Adopting WFH Model for eCommerce Businesses Amidst Covid-19


April 15, 2020
6 MIN READ
Vinculum
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Vinculum
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The coronavirus outbreak or COVID-19, what started as a few suspicious cases in China has now spread across the globe and close to 30 countries are experiencing the adverse impacts of it.

With each passing day, the number of individuals being tested positive is on an exponential rise. The death cases due to coronavirus are alarming too.

Countries across the globe are reinforcing their healthcare and administrative systems to combat this outbreak which is soon taking over the world as the most devastating pandemic. The worst part of all this is that no one knows how this virus spreads and as of now there are no known treatment or cure for this.

Coronavirus has succeeded in putting a halt to our personal and professional lives. Most of the affected countries have adopted a stringent lockdown strategy to contain the spread of the virus.

“Stay Home Stay Safe” has been the prominent motto in these trying times. While the health and welfare concerns are devastating, the economic downturn can be considered as one of the adverse impacts of the corona pandemic. Most businesses are experiencing a decline in overall sales, operations and revenue streams with no end to be seen at least in the following months.

Why the “Work From Home” strategy is the ultimate game changer

With personal health, and hygiene being treated as a priority, and social distancing gaining ground, most businesses are embracing the work from home model to keep their operations functional.

The work from home started as a necessary requisite to cater to the trying times is now forecasted to be in action for quite a foreseeable future. Thus, it’s highly essential for businesses, especially eCommerce businesses to shed the apprehension and understand the intricacies of this work from home culture to make the most of it.

Technological advancements and seamless innovations play a pivotal role in today’s day and time. Most businesses operate on a laptop-based model rather than designated physical workstations in the office premises.

Business data being on cloud and with the advent of remote operations enabled by software and applications, working from home is rather a feasible solution at this juncture.

While there are a series of advantages of adapting to this new-age work culture, there are challenges too. Due to a lack of constant, physical monitoring, employers might lose sight of the way forward.

It might get very cumbersome and tricky for them to monitor the individual performance and overall business progress with this distributed nature of work.

Well, the good news is businesses especially eCommerce ones can strive rather than merely survive in this time with the right mix of strategy and execution. Though the global supply chain seems to be impacted, it is nowhere to be completely shut. Thus, eCommerce businesses must not worry about closing their operations in the long run.

With lockdown and social distancing in full-swing, the brick-and-mortar stores are sure to remain closed. However, this might be a positive avenue for eCommerce businesses to boost their online sales.

As foot traffic to shopping malls is dropping significantly, individuals would be dependent on online stores to obtain their home essentials. This presents the niches like health, beauty, grocery and consumer goods with an outstanding opportunity to reinstate their online presence and revenue.

Strategies to Make the Most of “Work from Home” Model

Allowing their employees to embrace the “work from home” model seems a logical step in the times of crisis. Here are some of the cutting-edge yet crucial strategies for eCommerce owners to make this shift even smoother and seamless.

Set Concise & Crisp Work Expectations

Setting out a clear goal of a string of objectives is crucial to the success of any business strategy. It holds equal significance for this scenario as well.

eCommerce businesses must set the employees’ expectations clear from the outset. With the ‘working from home’ strategy in action, the roles and responsibilities of some of the employees might need to be customized to ensure the best outcome.

On the other hand, a group of employees might not observe much of a change in their usual routine. Thus, employers need to set out concise and crisp expectations from the employees, both for the short and long term.

Offer the Requisite Infrastructure

Before kick-starting the working from home execution, eCommerce businesses must ensure that their employees have the requisite infrastructure with them to operate smoothly from home.

The requisite infrastructure details for most businesses include robust internet connectivity, device of preference: desktop or laptop, headsets for customer-facing employees, functional webcams for remote conferencing needs as well as VPN, and key remote access.

Ensuring an efficient infrastructure can make a substantial difference in employee productivity and business sustenance, and growth.

Communication is Key

Communication is the ultimate key to ensure workplace collaboration, a healthy and mutually cohesive work culture. Communication is even more crucial while the remote working strategy is being implemented.

Businesses must make sure that there is continued clear communication with the employees and the management is always accessible should they have questions or concerns at any working moment.

Scheduling daily virtual meetings before kickstarting the day will create an environment for employees to ask questions and express their concerns. This will also enable them to feel connected to the management, and their peers during the times of isolation. It may prove to be crucial in maintaining organization and employee morale during a time of crisis.

Check-in Frequently to avoid the feelings of isolation

With COVID-19 spreading exponentially, mandatory containment zones, self-quarantine seem to be a norm in the upcoming time.

All of this may compound the feelings of isolation among the employees that can impact their morale and productivity levels. At this juncture, it’s highly critical to check-in frequently with the employees. This may open up opportunities to address any potential concerns.

eCommerce businesses must keep a tab of the business proceedings and ensure that the employees are feeling confident in their ability to execute their duties to achieve the ultimate business objective.

Conclusion

There is a myriad of ways to make the most of the remote working strategy. eCommerce businesses may invest in a communication or collaboration tool to aid in the quality of their team’s functionality, and overall productivity.

They must ensure alternative workflow and management plans in case of contingencies, health or otherwise.

In these trying times. Vinculum is all set to assist businesses across the globe with best-of-breed technologies and solutions. We urge you to stay home, stay safe. And, stay connected as well!

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