What Can Businesses in Japan Learn from Covid-19?

What Can Businesses in Japan Learn from Covid-19?

Covid-19 has shaken the world socially, economically, personally, and psychologically. It has affected all business sectors and departments. The pandemic created havoc everywhere – millions of people have lost their jobs and companies have had to close their business. It has been observed that companies who have evolved their business models or learned to evolve, are able to minimize their losses and keep their business up and running.

It’s critical to adapt and evolve in order to survive. Businesses that don’t adapt to changing times miss out on huge potential profits and customers.

Here is what businesses are experiencing amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Remote Work (Work from Home)

In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, several governments enforced complete lockdown for people’s safety. Essential service providers such as groceries and medical remained operational, however, physical stores took a huge hit. With customers forced to stay home, stores that relied on foot traffic or without an eCommerce website could not be profitable.

On the other hand, companies that can operate without walk-in customers have managed to say afloat. Service-based companies that rely on internet connection and a desktop or a laptop quickly shifted their work culture to remote work, also known as work from home. For a smooth transition from in-house to work from home, businesses can set up communication channels to effectively communicate with team members over chats, voice calls, and video calls. Employees who have never worked through online communication and project management channels such as Slack and Trello are learning new tools and increasing their set of skills at the same time. Written communication such as emails and messages have become more accurate, concise and to the point.

Working from home has received mixed reactions from employees. While some enjoy working in the comfort of their homes, others who have kids and family to support have a hard time meeting the same productivity levels. Managers have become understanding over productivity issues of employees living with families. Although many agree that personal and professional lives should not be mixed, we have no choice left if we want to survive.

Looking at the pandemic situation even after 7 months, we can say that work from home culture is here to stay for the long term. It is better for companies to adapt to this change to be future-proof because it’s not going away anytime soon.

The Importance of the Internet

As people are forced to stay inside, they are bound to use mobile phones and surf the internet for entertainment, work, news, and other activities. Some of them are not even going outside to buy the groceries – ordering essentials online is at an all-time peak.

For businesses, traditional advertisement does not work like it did in the past. Physical advertisement models cannot work when people are not stepping out of their homes. Local shops and small business owners who were reluctant to use digital platforms to showcase or market their business have witnessed their sales suffer during the pandemic.

Many small business owners that realized the opportunity have shifted their business online and began using digital channels to promote their business. Some examples include:

– Dentists taking online appointments

– Small store owners creating small eCommerce websites and using digital media to promote

– Dance studios giving online dance classes to reach more people

These options weren’t widely implemented over a decade ago but are necessities in today’s world if businesses want to survive.

We are witnessing the truth in “change is the only constant” in today’s time.

Old Habits Die Hard

Photo by Alexas Fotos from Pexels

Continuing the topic of adapting to changes, we cannot ignore that businesses that still operate on traditional office habits are finding a hard time to digitally shift their work operations.

For those businesses, now is the best time to experiment with the much needed change. The bottom line is that small and large businesses around the world did not deliberately go into the phase of work from home. Instead, they were forced into it. They found ways to make that work culture as effective as being in the office.

Ditch the fax machines and paper processes and switch to e-documents and contact-less operations. This is the time to practice safer working practices and paperless operations. By the time things go relatively back to normal, you can experiment with different practices and find an effective way to smooth transitions and maximize productivity.

Most small businesses were so busy serving their customers that they did not have time to reinvent their business processes. With the world at a halt, time is now a commodity that is available in abundance. Now is the time to complete all those pending tasks you wanted to perform to improve your company’s culture, reinvent your business, and learn new things.

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