3 min read

Times of change: 5 business trends to stay competitive

By now, we are well aware that we are living in uncertain times. The pandemic has led to economic fluctuations and social isolation, but the market has been increasingly dynamic. From globalized economies to sophisticated technologies to more demanding consumers, we are seeing immense resilience.

Therefore, business owners and managers must be aware of emerging business trends. These trends will address organizational challenges and help strengthen your business.

The following five business trends will help you stay competitive. 

1. Flexible Work

Remote work is changing the global workspace. We are seeing an increased number of employees working in remote positions, either full-time or a few days a week. A large percentage of the workforce seeks job opportunities with flexible hours and some companies have already changed their policies to allow for this. 

In a global survey conducted by Gallup, 54% of respondents said they would leave their current job for one with flexible hours, and 37% said they would leave for one that offered the chance to work remotely at least part-time. 

Tip for companies: Take advantage of the reduced costs and increased productivity that this practice offers!

A study by the Journal of Business and Psychology observed 273 remote workers in different departments of an organization and found that professionals whose jobs were highly complex but did not require significant collaboration or social support performed well, if not better when working from home.

Companies that embrace flexible work options have a significant differentiator when attracting top talent.

→ Read also: 6 tips for successful Remote Work Management!

2. Agile Practices

Working remotely requires tools and methodologies to maintain efficiency. Agile practices are being used more than ever in organizations of all industries, sizes, and markets.

Agile practices are approaches that were created to accelerate and improve quality in application development. In recent times, they have also been used to transform corporate departments, functions, and project teams. 

Several agile methods and practices can be applied to businesses. The most famous, perhaps because of its versatility and easy application to any business, is Scrum.

3. Empathy

Yes, empathy is a business trend. It has come to be valued very highly in recent years, after being vilified in the corporate world.

Empathy is defined as:

“The ability to identify with another person, to feel what they feel, to want what they want, to learn the way they learn.”

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s School of Communication conducted a major study in several nations. They asked thousands of business leaders what attributes executives should have to be successful in today’s global digital economy, and they identified five critical competencies: adaptability, cultural competence, 360-degree thinking, intellectual curiosity, and empathy!

Proponents of empathy as a business trend point to three reasons that explain its importance. FiEmpathy helps build connections with and among teams. It also helps understand the consumer on a different level because the relationship among buyers and sellers is no longer one-way. It is a two-way street with multiple highly empowered audiences that demand to be heard or they easily migrate to other companies. Lastly, empathy helps us go global. Neither technical knowledge nor business experience is sufficient on its own. If we want to expand our horizons to other countries, we must be genuinely interested in understanding other cultures and their preferences.

4. Purpose

A study by Korn Ferry showed that companies with teams focused on their organization’s purpose had annual growth rates almost three times the annual rate for the entire industry.

According to the survey, 90% of people who work in purpose-driven organizations feel engaged in their work.

In companies that are not focused on their mission, only 32% of employees reported feeling involved and connected with the work they were doing.

Corporate purpose can be defined as an aspirational reason based on humanity that inspires action. This purpose should permeate every aspect of the business and not only inspire and motivate employees, but also resonate with your consumer base. 

5. Agility

In these uncertain times, the old models no longer work. It is necessary to co-create a new mentality, new concepts, and new models that make sense.

Business Agility brings adaptability, flexibility, and speed in learning and decision making.

Business Agility is the organization’s ability to adapt quickly and efficiently to new intelligence regarding the consumer, market, or other factors to deliver maximum value and optimize the user experience.

Business Agility encompasses several critical organizational resources:

Delivery with speed and responsibility, innovation and disruption, organizational and cultural adaptation, leadership through complexity. 

Get ready for the new normal

Times are uncertain and we have an opportunity to face them optimistically. Times of disruption open up a new horizon of possibilities. 

The current situation calls for professionals and companies to be open to the “new”, to the possibilities of change that, if conducted strategically, can keep you competitive.

To do this, it is necessary to reassess priorities, rethink employee logistics, and adjust goals and company direction. Those who survive will be those who learn how to adapt to the new normal.

Tip: Ask for help! In these times of volatility, it is always good to have someone to rely on. Big changes are not made overnight, much less without the expertise to guarantee success.

Shall we talk about the challenges that your organization is facing in this moment of uncertainty? Let’s set up a call and discuss virtually over coffee!