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Today there are over six million infected COVID-19 patients globally and every country is in a various stage of lockdown.

Businesses, too, are rethinking how work gets done as they move from lockdown to reopening. That means leaders must think ahead. They must quickly share their latest ideas in areas like business models, remote working, automation. employee and customer engagement.

Don’t make static plans — be prepared to adjust as things change. We don’t yet know which trends will persist, but there are several areas where you can focus that should be “no regret” because they will serve you well in many scenarios.

Enable Work from Home: Few companies will be able to immediately accommodate all employees back in the office at once. They must make hastily updated lockdown work-from-home policies fit for the long term. Look beyond the essential laptop, monitor and communication devices by considering the needs of individuals and roles. Consider revising the nature of work such as enabling email, chat and a synchronized messaging.

Motivate Teams: Consider the support and trust your teams need to remain motivated. This includes treating remote and office workers equitably. Don’t confuse presenteeism with productive outcomes. Ensure remote workers feel a valued part of the “team” and understand the positive impact of their work. Invest in collaborative communications tools and training for employees to work together in a virtual environment.

Proactive Information: Back up all employees with data, regardless of where they are working. Develop strategies to proactively deliver information and updates to your customers, employees and partners such as using your customer service system to create a COVID-19 information resource centre to share answers to anticipated customer questions.

Introduce Virtual Customer Assistants: Many AI techniques help leading companies improve their customer experience, reduce costs and speed up the order-to-cash cycle. In particular, conversational AI platforms such as chatbots and virtual customer assistants (VCAs) are accelerating in adoption.

See remote working and automation not as short-term COVID imperatives but more as “no-regret” investments that can benefit both your employees and customers if done well. A combination of “work from anywhere” capabilities and increased automation has long-term benefits. These can bolster your organization’s resilience and business continuity, improve costs and enable new customer experiences.


Source: SCM World