The COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time for everyone, but businesses are the ones that are hurting the most. Stores, restaurants, and services closed down their physical businesses due to the recommendations for social isolation.

While essential businesses like online distributors and grocery stores are thriving, smaller businesses could be losing money for several months because of all the chaos. However, instead of giving up under the stress of no customers, several companies decided to try innovative new approaches to their services. Many businesses during COVID-19 have found ways to be successful even without any in-person operations.

Businesses Find Ways to Limit Interactions

In order to continue operations, businesses need to find ways to think outside of the box. If all their services were in-person prior to COVID-19, they need to find a way to bring those services online or create new virtual experiences. Stores are finding ways to sell their items online instead of in-store. Restaurants are using delivery only. Even performers are streaming their talents online.

Now is the perfect time for businesses to become familiar with ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify and WooCommerce, in order to bring their operations online. Then, they can connect their store to other sites such as Google Shopping, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay. Even if a company never sells products online, this is the perfect time to make the switch. By using social media, email, and paid marketing campaigns, businesses can easily advertise their new online content.

For restaurants, delivery is key since they cannot have people dine in. Reliable food delivery services such as Grubhub, DoorDash, and UberEats are essential for restaurants at this time. Restaurants are also making it easier for customers to purchase gift cards online that can be used either now or later when the restaurant is up and running again.

Telecommuting Becomes the Norm

Remote work has become more common every year, but suddenly, telecommuting seems like the best option for everyone. During this pandemic, many workers have switched to telecommuting positions if possible. This may be less convenient for certain businesses because they will need to provide employees with supplies to successfully do their work at home. However, it’s the best way to keep everyone safe and productive for the time being.

Online tools such as Slack, Zoom, and Asana all make it easier for businesses to work remotely. They allow co-workers to successfully communicate and organize projects without even being in the same room. These tools are often used by people who work from home on a regular basis, but for businesses during COVID-19, they’ve become even more popular.

Anyone whose job requires them to be around large numbers of people is likely working from home. This includes teachers, who have to find ways to teach their lessons solely online instead of in class. Also, gyms have been replaced by online workout and yoga videos. It’s a big adjustment for anyone, but with the right innovative techniques, businesses can still be successful.

The Number of Sick Days Increases

A large problem for employees is the number of sick days they have. If someone shows symptoms of the coronavirus or comes into contact with the virus, an incubation period of about 14 days is recommended. However, limited sick days have caused people to be unable to take that much time off. In order to make this situation fairer for employees, many businesses during COVID-19 have increased the number of sick days or offered unlimited sick days.

On the average day, many people will show up for work if they’re feeling a bit sick. No one wants to waste a sick day on something minor just in case something serious happens in the future. In fact, data suggests that 90% of employees have come into work sick before. While they can avoid using sick days that way, they are likely not as productive if they’re feeling under the weather. Plus, they’re only going to pass their sickness to their co-workers.

Even after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, it’s likely that companies will keep their sick day numbers increased. This pandemic has proved that sickness can greatly affect the workplace, so no one should have to come to work if they’re feeling sick.

Companies Rely on Technology Instead of Travel

Travel is a huge part of today’s businesses. A 2017 survey revealed that about 62% of American workers traveled to another state for work that year. However, with so many COVID-19 cases in the United States, flying is no longer safe as a common means of transportation. So, businesses have to find ways to use technology instead of travel.

Instead of flying someone to work on a project, companies need to consider what telecommuting tools they can use instead. Remote conference sites like Zoom and online communication platforms like Slack are great ways for employees to still hold conferences and meetings without having to leave their homes.

Businesses during COVID-19 should also consider other alternatives to work travel. For example, if advanced technology or artificial intelligence can be used instead of having a person make the trip, then that should be done instead. Making new innovative decisions to prevent employees from taking business trips will keep all the team members healthier and more productive.

People Become More Cautious

Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely made everyone more cautious in their daily routines. Businesses have learned that it’s much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to health. So, many companies have taken extreme measures to best avoid the coronavirus dangers. Events have been canceled or delayed, even months in advance. This is because a good business never puts their employees or clients in danger.

Even after everything passes and returns to normal, people will still be more cautious than before, especially at first. Therefore, even if online tools are new to businesses, they should still be utilized even after this situation is over. Technology and the ability to work remotely are things that more businesses should use on a normal basis. After all, about 85% of people in 2017 expressed interest in a remote position.

For now, all businesses should follow these innovative ideas to keep their companies up and running during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a business of your own, make sure you take extra precautions to keep you and your employees safe during this time. Social distancing is the best way to help this situation, so don’t put your company at risk.