As the face of business changes, so too do vital skills.
If everyone being forced to work from home due to the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that it’s more than possible for many if not most desk jobs can be effectively worked from home with a little retooling. Statistics show that even when the pandemic finally calms down, a lot of companies will be maintaining a work-from-home model, simply because it’s more convenient. What this means for you and your business is that you need to start adapting your practices to take place more through a digital medium than in person. A lot of things can change when you’re not sitting right next to your coworkers, and it’s up to you to rework your skillset or, if you’re in a hiring position, bring on people with the right skillsets.
The first thing you need is a solid grasp of data analytics. Most web-based companies already have this, at least at a rudimentary level, but I’m not talking about letting Excel do all the math for you. Either you, or someone you hire, need to be able to parse all of the data your company receives, be that customer data, usage data, advertising feedback, or whatever else. It’s not just a matter of doing the math and leaving it, you need to be able to know what the numbers are actually indicating for you.
Secondly, communications. People often type differently from how they talk. When you’re right next to someone, you can ask questions with your own mouth, but if your company is communicating with digital memos, you need to learn how to be clear and concise with your writing. Clearly state your objectives, preemptively answer any questions, and if you think someone is going to have a question you didn’t think of, inform coworkers of how to reach you. Communication is also vital for interacting with a customer base; you need brand messaging that’s both properly representative of your company’s image and clear and approachable.
Lastly, and this is a big one, change management. Technology and business practices have been evolving like crazy over the last few decades. One new innovation (or global pandemic, as the case may be) can completely turn the economy and everything we know on its head. To understand change management is to always be one step ahead, to be searching for the next big thing after the next big thing. You can’t predict the future with 100% accuracy, but you can have 100 contingency plans, each ready to rework the company at a moment’s notice.