of the pandemic, but not uniformly so. According to a McKinsey survey, productivity is up for about half of all workers, with the other half reporting no change or lower productivity.
The same survey suggested that, while the inability to disconnect is a real concern, increased productivity is correlated to a willingness to change how people work.
For instance, 67% of the organisations that reported higher productivity also reported a significant increase in work getting done through multiple, quick meetings, typically lasting less than 15 minutes or resolved through an exchange of text messages.
How do we get the most value out of office real estate?
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, many workers abruptly began to work from home. In fact, while some people struggled with the transition, for others, the new arrangement showed how much flexibility one can have in how – and where – to work. As a result, the workplace will never be the same.
At the same time, however, the level of remote-work adoption that has occurred in the context of Covid-19 is unlikely to persist into the future.
Companies will need to decide when to require a physical presence, and how often such in-person meetings should take place.
How can we reimagine capital allocation to promote resilience?
Capital allocation used to be primarily about making large bets early, based on a distinctive knowledge of trends that could take years to play out. During 2020, a year of extreme uncertainty, it became clear that this view needs to be complemented by a new way of thinking. Specifically, companies need to develop a capital-allocation process that allows them to create value by navigating fast-moving disruptions that can manifest themselves over days or weeks, as opposed to years.
What broader role should organisations play in their communities?
The covid-19 pandemic has been a global humanitarian challenge. It is right, then, that companies take stock and consider their responsibilities – not only to their shareholders but also to their employees and the societies where they operate.
Businesses have a role to play in rebuilding robust economies and in improving their communities. As a part of their corporate social responsibility efforts, companies should consider which areas to prioritise, based on the strengths of their organisation and on what their people value most.
The possible changes in Bangladesh
Due to the coronavirus, like other countries, the life of the people in Bangladesh has changed drastically.
Economists believe that this will have some effect on people's lives in the short-term and even in the long-term.
They say that after the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the country's economy will get a new look. Then a lot of things will be left out of the list of everyday consumer goods and services. New products and services will be added again.
Towfiqul Islam Khan, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said the use of technology has increased because of coronavirus. "Money transfers through digital transactions and mobile services have increased. Online product sales have also increased. All in all, the coronavirus crisis has brought a number of opportunities."
However, he feared that the digital divide could lead to more inequality in the future.
Towfiqul Islam said the use of technology must be increased to ensure recovery from coronavirus. This will make a big difference in the work process of those involved in white-collar jobs.
Commenting that the size of the office will be reduced as the tendency to work from home increases, he said that at one time the office will be run with a limited number of seats. No one will have a designated place to sit in these offices.
He added that the digital service infrastructure in Bangladesh is not yet well developed. Apart from that, not everyone can afford digital services. There is also a lack of skilled manpower to use these services. There is also the issue of adapting to new technology.
He also feared that inequality would increase in the future if all these issues were not addressed.