As the horrifying Covid-19 pandemic struck the world in 2020, we have witnessed significant changes in all aspects of our lives, including business. The business environment took a major hit, as everyone had to shift and modify their business models overnight to ensure efficient functionality while dealing with the unexpected situations that the pandemic had brought with it. 2021, just like 2020, has been all about finding ways to ensure optimum efficiency and productivity in the business environment.
Business agility, though always a significant topic of discussion in the business community, took on a new meaning and identity in 2021, as businessmen began to realize that it may be their only savior in such unfortunate times. Now, business agility is more of a necessity, as people need to come up with innovative ideas while ensuring that they have adequately equipped their workforce to satisfy customers and to deal with their own challenges of working from remote locations. As the need for business agility grew, new trends surfaced.
Here are the latest trends to look for in business agility in 2021.
1. Hybrid Workplaces
In 2020, we saw everyone shift their businesses to the work from home model. It brought in its own challenges, but also gave employers a vast set of benefits with increased productivity and enhanced efficiency. Also, keeping the safety of employees in mind, it was the preferable option.
However, in 2021, hybrid workplaces are coming into action. The hybrid workplace model refers to the arrangement where employees can work on site occasionally, and alternate between working from home and working on site according to their requirements. However, since we are in the middle of a global pandemic, proper precautions as per the government guidelines are supposed to be taken when the employees are working on site, so that everyone is safe. This helps employers to deal with certain issues of working from home effectively, while ensuring that the employees are safe.
2. The Scrum Approach
The scrum approach is a highly effective agile methodology to empower managers to coordinate activities and help teams work together. It helps teams to learn through experiences, allows rapid development, and enables managers to help their teams produce substantial results at the end of each sprint.
The scrum approach is becoming more and more popular among agile organizations as it offers a number of benefits, such as:
- Enabling teams to deliver exceptional value
- Improving collaboration among cross-functional teams
- Effective in handling both small teams and large projects
- Allowing continuous feedback for improving product quality during the development process
3. Employee-Centered Policies
Ever since businesses have shifted towards the work from home culture, employees’ stress levels have become critical. Working in isolation, dealing with both work problems and household issues at the same time, putting in extra hours of work and dealing with the mental stress of working in an unfamiliar environment has led to increased levels of stress among employees. Adjusting to the new normal has been tougher for employees than one would think, as Forbes reports that the percentage of employees with positive mental health has dropped from 62% in the pre-Covid times to 28% now.
Hence, a new trend in business agility is to create employee-centered policies, keeping in mind that all policies should not lead to WFH burnout in any way, giving employees ample paid leaves and flexible hours so that they can cope with the new work culture more positively without affecting their productivity and motivation.
4. Analytics and Real-Time Technology Solutions
Investment in analytics tools and new tech solutions for real-time updates is becoming more popular now. As the processes which were normally conducted in the office environment are now done from remote locations, businesses have been investing in technologies to ensure that the productivity remains optimum.
Technological competency is an essentially critical element of business agility. By eliminating redundant technologies and adopting improved tech solutions, companies can achieve:
- Superior customer engagement
- Increased efficiency
- Better analytics
- Automated processes
- Time efficiency
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been in huge demand for enhanced data analytics and automated processes lately, as pairing them with other cutting-edge technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), etc., can provide exceptional advantages to enhance business agility by providing insightful analytics.
A recent study found that 50% of small business and 84% of larger businesses are making adjustments to their business models, most significantly in the way of delivering their goods and services. This significant move is helping them stay afloat in the presently fluctuating and uncertain business and economic scenario. Following the trends of business agility in 2021 can help organizations to transform their business models effectively and ensure their sustenance with maximum productivity in today’s environment. After all, going the extra mile to develop efficient and adaptable businesses is what’s ensuring success for businessmen today.