The world is in a state of unprecedented tumult. Businesses and governments around the globe have been shaken to their cores by the Covid-19. This crisis has forced companies to ask their employees to work from home for their safety and improved productivity.
1. Flexibility for the way people work
Around the world, the majority of large corporations still operate on inflexible, conservative management structures that care more about how long people are in the office than how productive they can be. The fear of being wrong or arriving late, rather than the urge to advance the company, rules most workers’ lives. Recent and current crises have shown that distributed, output-based companies like modern tech startups have a competitive advantage in survival over these larger corporations.
2. Work from home does work
As we are learning, many people who work in offices could do the majority of their job from just a laptop. Of course, this reality does not apply to many industries, including the service, entertainment, & travel industries, which rely heavily on in-person interactions. Startups in these industries also struggle when catastrophe hits but, for many startups, working from an office is more of a team-building exercise than a workplace necessity.
Startups that are used to a flexible work situation where employees occasionally (or frequently) work from home have taken to social media lately to show other businesses how to follow in their footsteps and become more resilient to the current crisis. Others have spoken out about how to keep important data safe when working from a laptop at home, which might be less secure than office networks. Many startups who have experience working remotely and from home have an advantage in situations of crisis, allowing them to continue work without skipping a beat during complex times.
3. Solving problems quickly
Startups survive through rapid innovation, quick feedback loops and repeated trial-and-error. Changing plans is a part of growing quickly, and tech startups often outmaneuver their larger competitors by pivoting on a heel to test new buisness models and strategies. This mode of work means that startups can also react quickly to changing situations and look for opportunity in crisis.
Two event management startups, Rebus and InEvent, have looked for ways that event organizers can survive this period through online meetings, live broadcasts, and even a rewards system to benefit people who support their favorite artists through the crisis. Within days of the announcement for quarantine in Colombia, Rebus launched four new products to help manage essential board meetings, monetize online concerts, set up classes for small businesses, and organize drive-through coronavirus testing in four cities.
4. Tech companies still struggle in crisis
Not all tech startups survive crises, however. During periods of uncertainty, investors tend to become more averse to risk, preferring to wait on new investments until times become more predictable. Enterprise startups may also struggle to find new clients as large businesses struggle to manage drops in sales and look to cut costs rather than taking on new software. Startups in the travel, restaurant, event, & service industries are facing the same challenges as their established competitors, but with smaller margins and less cash flow to bolster their survival.