This is what separates a successful business from a dying business
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The noise of bureaucracy. Some old traditions die hard.
The pandemic has presented a rapid change in our environment, forcing businesses that want to survive to optimize and adapt. Necessity is the mother of invention, and now what differentiates a successful business from a dying business is how well it can separate value from noise.
Much of this noise is bureaucratic practice. Although such practices were necessary in the past, many of them are archaic and have largely survived their time. Strict office hours, dress codes, slow decision-making mechanisms, and quarterly reviews: these elements put employees under unnecessary strain, which isn’t necessarily healthy for productivity.
Ultimately, your customers will remember the value you brought, not the type of office you brought it from. A founder’s goal should always be to put their energy into creating exceptional and unique value; the rest is just noise.
Here’s how the pandemic has reduced that noise and redefined successful working models.
No more wasted energy when presenting
Much of our mental energy is spent on decision-making – even the most insignificant things, from what to eat for lunch to what to wear for work, diminish the energy we could use to make more important decisions. To increase productivity, billionaire executives like Mark Zuckerberg and John Paul DeJoria are cutting the time they spend deciding what to wear to zero.
Your mental energy is like your currency. Save it to do the most important things that will help you accomplish your most important tasks. Have a simple, fixed “uniform” to wear every day of the week to reduce decision-making time on insignificant things to zero.
Related: These 7 tips will help you wear your office attire right
Say goodbye to time-consuming journeys
Having a desk to work at can be useful, but part of the reason it’s useful is simply because we’ve built productivity around such a structure. For many, working in a small cubicle may not be conducive to their job performance at all and, in fact, may be more distracting. Plus, commuting to work reduces the time we spend resting, recharging, or being productive. Some of us spend more than two hours commuting between work and work in any given work day.
After the pandemic, businesses were forced to move remotely. Since then, they have experienced a sharp drop in expenses and a sharp increase in productivity. It’s very realistic for people to create productive work routines that suit their lives when working from the comfort of their own homes. Having control over how our workspace looks (sunlight exposure, desk accessories), having fewer distractions (co-worker chatter) and being surrounded by family and children can really improve productivity, motivation, mental health and general well-being. People who are happy with their jobs and their work-life balance are more motivated to work harder and get things done faster.
The pandemic serves as a transition period for many businesses, and many will never return to the way things were before. Hybrid and remote working models will increasingly become the norm after Covid.
Related: Don’t Lose Good Employees to a Bad Ride
Adopt a diverse and competitive talent pool
As businesses moved away during the pandemic, local hiring was no longer mandatory. Industries of all sizes were employing more freelancers – from sales and e-commerce to finance and web development. This opened up and diversified the talent pool, as companies could hire from all over the world. The growth of the independent economy has inevitably created a more competitive environment, which has fostered the elevation of creative and technical skills.
The increased demand for quality talent has made freelancing a lucrative career choice and has driven people to hone their skills, resulting in more robust and quality services for businesses.
Stay ahead to ensure success
Markets are always subject to fluctuations, which means that certain services come and go. Think of Facebook: when it debuted in 2004, it became the social media platform, replacing chat applications (Skype, MSN). Over the next decade, it began to wane – becoming the social media of “older generations”, as Instagram and Snapchat overtook the landscape. Facebook, now Meta, is constantly adapting its services to adapt to the rapidly changing environment. Added market, currency, dating, Instagram acquisition in 2012 – the company tries to capitalize on all the trends and utilities in online social interaction.
Companies that want to stay ahead must find ways to refocus their skills or risk disappearing.
Working hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. are a thing of the past
The litmus test of whether you’re in the right frame of mind is this: are you constantly checking the clock to see if it’s closer to 5 p.m.? If you’re dying to get off work at a certain time or reluctantly getting up at the sound of the alarm clock, it might be time to reconsider whether your current job is right for you.
Having a strict work schedule with a little break in between doesn’t necessarily equate to more productivity. If you are not committed to work, it doesn’t matter if you are in the office for 8 or 10 hours – you are unlikely to perform tasks with passion or integrity.
Having the flexibility to work from wherever you want and being allowed to take breaks whenever you want can help you reset and feel more motivated throughout the day.
Related: How 9 to 5 Was Born and Why It No Longer Makes Sense
If you really love what you do, no number of hours can quantify what a “good” work schedule should look like. If you’re constantly craving a vacation, it’s a sign that you don’t really enjoy what you’re doing.
The pandemic has simply been a stress test for the way we are used to functioning in the workspace. This accelerated the adoption of necessary changes, forcing us to re-adapt and optimize to survive. Businesses that refuse to adapt will inevitably lose out to competitors that embrace the new normal.