5 significant factors that will drive your post-pandemic business:

  • Real estate costs
  • Home working
  • Collaboration tools
  • Supply chain disruption
  • Leadership post-pandemic

Business is now rethinking the 5 traditional assumptions on space: finance, corporate real estate, facilities, HR and technology.

I firmly believe the functional silos of the past will collapse – and fresh thinking will drive a smaller, more relevant real estate footprint.

Landlords will have to offer shorter lease commitments, rent reductions, greater flexibility in premise use – and the growth of flex space, which has driven the growth of co-working space in the last decade.

Why do we need flex space?

Flex space ranges from dynamically changing use of space to more creative options, enabling you to convert your fixed office space into facilities that better serve your business and the local community.

Why should your office not also give service as a food and beverage outlet, a community wellness centre or even training space for companies in the neighbourhood?

So, what could the new normal look like?

‘Normal’ used to be a relatively standardised approach on many leadership fronts, from staff engagement to client and supplier communication.

The new normal will be a lot more about a personalised approach to management. For example, this will mean developing support plans for home workers that reflect their broader needs, from wellness to technology support tools.

Out of adversity comes opportunity

While this new normal could introduce new levels of complexity, forward-thinking businesses can use the opportunity to streamline processes, reduce costs, improve customer service and attract talent.

So, what leadership traits do you need to make this new normal a reality? I can think of three:

  • Courage – to confront the new realities
  • Vision – to extrapolate how the new normal translates into opportunity
  • Empathy – to grow the right team. The new “followers” will be looking for courage and trust, not the old command and control structures.

So what will be different? Nearly everything.

The new business normal is an opportunity to press the reset button – a chance to address so many things that were not right with the old normal.

These range from the drudgery of commuting to work, to business models based on growth and cheap money, rather than sustainability and resiliency that serves all parties sustainably and preserves the environment.

The new normal should also be about actions that serve the global community, not just national or sector interests.

If this pandemic has served to bring the problems of the old normal into focus, we will have moved forward as humanity. That is my real hope – and as the Dalai Lama so perfectly puts it:

“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest opportunity for doing good, both for oneself and others.”