Global pandemics have caused unexpected economic and social shifts for both large and small businesses, causing shock waves to continue throughout the global economy. Reflecting on the emerging trends in Australian business practices and trends is a great way for business professionals to position themselves going forward. Successful business leaders who are adaptive adjust their practices regularly to meet and overcome these new challenges. What are the key business trends that define the post-COVID period? Continue reading to learn more.
1. The workplace flexibility trend has evolved.
The nine-to five is a thing of the past. legislation is being pushed by the government to give employees more flexibility. This includes the ability to change their work hours, shift patterns (job sharing and splitting shifts) or location. Fair Work Australia’s push for increased flexibility has intensified in recent years, as the coronavirus epidemic has disrupted peoples’ regular schedules. The transition for small businesses and large companies who already have flexible working processes and tools to offer their employees has been much easier during the pandemic.
In uncertain times, a dynamic and flexible business that allows its employees to customize their work arrangements will lead to increased employee satisfaction and productivity.
Flexibility is not just a trend for large corporations or progressive industries. It’s also a small-business trend, and it’s even extending to traditionally ritualistic fields such as law. As an example, the Australian startup Intimation operates as a 100% on-line dispute resolution form which embodies flexible work. Immediate embraces a flexible mindset not only for its staff, but also so that their clients can access legal services at home.
2. Businesses support mental wellbeing
Employee wellbeing has been brought to the forefront by emerging trends towards a more adaptable and sustainable business model. The society has become more aware of mindfulness and mental health issues, reducing the stigma associated with them. This social shift has been followed by small business trends, and many large companies, with employers becoming more concerned about their employees’ well-being, mental fatigue, and happiness. It has become even worse during the pandemic, when employees have faced unforeseen challenges and some are experiencing periods of poor health. The local effects of pandemic have caused a spike in distress. One in five Australians report high or very high psychological distress. Australian business leaders must allocate enough resources to help employees cope with uncertain times, now and in future.
How companies are supporting mental health of their employees
Since remote working has become more popular, businesses have taken a number of steps to help their employees. Bentleys is an Australian business consultancy firm that advocates businesses to put employee mental health at the forefront. The efforts they make to:
- Virtual socialising
- Flexibility Increased
- Managers can benefit from mental health training.
- Keep morale high with regular conversations
- Share positive business insights with your team
Companies such as Antenna Installations Melbourne are behind their employees and supporting them. You can read more about their company here.
3. Cyber Security Business Trends
Remote working is a key trend in business that reinforces the need for risk-management, especially as cyber security grows. The Australian Federal Government has invested more than $1 billion in the cyber-security industry. This is a move to ensure Cyber Security professionals are a key part of businesses going forward. It is essential to implement a cyber plan in your business.
Cyber security protects Australian businesses
The Australian Cyber Security Centre protects and defends Australians against hackers and cyber-attackers. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) works to maintain the safety of the online economy and to ensure that the internet remains prosperous. The department is growing, and a major focus will be on the development of its network online.
4. Sustainable business practices continue to grow
All businesses are using technology to improve sustainability. Deloitte Global conducted a survey that found more than 80% executives were concerned about climate changes. Some Australian business leaders cited the pandemic to justify a pause in their sustainability efforts.
Leaders who are forward-thinking understand that maintaining this trend is crucial to their long-term success. Both stakeholders and employees place a high priority on working with sustainable businesses. As social and regulatory norms shift to sustainability, benefits for sustainable practices include reputational, legal and financial.
Adopting environmental programs and social responsibility
The American outdoor clothing company Patagonia has implemented sustainability programs under the two umbrellas of’materials, environment and social responsibility’. Patagonia’s individual initiatives include moving towards organic, recycled and ethically certified material, as well working towards a wage that is living for the workers in their factories. Patagonia releases a report every season on its progress. This shows that they understand customers expect transparency in regards to sustainable business practices.