Vodafone Business checked the pulse of how business have handled the COVID-19 crisis, and found that "future ready businesses" will thrive.
Vodafone Business conducted a two-phase study, both before and during the COVID-19 crisis, to gauge the behaviors and attitudes that were most closely linked with better financial performance for businesses. "Future ready businesses" (FRBs) share various unifying characteristics including adaptability, an openness to technology and clear transformation goals.
According to the study, 30% of the FRBs expect an increase in profits during COVID-19 while 57% expect their profits to increase over the years five years compared to 45% of all businesses.
“COVID-19 has forced rapid change for everybody," said Vodafone Business CEO Vinod Kumar, in a statement. "However, some businesses are better prepared to deal with the issues that have arisen, and we want to help all organizations understand what they can do to match these ‘future ready’ companies.”
Employees' well being has taken on added importance during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly for FRBs. While the study found that 44% of all businesses now prioritize employee wellness and mental health, which was up 10 percentage points prior to COVID-19, 77% of FRBs felt the same way. The majority (90%) of FBRs reported additional support for their employees during the pandemic.
COVID-19 has also proved that millions of employees are capable of working from home (WFH). In order to enable WFH scenarios, 71% of the FBRs made at least one new technology investment in direct response to the pandemic.
With some countries are starting to open back up, 44% of the FRBs surveyed expect that greater flexibility in where their employees work will persist once the pandemic is over.
In general, organizations that had already embarked on their internal digital transformations fared better than those that hadn't, but the pandemic has accelerated digital initiatives.
“Industries that hadn’t embraced technology are seeking to move swiftly into digitalization." Kumar said. "We want to help companies move quickly into this new era of working, supporting them in becoming smarter, faster and more resilient, but not at the cost of their humanity.”
The first phase of Vodafone Business' study surveyed businesses of all sizes and sectors across Europe, the U.S., Asia and Africa while the second covered 800 businesses in the U.K., Spain, Germany and Italy.
Earlier this month, Vodafone Business announced it had launched a new resource hub to help businesses across the U.K., Germany, Spain and Italy bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program, which is called V-Hub, was designed for small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs). The platform will offer SMEs detailed guides on key aspects of operating in a more digitalized world, covering topics such as website creation, digital marketing, remote working and cyber security.