All businesses face uncertainty, but this year, COVID-19 posed the threat of crisis and recession to many economies and markets worldwide. The IT industry is no exception.
Social distancing led to canceled events and business trips, limiting technology companies’ exposure to new clients and partners. With business down across the world, it’s no surprise the IT industry has had to manage uncertainties.
However, from the chaos, companies with the right mindset and strategies actually have an opportunity to lead the market and come out ahead.
We’ve researched numerous strategies and theories and have come up with 4 practical tips for IT businesses to manage uncertainty and make the most out of this unique opportunity.
4 Tips to Manage Uncertainty in IT
- Get ready for the era of remote workers
- Add elasticity and flexibility into the workplace
- Focus on effective communication
- Keep business processes disciplined
1. Get Ready For the Era of Remote Workers
The rise of remote working has been a significant response to the pandemic. How have tech giants felt about the switch?
Facebook announced its staff could choose to work from home all the way through July 2021, while Google has allowed their workers to work remotely through the following year. And they’re not alone: over 40% of American employees have been working from their homes since the pandemic hit.
As for the rest of the IT world, work-from-home is expected to become the new world order in the technology industry.
If you’re worried about the productivity of remote work — you have nothing to fear. An investigation done by Gallup proves that remote workers are actually more engaged than on-site workers. Additionally, they can deliver up to 20%–25% more productivity with proper equipment support.
These insights reveal that engagement is actually highest among workers who spend more time working remotely than in the office.
It’s true that few companies had a comprehensive process in place for managing remote workflows. Luckily, tools for time management, project management, and file management are here to help.
Tools like Hubstaff, Harvest, Teambook, and more can help employees manage their time effectively while working remotely. Similarly, Trello, Asana, Jira, and Basecamp are popular project management choices, and Dropbox and Google Drive can be leveraged for file management.
Whatever your team needs are, there’s a tool to help you optimize productivity from home.
2. Add Elasticity and Flexibility Into the Workplace
When times are tough, many tech companies have a tendency to implement conservative strategies, including freezing recruitment activities or laying off staff.
Although those solutions might rapidly solve the short-term challenges of uncertainty, such rigid strategies might be detrimental to the future of your enterprise.
In reality, your business’ continuity plan should focus on workplace elasticity and flexibility in management. Investing in the workforce you already have can actually nurture the financial health of your business.
In other words, instead of employee cutbacks, your company should support employees, and help them learn new skills for the upcoming digital world.
3. Focus on Effective Communication
Effective communication is something all companies strive for, but in times of uncertainty, it can be even harder to achieve. Smooth projects are dependent upon a team’s connectedness, which physical distance can make difficult.
However, with the right tools and an effective action plan, employers can actually increase their team’s communication skills while remote. Here are 3 key points to keep in mind:
- Communicate regularly and consistently
- Encourage employees to be responsive
- Listen to and understand your employees and clients
With these steps in mind, along with some of the tools we listed above, your business should be back to communicating as clearly as you were when you were in office together.
4. Keep Business Processes Disciplined
Obviously, uncertainties can’t always be predicted. However, even if something comes along to disrupt your operations, you can still rely on your business processes to stay successful.
As much as you can, try and ensure that your internal performance remains unchanged and that you’re still able to deliver against your clients’ expectations.
If you make sure to keep your business processes disciplined, you’ll be more likely to retain clients, keep production costs low, and preserve a sense of normalcy. That way, you’ll also reinforce your brand’s trustworthiness.
So, how do you make sure you keep your business processes working smoothly? Be sure to keep emphasizing communication, and consider taking an agile approach to your work, which might help you actually thrive, rather than just survive.
Agile workflows help companies achieve automation, thereby reducing errors associated with manual tasks. Moreover, it keeps all development teams on the same page, allowing leaders to easily track progress.
Also, don’t be afraid to over-utilize your QA resources. In times of uncertainty, it’s important to at least be certain in your work.
Staying Steady Through Uncertainty
Uncertainty is just that: uncertain. There’s no guaranteeing that any one strategy will keep your business afloat during a crisis, but these 4 tips will help prepare you.
Follow these strategies and you’ll be ready to turn your business’ challenges into opportunities