3 organizational imperatives as employees return to work

Coronavirus has strengthened our conviction that human concerns can be separated from advancement of technology. This crisis has made organisation realise that treating humans and machines on parallel paths will help in showing a path forward.

COVID-19 has made business leader to do three things:

  • Relook at viability of current business models
  • Build on the best practices followed during the crisis.
  • Create a new path altogether to move forward.


Today all companies are focusing upon three things:

  1. Guidelines for social distancing: what will floor management look like in a post-COVID-19 workplace?
  2. Communication in a company: what will be the best strategy at the time of COVID-19 to open communication across the company?
  3. Sanitation: How can cleaning be emphasized by facilities folks in high-touch places?


Here are 3 organizational imperatives to facilitate a successful return to work

Create a business relaunch map:

The crisis has shattered various tools that businesses relied to make decisions. They will have to restart with new models and plans. The best approach is to develop a detailed relaunch map that will include a graded approach- be country by country, site by site, segment by segment, customer by customer, and product by product -in order to prioritize recovery opportunities. This map will help in guiding the production chain along with marketing and sales efforts and will also help in determining the recovery timeline for each segment and geography.

Rethinking organisation way of working:

Reopening will require a rethink how the organisation should work. Detailed planning is required to identify employees really needed to come to work after the lockdown is lifted.

In workplaces, different checkpoints should be created where employees can be tested. A holding areas for colleagues should be created where a red flag can be raised if someone is feeling unwell. No crowding policy needs to be implemented, and up-to 50 per cent workplace utilization the norm. Some workplace areas need to be segregated for face to face interaction, and these should follow increased sanitization schedules.

Accelerate digital adoption:

COVID-19 has made us realise the importance of digitalisation. Companies need to quickly rethink customer journeys now and should accelerate the development of digital solutions. The emphasis will be different for each sector.

For retailers it will be a different e-commerce experience by allowing customers to have an omni-channel experience across stages- initial research, to purchase, to service and returns.  For auto companies, this could mean establishing new digital distribution models to handle trade-ins, financing, servicing, and home delivery of cars.

Use of big-data, Internet of Things, and AI can help to better manage operations, and blockchain can help secure transactions. Adoption of latest cybersecurity tools can help make organizations secure. Companies can navigate the increasing need for granular demand forecasting, asset management, and coping with highly variable volumes.

COVID-19 has affected all of us and it is true that returning back will require efforts and need us to be vigilant and health conscious. But it is impossible- by taking necessary precautions we will all get back to the blended model of work that is the future.

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