Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, international business has been in flux. Markets are shifting wildly, stimulus programs are creating uncertainty, and international trade restrictions complicate ordinary transactions.
With so much change happening at once, what trends will impact your international business in the wake of COVID-19? Fortunately, several significant developments provide clues about the future of the global economic market—here are 3 to watch:
- International businesses are going from remote to more remote
For many international businesses, conducting work remotely before the pandemic was status quo. Now, due to the pandemic, your company may prioritize work-from-home employment situations. What does this mean?
Your company may need to start investing in more digital communications technologies, including software, hardware, digital infrastructure, servers, secure networks, among others. Additionally, you may need to provide more flexible work arrangements for domestic and international workers. For employees who have proven they can thrive under these conditions, you might offer permanent work-from-home schedules.
- Employee health and wellness is becoming a crucial priority
Time and again, COVID-19 has demonstrated the economic impact of health and wellness on international business. As such, employee health will be a top concern for you. Consider implementing new sanitization protocols, permanent social distancing measures, and greater access to masks and cleaning equipment for your office and plant employees.
For remote workers, look at updating employee sick leave policies. Giving employees the option to work from home at the first sign of a cold or flu may also be a new consideration for your company. There is no point in requiring employees to work through an illness when the potential exists to minimize the spread of infections.
Preferably, standardize your international workforce regulations, and develop clarity in your company’s health codes and practices. Such clarity may be a selling point to attract prospective employees who have become increasingly health-conscious due to the pandemic.
- Increasing safety and security for supply chains
Supply chains are going to see a dramatic shift due to COVID-19. Previously, your company may have actively sought diverse and decentralized supply chain opportunities. Supply chain hesitancy could lead to political regulations to induce a larger trend of domestic self-reliance. Post-COVID-19, companies may be looking for additional security in their trade practices.
You may not want to countenance the lack of efficiencies that come with de-globalized supply chain practices. Thus, consider moving your company operations to a place where you can conduct trade freely, without restrictions.
Look for change, change and more change in international business going forward
As with life, there is only one certainty among global corporations at this moment: change is constant. As a business owner, you need to evaluate whether your company is ready to adapt now, instead of later. Staying current with the trends can lead you to opportunities in the uncertain aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.