There has been a considerable amount written about the essential qualities of successful businesses. For years, these texts and teachings underpinned businesses practices and habits, guiding the most well-known leaders. In the space of a year, however, many of these qualities have become undone.
Technology had already begun to change the way businesses operate, not only minimising the need for certain tasks but also by changing the way we predominantly interface with one another. Meetings, documents, and plans became evermore efficient, collaborative, and accessible. Now, having, driven by the necessity of cloud storage and remote working during an international health crisis, businesses have changed dramatically.
While we cannot claim to rewrite a new authority for businesses, we can draw from modern leaders who have begun to share their experiences. From this, as the world moves beyond a pandemic state, we have chosen four essential qualities that modern businesses should attain for success.
Businesses that had not prior established their foothold in technology, whether hardware or software, were at a disadvantage during lockdown. Those who were already equipped and well-versed in digital work-sharing software and video conferences, on the other hand, had a much easier time maintaining productivity and services during a period of time that made such capabilities essential. While a similarly sudden uptake in technology is unlikely to happen, being able to navigate an increasingly digitised economy is perhaps the most important quality of a modern business.
The dedication and perseverance of employees, especially those adapting to new professional circumstances, was greatly appreciated during the various lockdowns. While productivity remained high and even increased in certain cases, teleworking situations require a great deal of support for their long-term viability. In addition to internal workplace mental health services, other departments, such as payroll services and human resources, should be considered to ensure that they are offering as much support for staff as possible.
Certain businesses remained stubborn during the initial lockdown, refusing to engage in teleworking practices or to subsidise their physical operation with a digital counterpart. These businesses, ultimately, struggled. Adaptability has always been an essential quality of successful businesses, especially as market demand changes, however, in an increasingly fast-paced world driven by customer insight and data, businesses must make understanding the market their priority, and adapt accordingly.
A number of business leaders across the world have begun to cite trust as their most sought after value across the workplace. Prompted by employees performing their tasks outside of a central and shared working space, this new celebration of trust among colleagues and staff is also essential to collaborative documents and data that become accessible elsewhere and at various times.
The modern workplace is changing in a way that is driven by the power of individuals. Resisting this change by stifling the responsibility and initiative of employees, whether in adopting teleworking roles or taking responsibility for new digital practices, only serves to hinder the progress of a company. Now is the era of progress and value. Those businesses who are willing to learn and, importantly, listen to others, will soon be leading the way.