Changing the way your business works can be a daunting prospect, especially in a world that appears to be changing as rapidly as the business environment right now. The current health climate has changed much and planning the way your company will operate during and after Coronavirus – and beyond – is critical. Taking calculated steps is individual to each business depending on the field or industry, but there are some key factors to generally be aware of.

The first is that you may be required to transition into a more digital way of working. Moving resources and data online, for example, storing them in the cloud or holding meetings via video call, is likely to become far more normal in the future. Reducing storage space and travel costs is not only economically effective, but it is also a massive step to building your company’s online presence. Having workers more used to functioning online could be the first step to creating your business’s full online wing, for instance, selling products online or delving into the potential of online marketing. If these are systems you have in place already, there could still be further steps into digital working that you could take, such as automated communications. All of these internet-based methods will help prepare your business for smooth operating should further unexpected events come along.

If your business remains physically based, then you will need to consider how to transition into new methods of dealing with customers. Limiting the number of customers or clients in your store or office at once takes planning – such as having a member of staff permanently posted at the entrance – and should not be done carelessly. Meeting social distancing guidelines is essential to keeping staff and customers happy and healthy.

Implementing these changes could be emotionally and physically difficult for your staff. Finding out what they think about the way your business is changing is essential. Conduct a thorough change management process and find out how their emotions have altered during the transition, encouraging a safe new environment and showing your team you care about them.

Your staff may also be affected by a change in working hours. The United Kingdom government has considered suspending Sunday trading laws and alterations in working hours such as this could be seen around the world. Ensure that all your staff are content with the new working system by communicating and engaging with them throughout the transitional period. In some cases, staff may need to be retrained to best operate under new systems or procedures, and time and care should be taken to do this to the best of the company’s ability. Periods such as the current one is uncertain and concerning as they are, without staff feeling like they are unprepared for the new way of working.

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Finally, in the changing and transitioning of your business, ensure you are giving time and effort to planning even further ahead. Subsequent waves of Coronavirus are possible and, the next time it comes, businesses should be better equipped to deal with them.