The last three years have brought some of the most complex of situations. The Covid-19 pandemic saw lockdowns and stay-at-home orders the likes of which many of us have never witnessed before. Things may not be back to how they were before the events of the last three years began. Perhaps they may never fully return, there have been lessons learned that could help to future-proof a small business

Prepare for the unexpected

When news of the pandemic broke, many were slow to react. Some believed it wouldn’t reach far beyond China. When it quickly became evident Covid-19 was, in fact, spreading across the globe, few businesses were fully prepared with a contingency plan. A solid plan would have helped them adapt to the global health crisis that followed. When offices closed and the orders to work from home were given, many mistakenly believed that these changes would last a few short weeks, or a couple of months, at the most. 

The key takeaway for all businesses is that efficient and scalable emergency plans need to be created. These will help companies avoid the confusion and interruptions to their business that can occur during a crisis. 

Create a healthy workspace and encourage collaboration

When creative minds get together, great things happen. Those who are experienced at problem-solving get together to brainstorm new ideas, and collaboration happens. In this type of environment, newer individuals are encouraged to join in with their own ideas. This will create a collaborative team who are not afraid to tackle problems. 

Of course, working in collaboration all the time can be tiring. Therefore, it is also important to make sure that employees also have their own space, where they feel like they have a sense of privacy. With many companies now choosing to continue working from home at least part of the week, this is something that workers have become used to. Whether this allows for short self-care or mental health breaks to taking a walk outside the office, providing a healthy workspace has never been more important. 

Ensure a good work-life balance

One thing that we certainly learnt from the pandemic is that people are busy. Free-time is something that seems to be in short supply. Working from home can do much to help the work-life balance as a result of people gaining back their travel times. However, sometimes the boundaries get blurred. It is important to ensure that there is a work-life balance in place

This is essential for good mental health. It can help employees be more focused when it comes to their work. 

Happy employees are more productive

One of the most interesting lessons learned was that giving employees more freedom was actually not detrimental to productivity. Where employers had previously rallied against working from home as an option, the need for this during the pandemic showed just how productive employees could be. Additionally, it proved how much happier they could be under these circumstances. A more hybrid approach with a better split between working from home and being in the office is something more businesses should be considering.