One undeniable result of the 2020 pandemic has been a restart of the global business community. The totally unprecedented halt and reboot of the economy have resulted in some new business trends. Some of these shifts, like continued automation and much greater involvement of social media in marketing, were already in process and should not surprise anyone. However, a number of truly unexpected changes have cropped up as well. Pundits have already begun to refer to these alterations of lifestyle and business processes as “the new normal.” Likely, it is the case that many of these altered directions are here to stay. Some are quite interesting in the unforeseen possibilities they present. Listed here are a handful of some intriguing new business trends that will very possibly persist.
Moving from Global to Local
There has been a distinct dialing down of international outsourcing for products and raw supplies as businesses begin to focus on suppliers and partners much closer at hand. This is in part because of the travel restrictions and also friction between the largest nations. However, these macro issues seem only to have given impetus to a latent desire to do business close to home. This is not to say that the digital world has been abandoned in any way. In fact, the web has only been too happy to help entrepreneurs find creative ways of forging and cementing new local contacts. For example, thanks to technology like Ooma business numbers, your company can have a local phone number virtually anywhere.
Staying Home, Work or Not
The one trend that everyone has talked about, without fleshing out all the possibilities, is that workers not only began to work from home during the pandemic but now they insist on it. The incredible shortages of workers of every stripe in so many different industries seem to be a reflection of the reality that many employees are simply unwilling to return to the office and endure the former status quo. Indeed, given that work production seems to have increased surprisingly during the quarantines, it is difficult to argue against that idea. Some research has indicated that many workers are willing to quit their jobs if it means having to head back to the office and as many as 95% of workers are willing to entertain the idea of accepting new jobs.
Making a Smaller Footprint
The push for sustainability was already underway before 2020 arrived, though the events that followed seem to have resulted in a mushrooming push to define the office of the future as a green one. The green office, as it is widely expressed, has certain mandates for how it will operate:
- All employees will be trained in green tech and expected to adhere to environmentally friendly practices
- All forms of production must be sustainable
- All businesses must be involved in direct ecological action
- All production and processes must maximize cost-effectiveness
Traveling there from your Kitchen
One of the truly hip new technologies emerging in different venues is the virtual interface. Perhaps you have seen the advertisements that feature a person looking at an image of his own face on a smartphone screen trying on different glasses frames to see how he looks in them. Thanks to the use of avatars and digital video communication, purchasers can try on clothing or walk through new homes they might want to buy. More than purchasers, B2B clients can check out supplies, interact with potential partners and share real-time in the development of business strategies.
It is amazing to consider just how many traditional aspects of the business world changed as an indirect result of a terrible pandemic.